There are always two sides to love and hate. Love evolves from trust and beauty, hate from anger, fear and despair. Even when someone says they “Hate” you, is that really the truth? On average, I try never to say “hate”, because that reveals more about me, than my dislike of some person. Instead I’ll use terms like “loath”, or “extremely dislike”. Sometimes however, the word “Hate” can be used simply as a means to gain someones attention.
Imagine receiving and email from your son which reads, “I think I hate you…” How would you respond? In addition to “Hating” me, he also added that since I don’t take the time to listen to him, I must listen effectively hate him in return. I replied with an email saying, “You sell me too short, but we need to talk…so let’s set up a time this evening to talk”.
We met on our front stoop and sat down to talk. My husband, who was not invited to participate nevertheless, sat just inside the house, waiting for a chance to offer input when the boy voiced his displeasure with me. “You don’t even recognize me for being in the room…” His first salvo began. “How can I miss you?” I replied. “I’m not talking about my size mom, you never listen to what I say-you simply tone me out,” he returned. “Are you prepared to enter college right now?” I asked. “What?” He replied. “Because in two short months, you’ll be entering your college alone-without your father or I standing behind you, ready to catch you if you fall. Are you ready for this?” “I don’t see what this has to do with you ignoring me,” He replied. “Think about this bay, I won’t be there…you won’t have anyone with you to make you stand on your own two feet and get shit done. Are you ready for this?” “You’re not making sense… you don’t understand what I’m saying to you. Half the time you act like I’m not even here, except when you yell at me about getting a job…” he tried again.
“Have you found a job?” I asked knowing the answer. “No, but that’s not what this meeting is about…” He returned. “Hell if it isn’t. Tell me why you haven’t actively looked for a job? I mean seriously, how do you plan to pay for books?” I asked. “Don’t you think I wonder that too?” He said, acting as if the money fairy was going to appear and take care of everything. “Then where’s the job bay?” “Mom, stop lecturing me and listen to what I have to say…” He said angrily. “Okay…speak your mind…” I said and there was a long pregnant pause.
“I had a script written in my head earlier, but now, I can’t seem to find the right words to explain how angry I am with you,” He began. “When we were on vacation, there were several times you cut me off, when I was speaking. You treated me as an invisible person, never allowed me to voice an opinion…” He tried again. Once he concluded his father jumped in and said, “But hey, you weren’t interested in doing anything we wanted to do. Every time we went out, you decided to stay home…you separated from us, and now your mad at your mother for treating you the way you treated us?”
He thought for a moment and drew in a heavy sigh. “Bay, why haven’t you actively searched for a job this summer?” I asked and he finally spilled the beans, “Because I don’t want to…” “Yep, just as I suspected. Are you going to get out of your own way at school?” I asked. “Considering I generally like school, I don’t see why you’re worried about that…” He said. “Considering you don’t want to get a job to help pay for books and general needs at school, considering you are required to find a job to cover your work study loan, will you get out of your own way and do so? Will you be able to find this job without me pushing or harping on your back? Will you be able to find a job on your own?” I asked.
Finally, I hope, he understood where I was coming from. “I’d like to think I will…” He said. “For your sake, you’re going to have to grow up a lot in the next two months and become responsible. We don’t want this to be a one and done year at Muskingum. We’d like you to have a wonderful experience at school…but you have to make this happen on your own…” His father explained.
Since the conversation, the boy has told me he loves me every time he sees me–even when he’s upset with me; which is great. But as his mom, I still worry about his future three and a half hours from home school. But I am happy to report he has begun to take more responsibility for his future–he’s taken driver’s ed and with luck will have his license before leaving for school. In addition, last week he opened a checking account and deposited his graduation money, which incidentally, will pay for his first semester of books. Yes, he’s making strides into adulthood.
But, during our conversation he asked me to stop including him in my Mean Mommy’s blogs saying, ” I don’t like meeting friends of yours who know me (through your blogs), but I don’t know them”. Trying to salvage his inclusion I argued, “They don’t know you, they only know my interpretation of you–that’s different,” which didn’t add much to his dislike of the situation. Considering he’s eighteen, I agreed to his request.
So, while the boy is away at school…he will only be written about in passing. The doll however, has made no such claims to me so for now, she’s fair game.
However, he hasn’t left yet…