Okay, so know what? I realized recently that I do not have the necessary requirements to parent a teenager. Seriously. Who decided I am qualified to do this?
Last week, one day after school, Cole called to see if he could go to Caribou with some friends. My first reaction was, "I don't know! Why are you asking me?" After brief internal deliberation, I told him he could go, but be home in an hour. Then I called my mom and said, "Can my teenager go to Caribou after school?" And she said, "Oh, I suppose. For a little bit." And then I was super relieved that I said the right thing.
I mean seriously. When you're parenting a teenager, you need to think about things like:
Who are his friends? Are they nice? Do they drink coffee drinks nicely and study together or do they run around the coffee shop like idiots? Is it okay to drop in and check on them?
Who are their friends parents? Do they let their kids go to Caribou after school?
What happens if he goes out after school? Will he get his homework done? Is he with who he says he is? Is he where he says he is? Is it okay to buy spy gear to ensure I have necessary intelligence to make good decisions? Do I trust him? How will I know if I can't trust him?
Truthfully, I do trust him. I think he's an incredibly grounded young man. I think he will make good decisions. I think he will choose good friends. I think he will be a Democrat. (What??) I think he will be a really good human being and we will survive these years.
But I also think that for good measure, I'll make sure to have a pair of night vision goggles and maybe a lie detector kit on hand. And my mom on speed dial.