Kid B went to a party in the neighborhood last weekend. She had another friend from school with her. They spent hours getting ready upstairs. I’m talking pedicures on their toes, trying on all their clothes. I asked if they needed a ride to the clubhouse when they were finished.
“No!… I mean, thanks, but we can walk from here.”
ALARMS!!! SIRENS!!! JINGLE BELLS!!! SPIDEY MOM-SENSE TINGLES!!!
My educated guess is that they were meeting up with some boys on the way to the party. Harmless enough. I remember making out with a boy or two playing spin the bottle in eighth grade, and I had waaaaaaay more freedom to roam around my hometown during those years. As long as they weren’t brushing their teeth with a bottle of Jack first, right?
But as more memories came flooding back of the things my thirteen and fourteen-year-old self thought and did, I decided that I should at least say something to them before they headed out for their night of (hopefully) harmless antics (after first doing a casual breath check for alcohol). They were clear so I gave them my standard going out speech:
“Girls, look at me and listen when I tell you this. When you go out this door, you are not only representing yourselves but you are representing this family as well. Have a good time, but also behave in a way that makes you proud of your actions. Don’t be whores.”
Kid B shook her head in acknowledgement (and a touch of embarrassment, as I had just yelled “whores” out the garage door and into the night) and her friend asked if she could have my spiel on an index card. I had given them a similar pep talk on Halloween night before they all went out trick-or-treating, so she knew the drill. She claimed that my speech made her feel cared for and good. Or she was making fun of me. Either way, at least the sentiment of being loved and worthy of self-respect was in their consciousness as they walked down the driveway.
I realize that soon my going out speech for Kid B is going to have to change a little. I recently included an aside on “not having sex in the basement guest bedroom” in one of my soliloquies to Kid A. At one time or another I will more than likely refer to the following… cheating, grinding, alcohol, 3rd base, sexting, skipping school, making out with teachers, shoplifting, prescription drugs, illegally downloading music, unprotected sex, meth, unprotected sex while on meth, vandalism, eyeballing, “No” means “No,” drinking and driving, and fashioning bongs from household items… and that’s just a warm up.
For the record, I am against most of those things.
But even though the topics that I cover (mostly for shock value and quite often ripped off from a recent episode of Glee) may vary and I may be a hypocrite for telling them not to do those things and they may or may not follow my sage advice, my kids (and their friends) will always know that they are important and special and that I care enough to yell “whore” out into the dark night for them.
Wish me luck for tomorrow…
“Son, unless you are always wearing a hoodie, you’d better keep your bird in the cage. I tell you this because you are important and I love you.” Photo: Yahoo Images