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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Social Butterfly

Maybe I don’t remember it correctly - my childhood, that is. I don’t remember begging my parents to drive me from place to place, changing plans every other hour, and I certainly do not remember having the elaborate plans my daughter tends to make. I remember going down the street, playing with friends, and coming home when the streetlights came on. Sometimes we rode our bikes to the store to get ice cream, but mainly we played at each others houses and once in a while had dinner somewhere other than home. I guess things are different nowadays.

My life has been turned upside down now that I have a twelve year old. She always wants to do something with someone. I realize it has to be hard for her because I don’t live near her friends, and due to some medical issues I don’t drive anymore nor do I have anyone to help me out when it comes to driving her around.

She has a lot of friends, but those friends' parents don’t understand the predicament I am in and aren’t at all willing (or possibly able) to drive their children 30 minutes to my house. I just have no way to get my daughter to her desired destinations at the spur of the moment. I have to give up my time with her so she can stay in town at my mom’s or her dad’s house so she can see her friends and do things with them. It pulls at my heartstrings.

Take, for example, this past weekend. A mom was nice enough to come out and get my daughter Friday (I did give her gas money) to take her to an end of the year party that one of her friends was having that included a sleepover. The plan was - she would spend Saturday afternoon and Sunday with her grandma (since she hadn’t seen her a lot this summer) and then come back to me on Monday. Things got way out of control and being so far away there was very little I could do to fix or control it.

Instead of going to grandma’s house on Saturday, she continued to spend the day with her friends. Normally I wouldn’t care, but I found out that they did some stuff that I wouldn't have let her do. Like take a three mile walk without an adult, for example. And the plans she told me she was going to make turned into some other sort of plans. None of which I approved. What made me the angriest was the fact that my daughter has a cell phone, but has very poor communication skills. She wasn’t with whom I thought she was with (not that who she was with was bad, just not who I thought she would be with) and she stayed out so late that her grandma went to bed and she had to sleep at her friend's house for a second night (against my direct orders of no sleepovers on Saturday night.)

Apparently she ended up with my mom on Sunday and did the right thing (until I found out that she forgot her cell charger and I couldn’t reach her.) This made me happy, but when I look back over the entire weekend I can’t help but be angry and frustrated. She is a wonderful little girl with a big heart, but at the end of the day I can’t help but want to keep her at home.

I don’t understand why kids have to make such grandiose plans. What happened to playing in each others basement or backyard? Why is there a need to go to malls, walk around and constantly be with each other? I recall having sleepovers (they increased when I got older), but not every single weekend. I don’t recall having to be with a large group of friends either, but then again, maybe I am recalling my childhood incorrectly.

Life as I know it has changed, and it appears that there is nothing that I can do about it but roll with the punches and be the best mom that I can be. I want my daughter to be a social butterfly and have a lot of friends, but I also want her to find quality friends that stand the test of time. Do those friends still exist? I think I will just take a deep breath and roll with it!

Post submitted by Jody from

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