Being a parent means bringing up a lot of ‘buts’

By Renee Ordway, Special to the BDN
Posted May 31, 2013, at 3:47 p.m.

The other day my daughter and a friend decided on the spur of a moment to take some kayaks and head to Pushaw Lake for a paddle.

It was before this warm weather was upon us. It had been cold. It was breezy.

She’s 20, so I can’t really say no anymore but I can offer up bushelfuls of “be careful, the water is still very cold, you need to actually wear your life jacket.”

She can still roll her eyes at me as well as any frustrated teenager and try to reassure me with, “Mom, I’m a lifeguard, I know what I’m doing.”

“Of course you do,” I replied, “but …”

“Mom, it’s Pushaw. I spend my summers in canoes and kayaks,” she said, even more frustrated with me.

“I know that, but …”

She later texted me to let me know her companion’s mother had been equally “over-protective” and had sent them off with whistles around their necks in case they became separated.

I haven’t met that mom, but I’m pretty sure I love her.

My daughter then texted me that they had been captured by pirates and were doomed.

She’s a comedian and a giver beyond measure and I love that about her and it is why I worry and want to keep her alive.

Each day my 16-year-old son comes home from school he checks the mailbox to see if the letter informing him of the date of his driver’s test has arrived.

Each time he’s behind the wheel I’m trying to “patiently” coach and teach.

“OK, so traffic is heavy in both lanes (as he’s merging onto I-95) so you need to be prepared,” I caution.

“I know Mom,” he says, his voice filled with a combination of frustration and nerves as he glances between mirrors and over his shoulder.

“Are you seeing up ahead that there is a car that is braking? You need to see that and be preparing yourself that the car in front of you may also be braking? You need to see not what is just right in front of you, but what is a few car lengths ahead of you,” I caution.

“I know Mom. I see it. I know what I’m doing Mom, I’ve been driving for nearly a year. I’m paying attention,” he counters.

“I know you are. I know you’re a good driver, but …”

This weekend is the prom.

“So what exactly are the plans?” we ask.

We are told where to be for pictures. Where and what time dinner will be.

“What about after-prom activities?” we ask.

“Well, that hasn’t been decided, I guess,” he says, “we’re still talking about it.”

“We need to know that. That will be our biggest concern,” we explain.

“I know,” he says (that frustrated tone is present). “I’ll make sure you know exactly what’s going on as soon as I know. We’re not going to do anything stupid.”

“I know you might not intend to but …”

Then he’s talking to me about a photography project he wants to undertake this summer.

He’s artistic and intelligent and I love that about him and it’s why I worry and want to keep him alive.

For the past few years there have been countless conversations about Facebook.

You need to know who you are talking to. You need to limit your friends to just the people you know. You need to be careful about how much you post about yourself. You need to be alert all the time and be aware of who is seeing what you post.

We caution all of this.

And they say,

We know Mom. We know what we’re doing. Its not like we are friending just anyone. We’re talking to our friends from school.

They shake their heads at our concern.

“We’re fine. We know how to navigate social media,” they say with frustration.

“I know you think you do, but …”

 

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/05/31/living/being-a-parent-means-bringing-up-a-lot-of-buts/ printed on October 2, 2014