Friday, May 18, 2012

Jimmy, You Did What?

     A few weeks ago my son was in a chatty mood and decided to share a few of his young adulthood experiences with me.  Fortunately this was an old fashioned  phone conversation without Face Time or Skype.   I say fortunately because as he was describing this one particular incident,   I'm sure I would not have been able to control my facial expressions which went along with my uncontrollable sounds of incredulity.
     "No?"  "You're kidding right?"  "Oh come on now, really?" "Now where was I when this was going on?"
     His response was, "No?"  "You mean you never knew that?"  "You're kidding, right?"  "Oh, come on now, really?" "Where were you went his was going on?"
     Of course his best responses was:  "You can't tell me that you never did any of that."
     Even though my son is in his 30's now, with two children of his own, the fact that he could have done some of the things that he says he did as a 14, 15, 16 or 17 year old without my knowledge was and is quite disturbing to me.
     So, I thought back to that time and tried to recall how I could have been so...I don't know, what's the right word?  Um, neglectful?  No.  Distracted? Possibly. Naive? Maybe.  Or perhaps a combination of all three.
     I was a stay at home mom for my first two, my daughter and son.   Due to certain circumstances after my youngest, the third child, was born, I made the choice to return to outside of the home, paycheck kind of work.
     I do believe having the added pressures and responsibilities of a demanding full time job did change my parenting style.    I had to rely on grandparents, aunts, the parents of friends and sitters for help.  So in effect, my apron strings loosened considerably, particularly with Jimmy.
     Perhaps I should have been forewarned when I received a phone call from his first grade teacher telling me that she had received a note from "me" explaining why Jimmy did not have his homework completed.  She snickered as she asked me if I would normally sign a note "lynba".
     I am again reminded of the character Elizabeth from Anne Lamott's book Imperfect Birds.  The book was filled with Elizabeth's expressions of incredulity each time she discovered another one of her daughter's less than desirable escapades.
     As I read the book, I wondered if any of my children did things, things that I would have been shocked to find out about.  
     Then I had that phone conversation with my son.  And I thought, "OMG, I really was and probably still am Elizabeth."
     I know this is not a big revelation.   Kids do things that parents don't know about.  Kids do things that they will share with their parents after the kids think that the statute of limitations has expired.  So why would I be so shocked by the things that Jimmy did as a teenager?
     The following exchange might provide the explanation.
     It went something like this:
     J: "Mom, I have a question for you?"  "I want your opinion about something."
     Me:  "Sure, what is it"
     J:   "I have this old friend who wants me to visit him."
     Me:  "Oh, that's nice."
     J:   "Well, see, my friend, I haven't seen him for about ten years."
     Me:  "Oh where does he live."
     As the conversation went on from there,  it ended with him telling me that in order for him to see his friend my son would be put on a list but only after a background check on Jimmy was completed.
     And let's just say that apparently the statute of limitations  has not yet run out on my son's friend.
     By the way, kids remember all those things you think you got away with?   Keep them in mind when Bella, Ryan, Domani, Kenny and Ty ask things like: "Why can't I?"  "All of my friend's parents let their kids hang out there." Or when they say things like, "I have no idea how that got there."
 One last thing, it is true ,you know, when I was a kid,  I never, ever, did any of those things.
 Okay there was that one time,  which I can't possibly share with you because, you see just like Jimmy's friend, a parent's statute of limitations never runs out.

I have created a page for Anna's Diary.  It can be found under the Tab titled Anna's Diary.
I have posted all of the entries to date there, starting with January 1, 1929.

Here are yesterday and today’s entry from Anna’s Diary:
Friday, May 17 1929
Ordered Monument for headstone.
Rode out to Livingston to  show Mrs. Mayer Tom’s house for sale.  Jean I. and Frances came along with Junior and myself.  Lovely weather for the drive. Back early.

Sat. May 18, 1929
Met girls at one o’clock for lunch and went to Shuberts to see Mitzi in “Lovely Lady”. Muscial comedy.
Fair.  Back to 360 for baby and had visit to Grandma M.


  1. I do not shock easily.  I never have.  There have been few things that my kids have confessed to that surprised me.  I don't know what that says about me, or them.  

  2. Sounds like some of the conversations I have had with my son over the years. Some of the things were real eye openers. Lynda I love reading your blog and I know that I don't get around as often as I should.  I have given you an award and you may pick it up here
    Hope you have a great day! :)

  3. Teenagers have to have secrets, it's the way of the world! And I'm sure it's things you don't want to know :)
    Just to let you know, I've nominated you for the sunshine blogger award on my blog, since your writing always make me smile!

  4. Thank you so much for nominating me for the sunshine blogger award.  I am honored :)

  5. Love Anne LaMott!!! But haven't read this one yet. Will do!
    Yeah, gotta love it when you learn those secrets!