Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I'm not really your friend... yet.

I got to pick my son up at the bus stop today.  Sometimes, when we have an evening that's going to be just the two of us, I like to do something fun.  Today, we went to the bookstore.

We browsed a bit, picked out a couple of books and a calendar book for my purse as I find I'm having a harder and harder time of keeping track of who is supposed to be where and when these days.  Thank goodness I only have one kid to keep track of!!!

We also split a sandwich and a small coffeecake at the snack bar.  He was feeling terribly pleased with our outing as we started the walk back out of the mall to our car.  Feeling pleased usually means he starts to feel chatty too, and brings up things he wouldn't normally.

"My social studies teacher said something really weird a couple of days ago," he started.  I looked at him and raised my eyebrow indicating that he should continue.  "He said that he was not my friend and that my parents weren't my friends.  His job was to be my teacher and teach me and my parents job was to raise me.  Isn't that weird?"

I laughed and told him that wasn't weird at all...  in fact, it was the truth. 

"What?  But you and Dad are my best friends!  We have fun together.  I'd rather be with you guys than anyone else!  Why can't you be my friends?"

I thought how best to answer him for a minute.  What I said went something like this...  "Mr. B is right.  Your dad and I are parents first and friends farther down the line.  We love you.  We created you.  And it's our job to raise you to be the best person you can be.  When there's a decision to be made, we make the one that is the most responsible in terms of taking care of your body, your mind and your soul.  Friends don't always make decisions that way.  Sometimes they go with what's the most fun.  Or what they think they can get away with.  If your friends wanted to pile into a little red wagon and go careening down a big hill, that might be fun.  It might also kill you.  If you asked your friends they'd say go for it.  If you asked me and Dad, we'd say no way and try to explain to you why.  You might not always like our decisions, but they are made with the best intentions for your safety at the heart of them.  This will ALWAYS be true, even when you think we just don't want you to have any fun.   And we make those decisions because we are your parents and we love you.  We can be friends later, after you've grown up and are capable of truly taking care of yourself.  But for now, that's our job and we take it seriously."

He nodded when I finished.  Then he hugged me and said thanks.  And that he'd try to remember that when we say no when he really wants us to say yes.

I really love how he gets it sometimes!!!!


Karmyn R said...

I love the fact that he was more than happy to think that you and dad were his best friends. That just warms my heart.

Sandcastle Momma said...

What a marvelous boy you have! And of course that's because his Mom is marvelous herself! I love your answer - it explains everything so well. Of course, even when you're grown there's still a slight line. My parents and I are great friends but they'll always be my parents first - no matter how old I am LOL

Pamela said...

be prepared to be his worst enemy (in his eyes) during some of those teenage years.

Jill said...

I liked my parents a lot better than a lot of my classmates. They were immature and stupid. Sigh. Turns out, there were a lot of cool kids like me, in different schools, and I found them once I got to college. They were totally awesome, and some of them are still my best friends. He may have some growing pains along the way, but you'll always be there to back him up. That's awesome! Also I emailed your post to my husband and myself so we'd have it you know, in case we ever have to explain this.

Fizzy Liz said...

Oh my gosh, what is such a sweet moment to have with your kid. It's so true... one of those heart-wrenching truths. (Although for me, unfortunately, the "adult friendship" thing did not pan out! Your kid will be the luckier for having that with you guys.)

Knock knock - it's cancer! said...

Awww - that is really a great story. I'm so glad you are writing these down. You'd never remember it 10 years down the road.

ChrisB said...

Beautifully explained. He will remember even when he's cross because you say no to something 'all his friends can do'!

Anonymous said...

Awesome. Talking and explaining things to your kids always worked for me. Occaissional growing pains from my boys were not the catastrophes some parents faced. they seem to get it and understand it. May not always like it but they got it.
Hugs for Z he is having so many ah ha moments.

Hugs for you too.

ari_1965 said...

Nice conversation.