It seems like it was just yesterday that my 13-year-old had the flu, and I spent several sleepless nights checking on her to make sure she was okay. As I sat there in the dark with her while she was sleeping, I remembered doing the same thing when I first brought her home from the hospital. I was exhausted, and when she was awake, I couldn't wait for her to go to sleep, but as soon as she was asleep, I immediately went into worried mother mode and had to keep checking to make sure she was still breathing.
I guess some things never change. Fast forward to Sunday afternoon after a full week off from school. I asked if she had finished her homework and got "the look." If you are a parent, and your kid has hit puberty, you know the look. For the rest of you, it's a cross between the look you want to give your boss when he/she asks you to work late the day you have a date and the one you give him after you've taken a sick day when you really weren't sick. It's that perfect combo of, "You are an idiot," and "I want to lie to you, but I know you'll know that I'm lying."
When she gave me the look, I knew I would quickly become her worst nightmare, and yes, we did have a tense conversation about responsibility and trust. But then I remembered how I felt when she was sick: how concerned and scared I was for her. I decided to try explaining that the reason I was so upset with her was because I wanted her to have opportunities. She listened thoughtfully, and we agreed on a plan to get the homework done. I walked away feeling smug and self-satisfied. It was a feeling that lasted about 24 hours. What happened to change it? On Monday night I asked, "Did you do your homework?" Need I say more? I wonder if Sherry had these problems?
Please visit Gina's WebTV