I've been put into a position recently that many parents are unfamiliar with - in fact, none of my friends are in the same position. So I have nowhere to go for advice. My 19 year old son lives at home and goes to college and works part time.
So he's 19, and I try to cut him a lot of slack. I try not to "mama" him. If he were away at college and living in a dorm there would be no mothering available, except by phone. He would be on his own and I would be happily unaware of him partying until 4 a.m.
Let me emphasize this: HAPPILY UNAWARE
Yet, due to financial circumstances beyond my control, I am here and he is here living in the same home. Plus, I have an 81 year old in the same home. So for instance yesterday afternoon I texted Michael when he was in his last class and said hey, please stop by CVS and pick up some of the leg cramp pills for Granny, she is totally out. A little while later, he called me.
"Did you pick up the pills?" I asked.
"No. CVS is not on the way home!" he griped.
"Where are you now?" I asked.
"In the driveway."
Is this a common thing? Do most teens sit in the driveway, in their cars, and return calls?!?
When he got in, I asked him why he didn't get the pills. "I didn't go near CVS!" he said, and stalked off. [Clearly, he was HANGRY -- hunger + angry = hangry]
So I went in Mother's room and told her about it. "We already talked, Dee. He said last time he found the pills at Rite Aid, not CVS. It's fine," Mother said.
Michael went out later and got the pills for her. Good thing he did, as she had leg cramps in the night.
Michael got home long after dinner. He hasn't been eating much the past few days. I pulled out the salmon, rice, and asparagus and put them on the counter, then I went back to the family room and finished watching my movie. I resisted the almost overwhelming temptation to turn around and see how much food he ate. I know he ate all the salmon. Then he put his plate on the floor for Lola to lick. Next, I heard a lot of crunching. I don't know what that was about. Fritos? Cheetos? Don't know. I was just happy he got a vegetable, I think. Asparagus is his favorite.
When he comes in my room to show me his clothing choices I often want to scream things like HOLY MOTHER OF GOD DON'T WEAR BAGGY SEERSUCKER PANTS AND A TANK TOP TO SCHOOL ARE YOU INSANE?!?!?!?!?!! -- but I don't do that. I grit my teeth and try to remember when I wore Flashdance fashions to class at UGA and thought I looked awesome. My mother wouldn't have let me leave the house wearing a torn baggy sweatshirt.
He has tons of nice clothes, but he likes to be creative. Oh..... KAY.
I am an expert at biting my tongue.
Mother's favorite trick is to say "Well it's almost time for Jeopardy. Where is Michael? Will he be here for supper? What's he doing? Who's he with?"
Then I have to remind her that I do not have a tracking device on him and he is free to come and go as he pleases, pretty much. He's a great guy, 95% of the time.
Anyway, it's tricky, negotiating life with a 19 year old. Then again, as I watched the movie Unbroken last night I thought well, as long as I'm not in a Japanese prisoner of war camp I'm doing just fine..