As the youngest of six siblings, I was frequently reminded that I got away with a lot more than they did. Honestly, I think it was that by the time I was a teenager, my parents were just tired! After all, they’d been parenting for 30 years!
I often think of my siblings’ complaints when I hear the same grumblings from my oldest one, Cristi, and even from the second oldest, TJ.
“She’s driving sooner than I was!”
“You used to never let me spend the night with friends as much as she does.”
“She gets more allowance than I did!”
Well, now I have a new one for them to gripe about. Tonight, on a school night, I am letting my 16-year-old daughter go to the midnight showing of New Moon, the second Twilight movie. I know I’m gonna hear it for that one….”Mom! You would never have let me go to a midnight showing on a school night!”
Cristi’s right. I remember refusing her request to do the very same thing when she was in high school. What has happened to me?
Am I losing my ability to be a good parent?
After much soul-searching as to why I’m allowing such insane behavior, I’ve come to the conclusion that I may not have learned how to be a perfect parent over the years, but one thing I am learning is how to pick my NOs.
In my aging wisdom, I see more clearly what’s really important in life. Maybe some of the things that I made a big deal about when Cristi and TJ were in high school really weren’t so important after all. Just some of things, mind you. Picking my NOs doesn’t meant I never say no,it just means that I only say it when it when there is a darn good reason to say it.
So I will continue to choose my battles, look for a reason to say yes, and do one thing my mother always taught me never to do, pick my NOs.
P.S. I did draw the line at letting her drive herself, since she’s legally not supposed to be driving after 11:00, which means that I am sitting here at 1:30 am writing this blog and leaving to go pick her up in a few minutes. UGGGHHH.