Dear Teenaged Son:
I’ve obviously fallen down on the job in educating you about life, given the things coming out of your mouth over the past week. The scary thing is that you are a good kid, a really good kid after hearing the latest horror stories from your classmates’ parents (yeah, we talk… get over it). You do talk to me and I don’t want anything I say to make that stop, but I obviously need to relay some information again.
1) A conversation that begins “We had to sneak past the cops” makes big red warning lights go off in my head. I understand your friend’s sister and your friend invited one too many people than there were seats in the van. I appreciate you telling me that. And you can thank your father that I haven’t called or Facebooked the young lady in question to address her lapse of judgment; as far as he’s concerned, as long as you had a seat, he’s willing to let it go. However, don’t ever take a ride like that again. We will find you a ride.
2) Please do not begin a conversation “We’re going to ____, but if you talk to X’s mom, don’t tell her Y is going too.” I’m not your wingman. And I want to know who is going… and if you don’t tell me the truth, don’t worry. Between the people in town I know and you and all your friends documenting everything that happens on Facebook, I’ll find out. Then you’re grounded.
3) Please don’t inform me of your plans for the day, particularly if they require your father or me to drive you anywhere… or give your friends rides. We don’t mind; trust me, I get a ton of info driving you guys everywhere while keeping quiet – you actually talk in front of me! Just ask, as in “Mom, I’ve been invited to _____ at _______ o’clock. Would you be able to give us a ride?”
4) I do, on occasion, expect your friends to give you a ride somewhere if we’re giving you all a ride home, or vice versa. While I don’t mind giving rides most of the time, I do get pissed when no one offers you a ride, particularly when most roads in town from the school lead PAST OUR HOUSE!!! As for the conversation about going to the movies tonight with your friends, please learn a lesson from it.
“Mom, can I get a ride there, and can you give us all a ride home?”
“Do they need a ride there too?”
“No, they’re getting a ride there, but can’t get one home?”
“Can’t they give you a ride there and we’ll pick you all up?”
“Um, I don’t think so.”
“Hang on, I’ll text them.”… “Um, they’re not sure.”
“Are they not going to be home before the movie?”
“Oh no, they’re coming from home.”
“So why can’t they pick you up?”
“I don’t know. I’ll text them.” “Okay, they think they may be able to, but they need directions.”
“Haven’t these same kids been at our house before, like, 20-30 times?”
“Yeah, but… they said they need directions. Couldn’t you just give me a ride there?”
“No, and if they can’t pick you up, I don’t think we can give them a ride home.”
Am I wrong to expect some reciprocity in the Rides department?