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The tradition continues June 14, 2009

Posted by Kimmothy in Experience, Fam Damily, Friends, Oldies, Youth.

This weekend has been pretty low-key for me, which seems to be the case lately. The only difference is I’ve added exercise into my daily life and I’ve managed to stick to it for five consecutive days so far – go, me! I’m really excited about the new blog and I think it’s going to help me tremendously through this, my latest adventures in weight loss.

Grace called yesterday with some mildly upsetting news: her daughter, my favorite youngster, was caught sneaking out with one of her friends the other night. The story is confusing so I won’t get into details, but what struck me the most is that for our hometown (and I’m sure many others), this seems to be an unavoidable right of passage. I mean, my friends and I certainly did our share, though my 120-lb German Shepard “brother” made it impossible for us to get away with it at home so we had to do most of our nighttime skulking from friends’ houses. No problem making curfew when you knew the real fun wasn’t going to start until after 1 a.m. anyway. Oy.

We thought we were so crafty with the whole “I’m staying over at Jen’s tonight” plan. Even though Jen’s place was THE primo place to stay, since her mom not only knew about the sneak-outs, but practically encouraged them – and loved hearing all about our adventures the next day! Yes, I know – she was a little weird. But she had her logic about it; if it was going to happen inevitably, she figured as long as the boys came to us and we stayed on their property, well then we were obviously safe and sound and that was just fine and dandy with her. Little did she know her daughter lost her virginity while on their property, but no harm no foul.

But even though her mom was way more liberal than most, that wasn’t good enough for us and we had to still push the limits. Because, why not? Where’s the fun in having permission; that takes all the rebellion out of it. Her mom’s worst punishment for our night activities was loudly waking us up at 7am, forcing us to get showered, dressed and eat breakfast, no matter how hungover we were – the worse, the better. The bitch is lucky she made fabulous pancakes.

One night, the four of us, me, Grace, Jen and my sister were out at this house party. Jen and Sister were the youngsters compared to us – sophmores in high school to our already-graduated-but-still-living-at-home status. And while we had a hair more freedom than they did, we still lived under the “As long as you’re under my roof you will have a curfew” regime. So unfair! What the hell, Dad, I’m 19 – I am a woman now and need to fly and be free!! Anyway. This party. It was one of those nights the guy to girl ratio was great and all the guys we had crushes on were present and accounted for. The cheap beer, malt liquor and Boones Farm was flowing and we were having a great time. Until so quickly, the clock (our enemy) was showing us it was time to get our asses home. But somehow in our drunken logic, Grace and I decided, Hey, we’re older; why should WE have to go home just because the youngsters do! At which point I gave the keys to my car to Jen, not because she was less drunk, but because she knew how to drive a stick and my sister didn’t. We told them to take the car and go straight home, that we’d be there shortly. Long story long, we went off with some guys to the big city of Ocala, thirty miles away, and spent the night at some dude’s (we named him “That Guy”) apartment.

Do you want to know the sickest thing a young girl can experience while driving home in the early morning hours as daylight fast approaches? No, not the hangover. Not sexual regret or wondering if the other girls made it home okay. The sight of Jen’s parents PASSING YOU ON THE ROAD BECAUSE THEY ARE DRIVING AROUND LOOKING FOR ALL OF YOU. Grace and I saw them, looked at each other and quickly surmised that yeah, apparently poor judgment was made all around and the girls never made it home either. When punishments were handed out, Grace and I got off fairly easily, as we were considered too old to really be grounded; we basically received a stern talking-to regarding the fact we were the OLDER and therefore MORE RESPONSIBLE ones and they thought we were TRUSTWORTHY when it came to looking out for the younger girls. Oops. Sister got the worst of it and was put on restriction for a month, subsequently missing one of the greatest parties of that year the following week. And you can ask her – she’s still pissed about that one.

So yeah, I vividly remember what it’s like. The late-night adventures we had in our little town are some of my fondest memories. And living where we did, so sheltered compared to so many bigger, scarier places, our shenanigans were pretty tame. I’m very thankful Elizabeth is growing up in that same little town. But the thought that she’s right on the precipice of all this scares the living hell out of me (So, haha, imagine what her mother must feel like, haha!) She’s an intelligent, thoughtful and caring kid. She even inherited her mother’s grim intuition, telling her friend, “You know we’re going to get caught if we do this, right?” She has a conscience and God knows that’s key. I’m not saying she’s not going to screw up; I just think knowing when she’s doing it, knowing there will most definitely be consequences, really will make the difference. This won’t help Grace sleep any better at night, but I’m not sure that’s avoidable when you have a teenager you gave birth to and are responsible for keeping alive.

And she’s starting high school in August. This is one of the only reasons I wish I still lived there, because I have the feeling it’s going to be an interesting four years.



1. iamheatherjo - June 15, 2009

Sneaking around and pushing the envelope is definitely a rite of passage in growing up. There were so many things I know I could have done if I'd just asked, but that would have taken ALL the adventure out of it.

However, there was NO sneaking out of my house. My Mom was such a light sleeper when I was young (she must have relaxed a bit because she slept like a rock when I got older). But that's why I made friends with and stayed the night with friends that had parents who could sleep through a tornado!

2. Grace - June 15, 2009

I'm still in the sentencing process of Elizabeth's punishment. The little group intervention we parents had with the kids last night was actually a great way to address the situation. I'm pretty sure each of the kids now understand (if they hadn't already) that for every decision they make-good or bad-there are consequences.

I know this is just another chapter in the teenage parenting handbook and it sucks! Wish me luck…

3. Kim - June 15, 2009

Heather – My mom slept through everything (thank you, vodka), but my dad was the one we could always count on to be fully awake no matter what time of night it was.

Grace – Yeah, it's going to be a wild ride.

4. crisitunity - June 15, 2009

I didn't push the envelope in this manner when I was this age. I didn't know the envelope was moveable until I was 25 or so and by then my parents were each thousands of miles away.

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