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Puppy kicking – Homework & Homecoming

It floors me that in this day and age of online school sites available to parents that my son still doesn’t turn work in. I check! I do! And so, I checked.

It is with great irony that I find my son, currently on quite an all consuming quest to get a girlfriend has a D in ‘Anatomy’.

The assignments with the word “Missing” next to them has doubled since the last time I spoke to him about this same issue. OK, benefit of the doubt, I email the teacher (I do this! I’m not an armchair parent, I’m a ‘first-name-basis’ ‘call-email-smoke signal-me’ parent). Yup, the assignments are actually MIA and not in a pile waiting to be graded.

I’m at work. I’m having a conversation with my son in my head, with some great come backs for all his excuses all lined up.
When we finally speak I let him have it.

Now – while at the laundromat this past weekend, I thumbed through an abandoned ‘O’ magazine which (and I’m paraphrasing, because while I really wanted to tear out the article and bring it home, I’m quite timid when it comes to stealing or vandalism) explained various types of mood muggers – A puppy kicker was someone I believe who had issues of their own and will have an outburst akin to kicking a puppy (how horrible). An unsuspecting victim laid out by cruel words. Maybe ‘victim’ is an exaggeration here because let’s face it, he deserved a talking to. Anyway – we clarify it’s unacceptable.

This is a bright young man who is capable and has a history of deciding not to participate. I’m feeling like a puppy kicker after finding out he asked a girl to Homecoming, which he was dying to tell me, and three phone calls later finally got to.

By the way, I HATE confrontation. It’s terrible. Literally, I have a physical reaction when someone raises their voice in anger around me. I curl into an emotional ball and cover my emotional ears and want to run. In addition to not liking confrontation, I also adore my son. I especially don’t like it when he and I have a disagreement. But it’s necessary no?

Inside I’m throwing confetti and releasing balloons and sing-songing “My son is going to Homecoming! She said YES!” outside I’m laying down the law, which I know isn’t reaching even the smallest part of his ear, let alone the part of the brain that cares to retain the information. “You HAVE to pass science blah blah blah – you need to keep your grades up for insurance purposes blah blah blah – you HAVE to care! blah blah blah”.

Does he? Does he have to care? That comes from my own fears for him. Really he doesn’t have to care. But he does have to pass.

The problem is, I am way too lenient. Mostly because of the confrontation thing – but when I know what a checkered past I have, I’m constantly feeling like a hypocrite expecting others to behave in a way I sure didn’t.
That’s tough. I don’t feel like I have the right to discipline because I was bad. I don’t feel like I have the right to expect his best when I didn’t give it. Not in school for sure. So finding that balance between the guilt, my fears and what I know I should be doing as a parent is what I’ve been trying to work on.

I came home to him working on those missing assignments. Good thing too, because how in the world does a mother tell their son they can’t go to their Senior Homecoming? I don’t have that backbone. I’m trying to grow one – for his best interest. But I do not currently have one.

Wondering if they sell blue corsages – it might match her blue hair streaks.