Thursday, October 20, 2011
Controlling Mom, thy name is Carol
When my daughters first started dating I was a single mom. Well, I am still a single mom but that is neither here nor there. My four children were, and are, precious to me. I did not want to have a pregnant teenager. I knew teenage boys thought a single mom was nothing to be worried about. For me that was pretty scarey. Well, I pondered on that and tried to figure out some leverage. I was also terrified to let my baby girl get in a car with a teenage boy and drive off. Terrified. This was way before cell phones. Once they left the driveway I might think I knew where they were going but as soon as they turned the corner I was no longer in control and that teenage boy was at the wheel. Pondered on that a good while. This is what I did. If my daughters wanted to date then their dates had to pick them up at my house most of the time and this was the deal because I loved them (if my girls were at their dad's home and had a date pick them up there I have no idea what took place, but he lived across town so that wasn't something that happened too often). I had a little 110 camera -- this was also way before digital cameras -- and I would have it, a pen and a 3" x 5" card ready. Never did I let a boy honk in the driveway. Never did I let them meet a boy somewhere (that I know of). They had to pick my daughter up at my house and they had to come to the door. The boy would ring the doorbell, he would have to come in and meet me, and I would say OK, let me take a picture of the two of you. Smile. OK, fine...(grab my pen and card) and I would say to the boy OK, now what are you driving? (write that down) What is the license plate number? (send boy out to the car with pen and card) OK, now what is your mother's name? address? and her phone number? Can I reach her at this number at 11 p.m. because my daughter has to be home at 11 p.m. in the same condition in which she left so ---- if you are not here at 11 on the dot I will be calling your mother. And if you are late I have a photo in this camera here that I can give to the police along with your license number so ....you go have a good time and I will see you at 11 p.m. No one ever came home late, drunk (that I could tell or smell anyway) or pregnant. If they wanted to date then my daughters had to put up with me as long as they were minors. My daughter's weren't allowed to date until they were 16. We were Mormon and that was a church policy and most of their close friends were in the same boat so that wasn't too difficult to enforce. If the photo/mom's info would have worked I would have continued that practice after they were 18 but they wouldn't cooperate anymore. Sigh. It didn't keep things from happening that I don't know about I am sure, but it sure as heck did help. We had a pretty uneventful couple of early dating years. They dated and had a good time. I never had to call a boy's mom. My daughter dated one young man, he graduated from high school and went off to the Marine Corps. Some time passed and then he started writing her letters (yes, this was slightly before email and cell phones....Lord, I am old) They kept in touch while he was in boot camp and then where ever he was assigned. Then 9/11 happened. He decided he wanted to get married. He proposed to her on the phone. Had a 3 day pass to come home and get married. Honestly, I did not remember the young man. When he came home to marry my daughter I told him I was sorry, I didn't remember him and he said "I remember YOU. You took my picture." I am sure I probably laughed and said well I bet you brought her home on time! I shudder to think what it is like to be the mother of teenagers in this day and age. This may be the 21st century but I would do the same again, except this time I would have email addresses for him and his mom, cell phone #s, name and #'s of 3 best friends, tell him I'd need to check his facebook page so come on over and sit down beside me in case I had any questions. I heard Dr. Phil say one time when his sons were teenagers he paid for their cell phones and he told them any time he called that number they damn well better answer the phone. If I had teenagers I would be saying the same thing.
Posted by Carol at 10:27 PM