I got an email from school today, and in it read, “If your child is away today, please advise us via email blah, blah, blah”. Now, my little fucking head just about exploded. Our eldest is about to turn fifteen and just yesterday he asked me via text if he could have the day off school today. Toe tapping moment, hands on hips…of course I replied with “not a chance Mate!” So, as my mind flapped around like a fucking crazed lunatic, putting two and two together, I began to call him while I browsed the L’Oreal colour chart at my product suppliers. I may have called him, perhaps five times in a minute and of course I got no answer. So then I text him. “Call me NOW!!” ….. Crickets chirped as I was slowly losing my calm…. No reply. Call me now always worked.
That silence then led to a text to hubby, so then hubby started texting him too. Fuck knows how many texts and calls this kid has received in the past 10 minutes from his psycho parents. Anyway, after about 10 minutes, and after I had cooled down a fraction and rationalisation has come back to roost, I think to myself, “I better call the school and find out what’s going on”. Yeah you do that Nom, instead of turning into a crazed mother! The reality was, that there were “a number of school absences today without explanation, but your children Naomi, are accounted for”. The little person on my shoulder begins to tell me I need to lighten up a little and relax. I rattled over the phone to the Office Lady that I just panicked when I read the email, and assumed that it was sent because one of my children wasn’t present. She laughed and tutted at me while I told her I had been on a calling-texting rampage and that my child would be none too impressed when he finally sees his phone. Particularly when the email wasn’t aimed at him at all, and was generic… yup, I immediately thought it was Mitch, it could have easily have been Colby.
While I was having my freak out moment, it dawned on me that we were perhaps reaching that age where he might just decide to wag. I mean, who didn’t wag as a kid (besides me?). If I wasn’t at school my mum knew, that’s not wagging right? My head spins at what I was doing while not at school, and the thought of my almost fifteen year old doing those exact same things makes my toes curl. Bloody also shows just how quick I was to throw him in front of the bus! In reality he’s the smartest kid I own, and to be really honest, he’s really not the wagging type. So why did I even think he would?
I think more than anything, my panic was more about not knowing where he was. In a day where the world really IS so accessible and so EASILY accessible too, with trains, buses, trams and even cars to get you from A to B really quickly, and very easily. My fear is just that, that ease they know will be the start of a wrong turn. Being somewhere unfamiliar and some distance away can very quickly be the start of the end. It sounds over the top, but when teenagers think they’re safe it’s because they’re comfortable, and without even realising they end up being somewhere that’s not easily found by Mum and Dad.
Living in the “Big Smoke” of Melbourne, there really is a whole ‘world’ just here in this city. Even living in the suburbia, it has no boundary, and trips into the city with mates are common for Mitch. Always in a group and always in contact, we know where and what they’re doing, yeah I know, to a degree. We give them that trust, and expect that they respect it. If Mitch fucks that up, he’s a goner and I guess that’s why he is at school today, and didn’t wag, because he knows his boundaries, for now. He asked yesterday of he could stay home and I said no. To him, that was enough.
Stepping away from your children so they can begin living independently is not easy. Watching your babies morph into these street smart, city wandering teens is scary. In a period of history where kids are hurt, maimed, stolen, killed, abused and heaven know what else, you just have to trust that they respect themselves enough to follow their gut and stay out of harms way. Kids have always been in danger, forever, but with the world as open and exposed as it is right now, it just makes you want to wrap them up in cotton wool. I won’t though, because that’s not giving them opportunity to learn new skills and problem solve. They’re going to make mistakes, I know that, but hopefully they’re all small ones. I really fucking thankful that today wasn’t one…lol
Make sure you turn the teapot twice clockwise and once anticlockwise!