Sunday, November 15, 2009

New factors in an old topic...

(Colossians 3:20-21) "Children obey your in all things: for this is well pleasing to the Lord. Fathers provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged."


11 Pm? Seriously? 11Pm? That was my die hard curfew throughout high school and the beginning of college. Most of my friends were out and about. Only one was away at college. Living in NY, near the city we were surrounded by some of the best colleges the world has to offer, so there was no real need to go away per say. But I had an 11 PM curfew...um why?

I broke it, often. Mom would tell me, "It's not you I don't trust, it's the rest of the world." Ugh, I hated to hear those words! Interpretation by me: "You don't trust me to be able to handle the rest of the world. This is a trust issue."

At the time I didn't drive. Didn't need to in Yonkers. If you couldn't catch a bus, a friend would be driving or there was always a cab. I took lots and lots of cabs! Most of the time I was with my best friends and Mom liked them, even loved and trusted them but I still had to be home at 11pm. I learned to sleep over my friends houses most of the time.

When Mom entered the hospital in the summer I was 19, I began to drive to most of the places I wanted to go to. There was no one home to give me a curfew. I was a grown woman at that point~or at least I believed so. When Mom came home after a four month stay in the hospital, she had lost control of the curfew issue. I had a legal NYS drivers license...yes, it was actually mine. Just because I hit the curb a few times during the test does not make it invalid. INDEPENDENCE was mine! Insert: BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!

Okay, but the heart issue was never, ever resolved. Lest you should think I go around contemplating this type of thing all day, I really don't. It's just that suddenly I find myself in the curfew distribution business with a teenager and it got me to thinking about my own way back when.

After being a part of the school play, my oldest daughter, Elizabeth wanted to be a part of the cast parties. I clearly remember all the fun entailed in doing high school theater (I bet you have never seen an all female cast of Godspell have you? If you had gone to an all girl high school you would have! LOL!) and half the fun was the after parties.

I wasn't so much worried about the crowd...it was well chaperoned and in public places. But the time!

Herself, "Could you pick me up at around 1:30-ish tonight?"

Me, "Um, no. I will give you until around 12 am."

Herself, "Fine."

She is a very respectful teenager, so there was no argument, but perhaps a little 'tude. I did not detect even a little eye roll.

As I watched my third episode of Cake Boss on TLC, I made my self a cup of coffee at around 10pm. I knew it was risky but I could not imagine getting in the car at midnight to go get her with out some java. I chatted with a nurse, Lisa, who also happens to be a very dear friend, I use to work with. She was working the over night so she kept me company on the ride to get Liz. I told her I could not believe I was going out at this hour! I was informed by Lisa (who is way younger and a way better nurse than I will ever be) that little bit of information...she informed me that I was now officially old. Yes, yes I am.

When my cell dropped the call, I was left with just my thoughts to think over and I finally understood my own 11pm curfew! It was as if a spot light went on in my mind and it suddenly made sense!

You see, Mom went to bed at 11:30 pm every and I do mean EVERY night. M*A*S*H repeats were on every night from 11-11:30 pm, and than she went to bed...asleep at 11: 36 pm.

The whole not trusting the rest of the world thing was just crock to get out of telling me that she too was OLD! LOL! She was also already sick, sicker than I knew. Mom was so strong that she never admitted defeat. She was known as "the alligator" and never showed she was weak. I wish she didn't think she had to be so strong all the time. I think I would have been way more compassionate, had I known how bad off she was. Truth is, I should have obeyed her simply because she told me to. There were some definite lack of respect issues between us back then.

If Mom were here today, I would so throw the kitchen towel I drape over my shoulder while I clean at her! I know for almost a fact that she would be shocked and deny, deny, deny. She would deny for about a second until she realized she had been caught and then she would raise her shoulders, roll her eyes and give me her guilty grin. Busted Mom!

At first I couldn't understand why I had to be home so early even when she didn't pick me up...she waited for me. She might have been in bed, but she didn't really sleep. She was waiting on her baby girl. That is what a mom does. Even after I began to work as a nurses aid while I was in nursing school, and she was on the vent, I would creep in, give her a smooch and let her know I was home. Some nights I would go out after work with the other nurses and not get home until way later. I would call and tell Dad to let her know I was okay. She still expected that smooch when I got in. I would park the car in front of her bedroom window so she could see it when she awoke in the morning...just in case she forgot I came in.

All this to say, Mom was right after all. I am not sure my curfew for my kids will be as die-hard as hers was, but it will be based on the needs of our family, not on just one teen or two teens or three...ugh!

How about you?
Have you found yourself in the parenting role and realized you have turned into your own parents? Are you horrified? Does it make you giggle? Can you imagine that they were right after all? If your folks are still alive, can you tell them? If not, can you tell your Abba?

Let's pray:
Father in the name of Jesus, Your word tells us as parents to not push our children towards rebellion. That is not easy! But first You tell us to obey our parents. Again, at times, not easy. Our flesh can be so wrong! Thank You that it is never to late for redemption. Call us deeper into You so that we long to obey Your word. Thank You for that call. It was not just an easy way to set up law and order, but rather another way You say You love us. I pray we love in spirit and truth. Amen.

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