Published 6:18 am Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Do you know a mom who is so crazy about her kids that it can be annoying? Well … I must confess that I’m that mom.
Mind you, my kids don’t have to do anything major to get my attention. I delight in seeing them enjoying their work, playing hard, and reacting to people in their lives with kindness. In other words, it thrills me to watch them live the life I always hoped and prayed they would. We have weathered storms for sure, but they have only left us stronger and wiser.
Once upon a time … my eldest favorite son, Robby, decided to push the boundaries his dad and I had set for him. We expected good grades, a good work ethic, respect, and honesty. The only house rules, other than the golden rule, were no earrings or tattoos.
I was sitting in the car at Sonic and placing my order when one of the waitresses came over to chat.
“Miss Jan, when did Robby get his tongue ring?”
“What do you mean, Jennifer? Robby doesn’t have a tongue ring. He knows that’s against house rules.”
With a sheepish look Jennifer hung her head and answered, “Yes ma’am, he does. He was here last night showing it to everyone.”
The tongue ring didn’t bother me nearly as much as the deceit. I still had to hear it from Robby’s lips because it just didn’t seem like my darling boy to willfully disobey his parents. I rang his phone and he answered.
“Robbo, you don’t have a tongue ring do you?”
“Yes Ma’am, I do.”
“How long have you had it?”
“About a week now.”
“You know your dad and I said no piercings. I want you to lose the tongue ring.”
“No ma’am. I don’t think I want to do that.”
With a heavy heart, I told Robby that since he was too grown up to obey his parents he was too old for the gas card he carried in his wallet with his dad’s name on it. I let him know that his other credit card for emergency cash was also on the recall list. We would still pay for his basic necessities since he was a college student, but the little family perks would end. I felt that he had left me no choice.
I cried when I called his dad offshore, but we agreed that this was the appropriate road to take under the circumstances. It was only hours later that Robby called. He asked, “Mom, how can we go back to the way things were?” My answer was the same as before. “Lose the tongue ring, son.” “OK, Mom.”
Things were a little tense for a week or two between mother and son. Robby and I were back on solid ground when he broached the subject.
“Mom, do you remember when I got that tongue ring?”
“Yes, son. I remember.”
“Well, I really don’t know what was wrong with me, he laughed. It must have been temporary insanity!”
Jan Penton Miller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.