Saturday, October 15, 2011

Don't do as I do. Do as I say. Why isn't your father having this conversation?

Don't do it, Bri!  Don't tell your 16 year old all your deep dark secrets!!  Too late, I did.  D'oh!

The moment finally arrived - and I knew it would - when my young, teenage son asked me questions about what I have and haven't done in my life.  Why wasn't it Eric sitting across from him?  Eric has always been a good guy.  He has never done naughty things.  Maybe that's why I was cornered.  Yes, William knew it.  He sensed it like a cat.  No.  He's not that clever.  Not that I'm being a cruel parent by saying this, it's just that I'm usually the one home during the day when these odd conversations come up after temper tantrums.  Will is a smart kiddo but he doesn't know his parents as well as he thinks he does.

It all started with a nasty fight between William and Austy and of course it happened while I had company over.  Our meal was finished for some time so my friends weren't shocked because they also have children who are behaviorally challenged.  In fact, our boys were in the same social skills group for Aspergers and Autistic Spectrum kids.  I was just annoyed that our afternoon had to end with cursing and screaming from upstairs.  No one wants to end a lovely day listening to that garbage. 

Bye friends!  I love you... 

Good luck, Bri!  (Deep sigh...)

"Go to your room, Austynn until you can talk respectfully to me."

"YOU'RE A BITCH!  I HATE YOU! (He gives me the middle finger) I'M NOT GOING TO MY ROOM!!"

"When the clock says 3:30 and you've been in there quietly without anymore temper tantrums, you may come out and tell me what happened but not until then.  If not, you'll have to wait longer.  Do you understand?"



Screaming, crying..."YES!!!!" 

"Thank you.  Please go in your room and do not kick your walls.  That's part of the deal to being quiet.  I will be in my room waiting for you at 3:30.  Thank you, Austynn."

There is no door on Austynn's room because of the notorious battery issues and safety concerns we have with him so he knows that quiet means quiet.  So far, he was doing a very good job. 

"William, you may come into my room now if you can talk calmly and rationally with me.  Please close the door behind you."

So for the next 45 minutes William and I have our talk.  It started with his entire life is being ruined by Austynn.  Of course.  It's always about Austynn.  William is 16.  He has to blame his hormones on someone.  I finally shifted him off of the topic.  Then the heart to heart talk began.

Eric and I used to lay in bed at night wondering how I would approach this conversation.  My theory has always been to be honest with my kiddos but at the time, I didn't know our kiddos were going to be William and Austynn.  Eric and I never did come to a resolution.  Now suddenly I had a young teenage son in front of me waiting for answers...uh oh.

"Mom, did you ever smoke?"

(I shifted in my seat uncomfortably wondering how far he was going to go with this line of questioning.)  "Yes.  I tried some cigarettes when I thirteen and then when I was eighteen I picked it up for a couple of years.  I also smoked cloves.  It was nasty though.  I hated the way I smelled, my mouth always felt gross, it was disgusting.  Thank God it didn't become a habit.  I thought I looked cool and sexy.  I actually looked like an immature idiot."

"Cloves?  Where do you get those?"

"At a liquor or a tobacco store.  They're actually a lot more dangerous than cigarettes and they taste nasty too.  I don't know why I smoked them.  Maybe I thought they were exotic or something."

"Have you ever smoked pot?"

(Oh shit, here we go...)  "Yes."


"I have, William.  I'm not going to lie to you."  (Should I start now?  Is it 3:30 yet?  Where's Austynn?)

"When was the last time you smoked it?"

Because I have such caring and loving friends out in the Internet world who may be concerned on my behalf, I will not continue the conversation I had with William other than to say that I explained that pot is illegal and as long as it's still illegal in Colorado, it is not something to be condoned.  Yes, I have done illegal things in my life that I'm not necessarily proud of.  Will they get me arrested no.  They're small misdemeanors for instance running stop signs, criminal mischief like toilet papering houses, or smoking pot with friends but even this I do very, very rarely.  I explained to him that I'm an adult and I make adult decisions concerning myself.

This was my love letter via conversation with my sixteen year old son yesterday...

Dear William:

I am not always the best example for you and that this makes me sad.  I try to be.  No parent is perfect.  Sometimes I feel overwhelmed and my sailor mouth kicks into gear.  I love God with my whole heart, my whole soul, and my whole mind, so I try my best never to use the Lord's name in vain.  The rest of the words are just words but I still need to tone them down.  I try help others and if that means giving the only ten dollars we have to someone who obviously needs it more, than so be it.  I've given rides to strangers in the rain, stopped to pick up strays in the middle of the street, and given bottles of water to folks who's cars have broken down on the side of the road.  I hope that by doing these things I've taught you compassion and empathy.

Ok, so I've smoked a little weed, said some rotten things, and hurt your feelings a few times.  I own it.  No matter what I do or say, I'm your Mother.  You looked at me ten years ago with all my goofy tye-dye crazy dancin' in the family room jumping in pool completely dressed kind of ways and said, "I want you to be my mama".  And I looked at you with all your serious angry pullin' your hair out by the roots beating your head against the walls afraid to laugh kind of ways and said, "I want you to be my little boy".  We were special.  We were given a chance to choose each other. 

I want you to choose your father as an example to follow, not me.  He's kind, gentle, and loving.  He doesn't smoke or drink to excess.  He treats me, his wife, with respect and admiration.  I can't tell you how many women strive to have a husband to honor them as much as he does me.  No matter what I do, he stands beside me.  He loves you and your brother beyond words.  He has shown you how a Father should treat his children.  I hope that he has broken the cycle of abuse and neglect that you've come from.  He will always be there for you.  He has altered his life for you and he will continue to do so for as long as you live.  That was the promise he made when you walked into his life. 
"MOM!  It's 3:30.."

Shut UP, AUSTYNN and go AWAY!  Mom's telling me about when she smoked pot."

(Really?  That's all we got from this conversation?  Lovely.)   "Come on in, Austynn.  Obviously this is all we're going to talk about today."



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