Moms Columns & Blogs

Part of the Process

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The closed door to Brian’s room beckoned, and today, I succumbed to the temptation…  I don’t give in often, because in there, the permanence of his absence is undeniable…even though it still smells like him and looks as though he just rolled out of bed to face the day…  I always leave this small space feeling like a stake has been driven through my heart, but I’ve come to accept it is part of the process…

This evening I went in to reaffirm my position, to shore up my determination, to strengthen my resolve about standing my ground with Grace regarding our house rules and driving…

I cannot deny there is certain amount of satisfaction when one of my favorite parental promises is validated.  I’ve always advised my children to beware: I have eyes and ears all over the place.  If they are somewhere they aren’t supposed to be, doing something they shouldn’t be doing, I will inevitably find out, and when I do, it will not go well for them.  It’s even better when I am the inadvertent witness to the crime, so to speak; at least it is once I get over being mad…

In Brian’s case, I frequently stumbled over the truth by accident; I wouldn’t be looking for any wrongdoing, but would discover it nonetheless.  Sometimes it happened by virtue of doing the laundry, other times because his lack of chore completion would force me into his room, and occasionally his own words would trip him up.  I’m not naïve enough to believe I uncovered every transgression, but even Brian would laughingly admit how often he got caught...not that it stopped him...

Seems this tendency has recently been conferred upon Grace…

Unbeknownst to me, she asked her daddy if she could drive to her friend’s house at the end of our street; he gave permission with the caveat she was not to go anywhere else.  I stopped by the grocery store on my way home from work; consequently, I was running about 20 minutes later than usual.  As I signaled to turn left into our neighborhood, I almost choked on my own spit…  Grace was about to make the same turn from the opposite direction, with her sister right behind her, hot on her tail…  I didn’t need to check with John; I knew Grace had broken the rules by virtue of where she was.  God’s timing is perfect… 

There was no way she was getting out of it since I saw her with my own eyes.  To her credit, Grace didn’t argue, and accepted her punishment calmly.

If only she understood how incredibly difficult it is for us to let her drive in the first place, despite knowing we cannot hold her back because of Brian.  It becomes even harder when she ignores our rules, discounting them as overly protective, suffocating and/or unnecessary.  I’m sure our actions can be construed as such, but we are giving it our best effort, trying to be reasonable and fair, given our limitations.  I’m unsure how much of this is a typical teenager challenging boundaries versus the arrogant overconfidence of a surviving sibling…

How much easier would parenting be if we could persuade our children their youth does not afford them a cloak of invincibility? 

I guess that too, is part of the process…

Wishing you many blessings and always, hope…tg

Tammy will update her blog on Mondays and Thursdays.  -- Jen, site administrator  

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