This entry falls into the category of “Things My Children Teach Me,” which is usually an odd scramble of good, bad, ugly, poignant, amusing and “I-could-have-gone-the-rest-of-my-life-without-knowing-that-and-been-far-better-off”. Now that I am a deacon of Advanced Parenting, however, sometimes the things my children and their friends teach me are just plain gold. Learning to “Man Up Now” is one of them.
Last night I floated off my yoga mat to my i phone where I found this txt from my 16 year old: “I got a speeding ticket.” This is a high school junior with a crowded life, a good attitude and a Toyota Land Cruiser that is nearly as old as he is. He hasn’t had his license six months yet. The immediate mother reaction: thanks be to the gods of all faiths that he is safe and so is everyone else. Followed quickly by: WHAT THE HELL? Why was he speeding? Was he late? Reckless? Or worse just plain cocky? Should we take away the car? Ground him? And off course he had to pay for it! I’d paid his first parking ticket but this was way different. I fumed. I was nearly 30, dating my husband and in graduate school before I got my first speeding ticket. And my husband – who is often late, reckless and cocky – was even older! I wanted to text my son all of this immediately IN ALL CAPS but imagined any new driver who would speed down the freeway in a 2 ton truck would also text while driving.
Thirty minutes later my son walked into the kitchen and silently handed me the green ticket and $ 175.00 in bills still crisp from an ATM. “I was doing 80 in a 60 zone. I knew as soon as I saw him pull out I was guilty and caught. I was respectful to the officer. Here is the fine.” He paused, “I am mad at myself, but I think I needed the lesson. I am going to shower.” He left the room, with our admiration in his now very empty wallet.