I am now the mom, sitting at home, getting madder and madder. I’m not quite pacing the floor, but I’ve definitely wandered around a little more than usual, and I’m having to fight the urge to grit my teeth.

R is an hour late getting home from school. He is not answering his phone and he has my car. He does NOT have my permission to be keeping my car.

He called from a friend’s house and wanted to discuss dropping economics. Um, no. No. That’s not a discussion to have over the phone. That’s not a decision to make because you don’t feel like working for one afternoon. He’s going away for the weekend, and he’s behind in economics, so the simplest solution to him is to quit. Yeah, no.

We’re busy making all sorts of interesting plans: he’s going away this weekend to visit a friend, we’re going away together in March, he’s making summer plans, and next year if I can get all the stupid paperwork arranged, he’s going to have a hugely fun and exciting year, so I think he’s suffering from an acute case of senior-itis. Unfortunately for him, he’s a junior.

I don’t want to be the authoritarian dictator saying ‘if you’re not getting As, you’re not going out,’ (for lots of reasons, not the least of which is that I believe the right time to screw up is now, not later) but at the same time, I’m frustrated when I see him making decisions that seem short-sighted. I suppose that every parent goes through this.

Hmm, I just realized that part of my frustration is because I’m getting over-invested due to dealing with all this complicated paperwork. Maybe I should be making him do that. It’s his year, after all. But I don’t think he even can: it all calls for my signatures.

If we were birds, he’d be the baby bird sitting on the side of the nest and I’d be the momma bird screeching, “flap harder, flap harder, you’re not flapping hard enough” while simultaneously trying to decide whether to give him the big kick out or grab on because he’s just not flapping hard enough. Metaphorical birds, of course. I’m pretty sure real momma birds just fly away and leave the babies to figure it out on their own when they’re ready.