Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Canceling the Mom Taxi

We all understand. Kids can’t drive. In these years as kids get closer to jobs and driving privileges their calendars are full of activities.

In days of old children walked to school. Then there were buses and now we have carpools. With friends and activities all over town it has become the norm.

So what happens when there is tension in the relationship or a tight turn around in the schedule?

Drama that’s what.

I have day classes two days a week this quarter. They get out a half an hour before my daughters' only classes on the same two days.
I was driving her to school. I was also driving her almost anywhere else. If I want us to walk somewhere (very rare) she does not want to go.

Another half of the time she has hip and back problems. Still when all is well she walks for hours and miles with friends.

She mentioned to me during one conversation how she was going to use her pocket change to take the bus to her boyfriends house.

The last time I asked her to take the bus for school and offered to get her a bus pass (which would have covered these random trips too) she balked. “Too weird, too scary” she said.

Oh how the times change.

I got home late from class the other day making her late for her class. She pitched a fit.
The next day I decided if she can take the bus to see her boyfriend when I am busy, she can take the bus to school two days a week.

Further her expectation that I be on her beck and call like an unpaid taxi any time I am not seemingly otherwise busy is over!

"You are my mom you are supposed to provide transportation" she told me. 

Beep! Wrong answer.

I am supposed to make sure she gets to school. After that there is little I have to take her to do. We gave a ride home to a friend last week. 

We were at school on a non scheduled day. How does said student who lives less than a mile away from us get to school and back each day? She has to walk. Either her mom has no car or takes it to work. Either way that teen is on her own to get around.

The Mom Taxi is not a need and should not be an expectation. 

It is a luxury like Mom the Maid.

In between our two days of school I have a day off. I like to take it easy in the morning but I have a night class from 6pm-10pm. Also a fellow student carpool scheduled for that day.

So after the transportation changes my daughter came to my room asking for a random ride to the boy friend’s house. It is the middle of the day and no one at his house is available to pick her up.

Someone would be available by the time she was ready to come home. I felt the familiar pang that would have led me to fire up the mom taxi in previous days.

She did not want to walk but she wanted to use her bus fair if I was unwilling or unavailable. 

I reminded her that I gave her bus fair for school not pocket change for whatever she waanted to do. Further that not being mom the taxi means I was not going to leave home for random afternoon transportation especially when it does not go along with anything else that I have going on.

She decided she was stuck and would not go. A bit later she had a change or heart and decided to walk.

This generation needs a lot of TLC but also a good dose of reality, responsibility and resourcefulness.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Not Back to School Living

Oh September! We always get excited because it means birthdays. 

Hers and then mine in the space of three days.

I love my baby girl who is of course not so much baby these days. This is the big year 16. 

I want to get Miche bags and she wants to take drivers training so she can get her permit.

"Lord help me. lol"

I just have that knot in my stomach about this child I have raised behind the wheel of a car. 

Any car but especially mine.

I know this is normal and should pass. It just makes me laugh as I try not to sink into a pit of worry.

She falls up the stairs and has made a habit of tripping over my new book bag on wheels.

She thinks yellow lights mean go faster. Wait, no she knows better...

I hear all the anguish of families sending kids off to kindergarden. On the other end of the spectrum is the collective sigh of the mums with older children tired of them being in her hair or underfoot.

As a homeschooling mom even of only one these things were just never our experience.

In our heydays someone in one of the many homeschooling support groups we belonged to would dub an upcoming parkday as the official end to summer freedom for those doing more traditional school at home.

I know in some homes there is a marked change from summer to schooling time. In our home only the seasons changed.

The Not Back To School Parkday event would usually be well attended and find families in a great mood. We would see old friends and hang out a bit later than usual.
Back at home I would just have my baby as always. It has been a joy to have her home. The days where she crawls all over me and lets me hug her without restraint have ended. Still she pops into my room or interacts with me via social media like an old friend.

We move about the kitchen. The cats tag team us. Sometimes she is running after one of them or outside trying to befriend a new one.

Around the house I find her bits and things. 

Notes that say 

“I love my boyfriend”, 

scraps of art in many textures: cloth, paper, plastic, glass our home has been tagged.

There is just a calm, a peace and a joy even with the teenage issues a foot. We are not perfect and there are those pesky misunderstandings. I know these days are numbered.

I am serious about outsourcing our cleaning and charging for the inconvenience.

She sleeps with the light and the radio on. I take her to classes two days a week. There is the expected automation in other areas. 

The day we went on the college tour she had on my pants I think it was. 

She has been busy doing haircuts and dye jobs this summer.