7 Quick Questions

My son told me last night that he has been invited to go Trick or Treating with some friends at school.  I do not know these kids.  And because he attends a charter school for the arts, and not a neighborhood school, his friends live in approximately a 30 mile radius of the school, and we live at the far edge of one side of that radius.  I don't know them, I don't know their families, I don't know their zip codes.  I know nothing.

I responded with the usual: "Who are they?  Where will you be trick or treating?  What time?"  And then gave him the usual noncomittal "We'll see."  My fall back delaying tactic.

A few weeks ago, he asked if he could go with some of his friends to a football game.  Luckily, we had other plans that evening, so I could answer no without having to delve into the whys and why nots.

Also, my daughter, who goes to the same school, has not one but two invitations to slumber parties, again from friends I do not know.

So I've been thinking about my gut level HELL NO responses to all of this, which leads me to the following questions:

  1. Is it a problem that I do not want to let my middle schoolers go to football games, slumber parties, or trick or treating with their new friends?
  2. What am I really afraid of?  Am I really one of those mothers who would rather they never went out into the world and met new people and found themselves in new territory? (yes)
  3. The fact that I don't want them to go: does this mean I am inordinately suspicious about people in general?
  4. Will my suspiciousness towards all of humanity rub off on my children, thereby turning them into paranoid sociopaths?
  5. Will they take care of me in my old age if I never, ever let them go anywhere now?
  6. Do I have enough children that I can "play the odds" and bank on the fact that at least ONE of them will take care of me, regardless of the choices I make right now?
  7. Where is the nearest cloister?  And will they take boys?
Give me back my toddlers, please.  All this fledgling independence is giving me heart palpitations.

Also?  I need more delaying tactics.  They are on to "we'll see."

* * *


Kate Hall said…
ha! i've got a toddler you can borrow if you've really forgotten that particular kind of hell. fledgling independence indeed. none of them will take care of you when you are old so cross that one off your list. you wouldn't want them to give up their life for that, right? plan for a swanky retirement villa. um, start planning. go meet a stranger. i'll live vicariously through your bravery. meh.
Anonymous said…
Invite the other kids over first! Then you can see what they're like. Or drop your kids off and embarrass them by going inside and talking to the other kids' parents.
kristin said…
It's so hard trusting they'll be okay in the big city we live in.

When my son went to high school for two years (he's since left it for community college), I was in the same situation.

I just made it clear to him that if he wanted to go to a party I would need to talk to the parents (ideally meet them) when I dropped him off.

I asked him to update me regularly with texts as to his whereabouts when he changed locations.

I made an effort to meet his friends. We had a bbq so we could have them over.

Eventually, the same kids come into play and you get to know them. It works out. I've been through it twice.

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