Archive for August 3rd, 2009

Mother Awards, Good Versus Bad

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

Right now, I’m earning the Bad Mother award from my daughter, so I decided to write about it here, where I can be assured of getting the Good Mother award from at least some readers. Because as we all know, if the child thinks I’m a bad mother, I’ve done something right.

My youngest has a new best friend, and her new best friend just happens to be a boy. They worked on a project together and found lots of common interests, and now they talk and text and IM all day and half the night. He is not her boyfriend, she says. He’s just a friend. I’m very fine with that.

Now that their project is finished, they don’t see each other every day, so naturally they want to get together and hang out. She invited him over to watch a movie. That’s great! I love it when my kids bring their friends here! She invited him for Saturday. Oh. I will be gone all day Saturday. Sorry, not this week.

I suppose it’s probably mostly my fault that she’s upset. Her brother’s friends have been in and out of our house almost constantly for as long as she can remember, and I never made them leave just because I was going to the store or taking a walk. So she has been in the house with boys when no adults were present on plenty of occasions. I never thought about it. Trying to explain the difference to her isn’t easy, because it’s really based on faulty reasoning. This boy is okay, that one isn’t, even though he never did anything to disqualify him from “okay.”

Who says that giving birth makes us logical? I know that the child rearing books preach consistency, and I’m sure it’s the best idea. But life isn’t always logical, and if I consistently allow her to be here with boys I know well, and consistently say no to being alone with boys I’ve never met, I think I’m fulfilling the requirement. I’m sure he’s a wonderful kid. But he’s still a boy I don’t know.

And I am the evil mom who is wrecking her friendship. And guarding her reputation.