For those of you who haven't followed me over the past few years, I am mother of four. Two girls and two boys. I'll soon have two step daughters as well. When I do something I do it big. My biological kids are all teenagers currently. My eldest is my brainy beauty away at college who will be turning 20 next month. My eldest son is 18 and graduates high school in a little over a month and a half. My younger son is 16 and will soon have his driver's license. My youngest is 13 and is the blonde version of me. Full of sass, comedy and ridiculousness. She represents all that you an imagine of the youngest child. Babied since birth, shielded from R rated movies and bro talk amongst the older brothers when their friends are over. It's hard to not default to that as a mom too.
I would call my parenting style easy going. I don't waste my time and energy task mastering things like the cleanliness of their rooms. If they can sleep in it, I have a walking path in and out and they keep the door shut - I don't care. I learned to pick my battles early on. I choose to task master the "for the good of the family" tasks. Also admittedly, I am still mad at my own mother for throwing away a perfectly worn in ripped knee pair of Levi Jeans when she cleaned unsolicitedly my room when I was 10. I respect their spaces even if it's a sty. Friends are welcome to come over after school to play videos games or just hang out. But god help you if you don't call me to let me know where you are. Fellow parents say it with me; "When you don't call I think you're dead."
In this day and age and by the amount I pay for our cellphone usage, there is no freaking excuse as to why you cannot notify me of your location. I don't consider that babying but I openly admit to freaking out a little more when the baby doesn't call/text. Okay fine, I get worried when the college kid doesn't send me random "Mommy, it's raining and I walked to class and I hate everything!"texts frequently. Baby girl did just this to me recently. She had volleyball practice and didn't know ahead of time and didn't LET ME KNOW IMMEDIATELY. So for a good 30 minutes I ran all the obvious scenarios in my head like, "Maybe she had practice today?" "Maybe the school is on lock down due to a bear sighting." - Legit reason for suburban folks, trust me. "Maybe someone kidnapped her!?!?!" "Maybe she's dead!?!?!". ALL REASONABLE THOUGHTS! I sent about 10 texts and called of course when she didn't show up at home at her normal time. My first assumption was thankfully correct. I also had the reassurance from my son's friend whose younger sister attends the same junior high my daughter does and saw my girl after school at the gym. The point is these darn kids have no excuse to not to connect with their parents. Sometimes all we need to know is that you're alive. That's it.
And in those types of moments, I understand my own father who had to reign in the thoughtless teenager version of me in the cellphoneless time. Full circle, yo.