Friday, December 12, 2008

They Will Always Be Our Babies......

Tomorrow my middle child Daniel turns 18. I say ‘child’ but shake my head at what that means in this day and age.

Once he turns 18 he no longer – legally – has to listen to me any more, or pay attention to my rules and can move out if he wants. He is able to enlist in the armed forces and has! He has just under 6 months of school left and for him they are the longest 6 months of his life. I find myself being strict with him about his curfew, his attitude and just general day to day things and he always shakes his head and smiles at me in a condescending manner…….

I worry about him on a day to day basis as I do ALL the kids – even Nick who is almost 20 and I know that this won’t change even if they were years older. I guess that’s a mother’s lot in life!

Then I think about what I was doing at his age – and then my hair really starts to turn grey! In fact it shouldn’t even be allowed, this comparing lark.
At 17 I was working overseas, and had been drinking for a couple of years (on a social basis only you understand) and didn’t have a curfew. I had left school at 16 and had been working in a boring office for a boring company and needed a change hence the ‘overseas’ work.

What a difference. American teens and UK teens. Life here is so different and I will NEVER regret moving to the States and bringing the kids with me. I read the UK news on BBC and Daily Mail websites and every other story is about teenagers causing trouble, stabbings, fighting, attacks, drugs, ASBOS (whatever they are) and it frightens the living crap out of me! I know not every child in the UK is like this but as a single parent, mine probably had more chance of heading down that path……*
The towns that I have lived in here in America may have had the same problems but they weren’t in the news and we never heard anything of them….. I think two big differences that may help teens make better choices and live better lives are the fact that they stay in school until they are 18/19. High school! Also, they are allowed to drive at an earlier age. (Georgia got her temps at 15 and a half and is now a fully fledged driver.) This gives them some advantage to being more responsible. Again, not every kid is a good kid and many make mistakes but for those that DO make mistakes there are certainly lots of programs out there to help get them back on the right path.

Anyway, getting back to the point, I am finding it VERY hard to let Dan be himself and go off and be an 18 year old without freaking out and thinking of him as my baby. *sighs* I have Georgia to go through with this next. But then again, she will always be the baby of the family! :-)

*Not that single parents make BAD parents – I certainly didn’t and I know many that are great parents….

1 comment:

Jonathan said...

About bloody time!

Can I now officially announce my intentions for you son?!