My last post dealt a little bit with the financial woes of single parenthood. But last night I was reminded of one of the hardest things that a single parent (of teen girls mostly) has to deal with.
Let me preface this next paragraph with the fact that as far as raising children who do not attend the predominant church in the area, and by predominant I mean 90/10, it is a difficult task. People from Utah usually know what I mean when I say that the LDS church is so predominant here that it is really easy to fall into a label, you are either one of the 'good ones' or you are excluded from everything. I wont get into that but it has its own challenges regarding whom my children interact with. Some Mormon's are not exactly accepting, and some Mormons actually keep their kids from being anywhere near non- church goers.
Fact is, I have great kids. Well, mannered, well behaved in school, decent grades, not out all night, no drugs or alcohol use or any thoughts thereof. However. We are not perfect. They are still finding out who they are. I remember those days when I was a teen and well, mom and dad, I am so sorry. Which leads to....
Last night, I was awoken at 1 am to a knock on my door. I am one who does not awaken easily once I have drifted off. Both of my daughters work, at a local fast food restaurant. The older had to work last night and is not happy about having to work every night of her holiday weekend. My younger daughter had asked to go to a movie with friends, swore she had a ride to the local theater just minutes from here, and would not go to the late show. Later, I missed her call as I was at the noisy grocery store. She had called to inform me that there was a change of plan, they were all going to one of the girls houses to watch a movie instead as there were no movies that appealed to them all at the theater.
When I got home from an exhausting shopping trip where I purchased half a mortgage payment worth of food as my kitchen was beginning to look like old mother Hubbard's. I called my daughter to clear up the details, she ensured me that because she was in a house with boys and girls, that there was sufficient adult supervision, and would be home after movie #2 approx 11:30 and that she would have a ride. I took her word. In this house, I trust you until you give me a reason not to. But if that trust is broken, It is a hella to get back.
So - back to the knock on the door. Stumbling to my feet, with our two dogs in a frightful panic of barking and pacing... climbing on the furniture, I held the Labrador back as I, in my cotton P.J. shorts and shirt, peek out a sliver of open door. and see.... My 15 yr old daughter and a local police officer. oh the horror. I could see the judgement in his eyes as he asked if I were her mother? Yes I say, what is going on? Turns out, he had seen her walking down the street at this UN-godly hour, and she was headed to a boys house!!! I know I didn't raise my daughter like that. My mind flashes to earlier that night, when my other daughter had come home from work about 11:30- could have sworn I heard 2 people, could have sworn I heard two bedroom doors shut. I hear words mumble from my cotton mouth. "I thought she was in bed?" "excuse me ma'am?" Again I feel his judgement as he chuckles a little. How absurd I feel he is thinking, how could you 'think' your child is in bed? I thanked him, brought her inside, me now fully awake.
I don't know what to do, if I am too harsh, I fear more calls from the police of my runaway daughter, if I am not tough enough, I fear the same.
Oh these are those times that the married women, you know who you are, can just call to their shotgun wielding husbands to take care of business. While they cuddle right back into their nice warm cushy beds.
Single mothers do not have this option.
I will spare my daughter further embarrassment of our discussion, and what transpired to have an early morning wake-up call from the local police. We had a long discussion on my bed last night, and I'll just say- I feel I may have to chalk it up to a case of really poor judgement and naivete on my daughters part. But we talked about it, (I LOVE THAT WE CAN) for about an hour.
Today she is in a lot of trouble. And until I get the whole story, we will be making a few phone calls to some of the other parents, including the parents of the boy and the parents that were chaperoning the party. In part to get the other side of the story- but a little bit of embarrassment on my daughters side wont hurt either.
After I spoke with my daughter last night, I lay awake and actually thought about this new blog and whether or not I should post such a personal thing on a website for all the world to see. I decided that if by posting my true life, with teens, I can help another single parent feel as though they are not alone, that we all have tests, and battles. Then this blog has served a purpose much bigger than my ramblings about how good life is.
Don't get me wrong, life is Grand! But isn't it nice to share those challenges as well as life's sunny days?
Live well, and always love, for tomorrow is another day.
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