Burst my Bubble

Can I just say parenting isn’t easy? Can I get an amen on that one? They make look sweet and innocent but when the adolescent aliens come to invade their once sweet and loving demeanors and leave in their place eye-rolling, back-talking, argumentative tweens- life is just not the same.
We have been fighting the “I need a cell phone” battle with our twelve year for over a year now. He believes (passionately I might add) that he NEEDS a cell phone. Hubby and I believe (just as passionately I might add) that he does not. When you are twelve years old and never at a gathering without an adult I just don’t see the need. Coupled with the fact that a twelve year old (at least my twelve year old) is constantly searching for his basketball uniform, permission slip for a field trip, etc., a fact that does not leave me optimistic that he would even be able to keep track of the cell phone.
Now, I thought that hubby and I had made ourselves quite clear about our feelings on the issue. So, to me the cell phone issue was a moot point, closed door. Oh, but I underestimated the lengths Jared will go to get what he wants. (I am assured this is a “normal” adolescent thought process, which does not afford me comfort at all).
So, last week he confesses to me that he had taken a cell phone out of my office and had been using it. He explained that he just doesn’t fit in at school without a cell phone and he just wanted to stop getting teased about it. He cried and said he would he pay for the texting he had done- blah, blah, blah. I was sitting there, listening to this confession, not really hearing what he was saying because my brain was too busy. Here is a snippet of the dialogue in my head –
That little brat. How sneaky can you be to take something out of my office? It never occured to me I had to lock up my own things because my kid might freakin’ take them. Ohh, just wait till I tell Mike- how can I make this child’s life miserable for the next few weeks? Ahhh, not going to that Halloween party. Good, I didn’t want him to go anyway. A girl invited for crying out loud. And we soooo don’t need to go there, especially now that I’ve discovered he’s a darn thief and liar.
He finally realized he didn’t have my attention anymore and came over. “Mom, say something”. So, I said – where is the cell phone? This is the moment that I realized why he had come to talk to me and not his dad. “I don’t know”, he said, avoiding eye contact at all costs. I replied that we were going to have to bring hubby into this conversation (which was a very relieving prospect to me). And, with a deer in the headlight look about him, Jared said “I think he already knows”. Huh?
Come to find out, Jared had been charging the cell phone in his room and now it was missing. Due to my illness and balance issues I rarely go downstairs so Jared had made the assumption (which turned out to be absolutely true) that his dad must have found the phone and taken it out of his room. So, Jared hadn’t come to talk to me because I am the parent he prefers to confide and confess to. No, he came to me because he knew his dad had caught him and he wanted my protection. Hmmm.
Long story short, hubby did have the cell phone and had been waiting to see how long it took for Jared to come clean (turns out it had taken almost a week). Jared was grounded and didn’t get to attend said Halloween party. He later came back and apologized (sincerely, I think) for deceiving us.
My hubby (and friends I have talked to) have reassured me that he is not a bad kid. That kids his age test their limits and what they can get away with. But, I am just sad because my bubble has been burst. My kids are growing up and this next stage makes me feel completely inadequate as a parent. I better invest in some knee pads because that is where I am going to be spending the next five- ten years.

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