Thursday, October 14, 2010

Teach Your Children Well (or Learning a Lesson)

Michael is a wonderful kid. Really and truly, he is. I trust him. Therefore, my slight rant seems fairly insignificant when you think about it. I could have a kid who is drinking, drugging, and doing poorly in school.

However, Michael has a problem. It has to do with communication. It is using a phone.

Michael had a cell phone. I bought him one to keep in touch with him, so I could call and see where he was and what he was doing and he could call me easily. The phone is kaput now since he got it wet while walking in the rain. Phones here are not like ones in the States. There are no contracts, so they are pay as you go phones. They cheapest is around $60. I don't want to have to shell out another $60. It makes me mad. I digress.

Most parents in American Samoa are members of the "ignorance is bliss" club. If they didn't see it, it didn't happen. Therefore, when Michael lived with his parents, when he wanted to do stuff and was already out, he would continue doing whatever and return home, his parents none the wiser since they did not really care about what he was actually doing. This presents a problem.

I care about what he is doing.

I let Michael do things that I don't plan on doing with my own children, simply because I have not raised him for 17 years. I indulge him in many ways because I want him to experience some sort of childhood. However, one thing I'm a big believer in is calling. I blame it on my Mom. When I went to hang out with friends in high school (which didn't happen often at all), I was under strict instructions to call my Mom at the beginning of each destination. "Hey Mom, just got to the movies. We're watching blahblahblah." Movie ends. "Hey Mom, the movie just ended and we're going to Waffle House. Is that ok?" Get to Waffle House and sit for a long long time. "Hi Mom, we're still at Waffle House. Can I hang out longer? Ok then, I'm on my way home." This was how I had to be in high school.

Michael nearly always forgets to call me to ask permission to do things. I will almost always say, "Yes, Michael, you can do that." Unfortunately, he still has the thoughts of being with his parents, knowing they would never let him do things. Therefore, Michael has a terrible habit of not calling for permission to do something, but calling when it's done to get a ride home!

I've had enough.

At this exact moment, I am still waiting for Michael to get home. I know that he went to his school's football game after his volleyball practice. He called a few times when the game finished, presumably to ask for a ride home. That was 2 hours ago. I have spoken with his girlfriend, Grace, so I know that he is with his volleyball coach dropping kids off, so I at least know he's safe.

I've parked my car in the back. I've turned off all the lights. I am sitting in my room in the dark. I'm hoping that he will get nervous about where I am and maybe get to experience the reason why I want him to call me so damn bad. Whoever said it is easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission may have been true, but not when it comes to me.

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