Friday, February 13, 2009

The Clash

Even though I love the band this entry is more or less our own version of "should I stay or should I go." Let's just say the Waddell Casbah has been rocked (I much prefer to "rock the cash bar" as my frat brothers used to say). That little transition of Jessie's from little girl to "tween" has now officially happened.

This all began yesterday afternoon when Jessie informed us that she had been invited to go to the mall this evening with some girl friends from school....with only one parent....who would not be with them 100 percent of the time. Friday night. The thirteenth. The mall. Where hoodlums (read: teenage boys) hang out. My daughter. Practically alone.

My first instinct besides handcuffing her to the chair she was sitting in was to say absolutely 100 percent without a shadow of a doubt no way, no how, never, never , never in your wildest dream. Joan? I wonder what in the hell happened to the mother that always carried The Accessory (otherwise known as Jessie) around whenever she went shopping never letting the child out of her sight (hence the nickname). This is the very same woman who frets over Ben getting into any body of water with me including the bathtub. And once she nearly put a feline we had at the time into orbit when she discovered it in Jessie's crib.

Her words: "I think it'll be okay." Let's just say a train in vain left the station and there was no opportunity for a clampdown.

As it turns out it this was much ado about nothing. Jessie is at the mall as I type this and should return home before dark. Though it's not truly a "give 'em enough rope" situation we've reached that point where we have to start the process of letting our daughter prove her maturity and this is the first test of many. More than likely this is something we won't have to go through with Ben which in all honesty is an outstanding blessing.

Letting her go. The words make me shiver. If you'll excuse me now I need to fetch a bottle of aspirin and a glass of wine.


Christina said...

Personally, I think vodka is better for situations like this ;-)

Funny how those protective parenting roles switch as they age isn't it?

Gretchen said...

I think I'm the world's worst mom--between this post and the post on PKS Kids/Ning about putting your kids on the bus.

Granted, our town is smaller, but Maddy has been going to the movies by herself for 2 years now? She even takes Natalie once in awhile.

I have never been a worry-wart. Good or bad?? I don't know.....

But I'll drink in sympathy with you!! :)

Ben and Bennie said...

Gretchen, our mall has been known to have gang shootings in the parking lot. The Food Court is....terrifying!

Gretchen said...

Now that's a whole other story!!

Elizabeth said...

Must be so, so difficult. But I was a "good" girl and when I went to the mall, the most trouble I got into was looking at the "dirty" stuff at Spencers. I know it's different now, but here's to hoping you have one of those "good" girls.

flutter said...

you are such a good dad.

Maggie, Dammit said...

Ohhhh, Lord.

I am so not ready.

Creative-Type Dad said...

Did you ever see that movie "She's out of control" with the (very talented) Tony Danza?

Rent it. It'll give you ideas.

Kyla said...

If it makes you feel better, I use to go to the mall all the time with friends. I only met a boy from the internet ONCE there (when I was 13). Then I married him, the end.

What? That isn't comforting? Damn.

carmilevy said...

Uh oh. Our daughter's 11. I fear we're on a similar precipice.

Is it too late to take the puppy option? Oops, guess it is :)

A Free Man said...

Good luck with that. I always thought I wanted a girl, but then when I looked forward to the teenage years it filled me with dread. Kind of glad I ended up with a boy.

This is a great site, really enjoying looking through your archives. The artwork that you and your son do is fantastic.

Anonymous said...

Your fears are not unfounded - we let our 15-yr old go to the mall with a friend (first time in three years after an initial bad experience back then).
She wound up in the Mall Police station.
They did not bother to call us.
The girl she was with was assaulted by her boyfriend in the parkinglot with my kid trying to pull her friend away.
The other kid that was along was a gang-member.
The gang-member was "elected" my daughter's boyfriend - we're still dealing with the aftermath of all that.
Basically - yep, if you can imagine it, it can actually happen (and even if you can't, it just might).
Needless to say: she ain't goin' nowhere anytime soon ever again.

But all that said (and the vodka bottle now empty): Jessie will be fine, and I'm sure she had a blast.
Don't be afraid to let go - just make sure you have that bungee cord secured correctly when you need it...