Anyway, our gaming addict came downstairs to tell us he was riding his bike to a new friend's house where they would be meeting up with more new friends and would be returning HOME ALONE at 9:30 as in P.M. Need I remind you, the gamester is 12 and a half and the new friend lived four blocks away. AND in my part of the world, it is pitch black at 9:30! (It's actually dark by 8:15, but you get the picture!)
And just who were these new
My mind raced with reasons of why the gamester would no longer be allowed out of our house until well after college : His room was dirty. MY room was dirty. It might rain next week. What if there was a power outage and his cell phone was zapped useless by a bolt of lightening a mere FOUR BLOCKS AWAY??????? What if he got a flat? Or TWO flats? Or if a rabid lochness monster swooped down our quiet tree lined street and.....
It was at about that moment that I noticed both the mountain man and the gamester looking at me with both heads cocked to the side a la Forest Gump or perhaps a dog whom you've just asked the difference between a hypotenuse and isosceles triangle. Yeh. That look.
It was decided (against my rather loud protestations- which apparently are not loud enough to be heard over the logical planning and plotting of my husband and youngest child while attempting a coupe to overthrow my omnipresent powers!)----Pshew-- That was mouthful (or a typing hand full...whatever!)
Anyway , they decided together that I would follow -from a respectable distance- (meaning I couldn't within 100 feet of his bike!) the gamester to his new friend's house so I would at least know where to hunt him down when he was seven minutes late for curfew in 4 years. I entered the new friend's phone # in my cell, in case, ya, know, the power outage/lightning bolt thing did actually happen. We discussed (Okay -I told- he failed to pay any attention- which in our household is a discussion) bike safety and watching the driveways and cars. Forget that these were four blocks of lightly traveled side streets ending in a dead end.
I then followed the little czar overthrowing traitor to his new friend's home where I planned
His new friends anxiously greeted us at the corner of the block and greeted me with a "Hello, Mrs. mysuestories," which served to elevate him from hard core con to possible juvenile delinquent WITH MANNERS. He graciously showed me his house, where his dad was outside and came to introduce himself.
The new friend's dad explained that most of the kids in the area hung at the house two doors down where they had an expanse of property and apparently never ending tolerance for tweens.
After assuring me he would in fact check on them in an hour and make sure my gamester called me so I could monitor his FOUR BLOCK ride home, I bid him adieu (I've always wanted to say that- ya know, not like in role play, but just to say it...sigh such small goals for myself, no?) and passed the house two doors down and proceeded to turn around to head back home,....child less.
As I drove past the House Where Kids Congregate, I noticed two things. Many of these kids new to me did not call the gamester by his well thought out birth name (and no, dear reader, gamester is not on the birth certificate! He didn't display those amazing talents till after toddler hood...) Apparently, outside the confines of our home, he was cheerily called by his surname. Just his surname. The one I spent thousands of dollars divorcing. The surname that in no way identified me, the woman who birthed him through 16 hours of hell: me, the woman currently stalking him in a car precisely 100 feet behind his bike: me, the woman who would sit nervously chewing my nails till I followed him home again (from that same 100 feet distance...Jesus, I've had orders of protection that let you get closer to people you hate with guns!)
Second thing I noticed as I pulled away that night? About half of the kids congregating were girls!!!!!!!!
Shit, this called for a whole new lecture on safety and it didn't involve his bike one goddamn bit!
Gave me lots to think about on my four block drive home. Forget the future alcoholic in the group. Drug addiction? We could handle that. We had bigger problems now! Which little flusie was gonna wear the all revealing bare midriff top with too much eye make up in four years? Who was the unplanned teenage pregnancy just waiting to happen down the road? Which giggling goofing girl in that group was gonna break his heart in a few short years?
Dammit! It's the teen years all over again! Shit. Some body wake me when he's back from college!!