Friday, June 13, 2014

6 Rules To Help The Teen & I This Summer

The loves of my life!

 As Summer Vacation begins next week, my thoughts are turning, ironically, to rules. Although my 13-year old son will be spending his mornings working as a Counselor-In-Training at our town's day camp, much of the rest of his days will be spent with his buddies. Sure, they'll spend a bit of time here and at their houses, but a good portion of his Summer will be spent the wilds of our town...away from me....his mommy (Sob! Sob!). For my sanity, and his safety, he and I have agreed to the following Summer Rules:

  1. He must tell me where he's going and check in with me periodically. No “walking the town” or hanging at the 7-Eleven. I should know his route, method of travel (on foot or bike), and destination.  Fortunately, Junior is really good at this.  Unfortunately, his friends can be a bit ditzy and he may get distracted. 
  2. He must have his cellphone on him at all times. Said device must be ON, charged, and he's got to answer it. If I cannot reach him, with the understanding that I will not call him incessantly, I will search for him at his friends' houses and his usual hangouts. I will bring with me his loud, annoying little sister (who lives to torment him) and baby pictures of him; I will also have my hair in curlers and, possibly, cold cream on my face. In other words, if I cannot find him, I will hunt him down and embarrass the crackers out of him, all in the name of safety and love.
  3. He is to pay for the bulk of his own entertainment. Last year, he expected me to be his bank account. Sure, I'll give him some money, but the bulk of his excursions will be funded by him. Now, dear Reader, before you feel sorry for the boy, I will tell you that the kid made a good amount of money umpiring for our local Little League and pulled in more income than I, his freelancer Mother, made all year. He can afford to bankroll his Summer.
  4. He is to figure out and pack whatever he needs. Water bottles, sunscreen, a swimsuit, towels – these are for him to bring. I will not be reminding him or packing a backpack.
  5. His friends are welcome to come over, but there must be an “ending time” to their visits. Last year, we had several kids who came in the morning and didn't leave until well into the night, despite being told what time their parents should pick them up. I love his friends, but the shear number of those open-ended visits threw the family off.
  6. If he makes future plans, I must know about them. Summertime is still, to some degree, family time and we'd like to see him, especially on the weekends.

I know the kid needs his independence and that it's normal that he's going to want to spend time with his friends. And I know that hanging with Mommy and his little sister aren't that much fun. But I'm also aware that Junior is going off to college in a mere four years and that my time with him is precious and limited. Hopefully, the rules above will give us both balance and help to make the next two months fantastic.

Good-bye school! Hello Summer Vacation!


Thank you for reading!  Please visit my other blog, Mom's Crayon, too!

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