Consider yourself warned!
A guide for those who think they want children.
A few weeks ago, my son was at a party thrown by some of his classmates, in a section of Brooklyn that he didn’t know too well, and one where I would have preferred that he not be in. That particular week was his father’s week. Now, I don’t have a problem with his father letting him go to this party. After all, as much as I would like to keep both my kids locked up at home, I know that’s not realistic. We can’t hold onto them forever and they have to learn to navigate the city, or else they won’t know how to function as adults.
Around 10 pm, my son calls me to ask if I can order him an Uber because the local train wasn’t running (I don’t understand why this kid thinks I am his personal secretary, or why he thinks that Uber is free). My gut reaction was, “Why are you calling me? You’re at your father’s. Call him.” After all, this is supposed to be my Mommy free week. Or, at least as much as it can be. Anyway, as I was telling him to take the bus or walk to the next train stop to catch the express train (its only a few blocks away – I know that area of Brooklyn better than he does), I suddenly hear, “Oh no Mommy” … and the phone went dead! I called him immediately. My call went straight to voice mail. I call again. The same thing happens. After a while, I begin to worry. I tend to have an overactive imagination. In my mind, I have imagined that someone has jumped my son to either steal his cell phone or rob him of the little bit of money he has in his wallet. Or worse, the cops rolled up on him. If he had gotten jumped, they probably would have just taken his phone/money and beat him up. If it were the cops, my 5’11’ black son could have been shot. Unfortunately, in the world we live in today, those scenarios aren’t far-fetched.
I call my son again. Again, I go straight to the voice mail. When we were talking, he had told me where he was standing. I checked the locater app that I made him download on his phone and he’s still in that same area. I waited to see if he got on the bus. The app would let me know if he was on the move. Nope. Nothing. The app still shows him at the same location. Now, I’m starting to panic, but I’m trying to keep it together. I can’t just sit home. So I get in my car to find him. Thank God for technology! I have the locater app and a GPS app on my phone. I plug that baby up in the car and start driving. After about fifteen minutes, I realize that I left my bat at home. I meant to bring it, just in case I needed it. I told myself that I would have to buy a spare bat and keep it in the car. I start wondering how much damage the snow remover can do. I have two in the back of the car.
Let me tell you. My heart was pounding the whole time I was driving. I was praying to God that my son was fine. Every now and again I would check that location app and it had my son still at the same place. I would call his phone and go straight to voice mail. Finally, my son sent me a text. He was fine. He had gotten on the train and was already downtown waiting on his second train. You cannot imagine how relieved I was!!! I thanked God that my son was safe, turned around, and went home after stopping at the store (I needed more tea. I figured that I may as well get it since I was already out.) While I was driving home, my son called me and told me that his phone froze up and died on him. That’s why he couldn’t call or text me back earlier.
Let me tell you, as a parent, there are going to be times when your kids will scare the crap out of you. Sometimes they will do something stupid or crazy. Other times, something may happen that is totally out of their control. No matter what, you got to be ready to handle whatever the situation may be. So, get ready, and …
Consider Yourself Warned!
What have your kids done that scared you?
The other day, I had the honor and the privilege of going to the movies with my daughter. Now, I say that it was an honor and a privilege because this girl usually prefers to be alone in her room only to interact with us when she needs something, or if we just happen to be in her path as she heads to the kitchen or bathroom. Then she may grace us with a few words. I have just come to accept that she is fifteen and would prefer the company of her “cool” friends over my company (even though I think that I’m cooler than her friends). So, you can understand why I was a little shocked when she suggested that we go see the latest Thor movie. Now, I am an Avengers fan. I was a little surprised that she wanted to go. First of all, this is not the type of movie she normally likes. In fact, I can’t even remember the last time she went to the movie theater with me and her brother to see a Marvel movie. She usually tells us that she doesn’t want to go and stays home, locked up in her room with her IPad and phone. Secondly, I was surprised that she wanted to go with me, and not her friends. Who knows? Maybe she just felt cheap and didn’t want to pay. But being the great mom that I am, I gladly accepted. After all, it had been a while since we’ve been to the movies together.
So, we are seated in the theater and I soon realized that seeing a movie with my now teenage daughter is not the same as watching it with my son. Its not better, its just different. When my son and I watch a movie together, we talk about the plot, what we found believable, what we liked, what we didn’t like, etc. You get the picture. However, while watching this Thor movie with my daughter, the conversation was not even close to the kind I have with my son. I suspect that it has to do with the fact that she is a young girl coming into age. With her, the conversation was more about who’s cute, who’s not, who would you like to marry … and, my all-time favorite, who has the better body!
Before the movie actually started, we were forced to watch the previews. When the preview for Black Panther was shown, I almost fell out of my seat (even though I had watched it with my daughter on the internet a few weeks ago. There was just something about seeing it on the big screen that made me want to yell out DAMN!!) I turn to my daughter and politely asked her, “Did you see the body on the guy who plays the Black Panther?” Side note, for all the women out there, google it and you’ll see what I mean. My daughter looked at me, smiled at me, and laughed. What a bonding moment.
Some people may think that I shouldn’t be having these kinds of conversations with my daughter. But I disagree. Why not talk about it? The girl is fifteen and trust me, I know she looks at boys. She does it right in front of me! Besides, it’s a great way to lead into the sex conversation. Now, just to be clear, we didn’t have sex conversation that day. And I wasn’t about to have it inside the movie theater. There was a row of younger kids sitting right in front of us. I wouldn’t want them to overhear THAT conversation. But after the movie, we had a conversation as to what she likes and doesn’t like in boys … their physical characteristics, personalities, and how she should be treated by boys. I thought it was a good conversation. It gave me some insight into her psyche, and we had fun.
When you have kids, it may be challenging, but we have to be open to having meaningful conversations with them. They need to feel comfortable talking to us. Trust me, there will be some topics that you don’t want to talk about, or that may be uncomfortable for you to talk about. But guess what? We are the adults, so we have to just get over it.
So, suck it up and have those uncomfortable conversations with your kids.
And … Consider Yourself Warned!
What types of uncomfortable conversations have you had with your kids?
SassyGirlTye lives with her two wonderful teenagers in Brooklyn, New York. No matter what she says in her posts, she truly loves her children with all her heart.