In the absence of information, everyone assumes the worst. ~Robert McClelland
A good friend of mine, Robert (Bob) McClelland who happens to be an outstanding leader, once said to me, “In the absence of information, everyone assumes the worst.” You know he’s right! He was referring to work and client projects, but it holds true with family, especially kids.
Typically, I’m an easy going person, except when it comes to Kyle. Well, that’s not completely true, as long as he’s keeping me in the loop, and opening the lines of communication, then life is good. I’m reasonable and understanding, to an extent, depending on the situation. Typical for someone who truly cares for her little man.
This weekend, Kyle really frustrated me, to the point of total anger and caused me to hit a fifty on the old tension scale (reference to the movie The Burbs). On the contrary to Kyle’s current belief, I’m not a fan of yelling or getting bent out of shape. But when I’m intentionally blown off, and taken advantage of, without an ounce of respect and consideration, then my inner demon will surface. It’s not pretty. “Come on buddy, this could have been avoided!”
Saturday’s the perfect example. I get it, Kyle’s thirteen and he’s pushing boundaries and wants to hang with is friends. I’m totally fine with that, but be a little considerate of my plans and my time. Friday night, Kyle was hanging with his friend, they went to the movies. Great! I’m happy for you, even though we still need to discuss his report card. Regardless, sounds like fun. Keep in mind, pulling this information from Kyle was a task in itself. Okay, I’m still working with the kid. Assuming Kyle wanted to hang with his friend Saturday morning, I didn’t bother him. That is until mid-morning, and I still haven’t heard a peep from Kyle. I texted him, trying not to be too pushy, but I wanted to know the plans of the day. Kyle got back to me, and said he wasn’t sure of the plans. Okay, I get it, two teenage boys, hanging around, probably playing videos games. No worries. I’ll wait. I still haven’t talked to him, only via text.
Keep in mind, I didn’t make any plans or work on anything too consuming, expecting Kyle to do his usual, and call last minute expecting me to pick him up. That’s Kyle’s standard process, which I don’t usually mind. Now the day is fast approaching mid afternoon and still no word. I want to know what’s going on! After several calls and texted messages, no word, not a single peep. At this point, I’m starting to get worried, what is going on? Are two teenage boys home alone, left to their own devices?
One hour turned into two, and then three, no word. Finally, Kyle responded to me, via text message, informing me he’s no longer with his friend. What? I asked why he didn’t call. He simply stated, “‘Cause I don’t know what’s going on yet?” What does that mean? He’s not a business man with a tight schedule. He’s a kid, that’s suppose to be under my supervision. He’s the one changing our routine. I agree, giving him a little freedom, sure, but not all the freedom in the world to do whatever he desires. Plus, he’s been keeping me hanging ALL day. It’s basically a blizzard outside, and I didn’t know if he’s on the road or who he’s with. I wasn’t happy!
I called Kyle, he wouldn’t answer, I texted him, no answer. This was a few hours later, from the previous communication. He texted me and said he was at dinner. What? With whom? Who drove in that white out? Where was he at? I called him immediately knowing he had his phone in hand, no answer! I texted him stating to call me asap and that I was getting mad. No answer.
Now I’m boiling! There’s no reason for any of that, none, very disrespectful and inconsiderate at the very least. Kyle did eventually call me, making sure to set the stage, having all the company sit around listening to me yell at him, like he’s some martyr. Of course, no on one the other end knows the games he played with me ALL day, and the stress and worrying I’ve been experiencing.
All Kyle had to do, was let me know he was going to dinner, and who he was with, and where he was dining, so I wouldn’t wait any longer and worry. He needed to inform me of the plans. Even if he didn’t know them, he should have called me to see what my plans were, or tell the other party that he needed to give me a heads up. Something! Anything! Not ignoring me like I was a nuisance. I was so mad! When I asked Kyle again, trying to be flexible, what his plans were for the evening, he said, “I don’t know, maybe Jeff might come over.” No that’s not a plan, that’s Kyle saying, “Leave me alone, I’m doing what I want.” Nope! I don’t think so.
Naturally, by this point, which was early evening, I’ve lost it. My patience ran out the door and was now lost in the snow. I was also sensing something was up because he was being so sneaky and secretive. Yes, I yelled at Kyle, but he did bring it on himself. He could have excused himself from the table to speak with me. Instead, he welcomed a big old audience. Let’s face it, I wasn’t shy about informing Kyle about his rudeness and inconsideration, and how I was worried. Nope, I let it all out. Hours, upon hours of all day waiting and concern, exited my mouth via cell phone. Of course, Kyle clammed up and had no explanation for his actions. He said maybe two words, again like he’s an innocent victim here. I’m onto him!
What happened next? After I yelled and told Kyle to be ready at 6:45 am, the next morning for Sunday mass, he begrudgingly agreed and sulked on the phone. Before closing the line of communication for the night, I did tell him that I loved him. He murmured it back to me without conviction.
Shortly after that, I get a phone call from my sister, yelling at me! What? First of all, she’s three hundred miles away, and she had the audacity to step in the middle, and give ME an earful, over a situation that she wasn’t even a part of, nor is she ever around? Then, to take the word of a teenage boy, who was completely in the wrong, over my actions, without gathering all the facts? Are you an A$# or what? Apparently, Kyle called Nicole after we hung up. I guess he finally learned how to make a call on his phone. Basically, he tattled on me to my sister, and probably laid it on thick, like I was being unreasonable. I can’t believe she fell for it! Whatever! I hung up.
We took Kyle to church on Sunday and things calmed down. I warned him, the next time that happens, I will be in my car, tracking him down and then he would have an even bigger problem. He snickered at me like I was joking, but we all know, I mean it. He’s a good kid, and I plan on keeping it that way. He did ruin by entire day, but Kyle’s safe and healthy, so I can’t be too mad, in the grand scheme of things.
Looking back on it now, I know Kyle was treating me like a parental figure, and that should bring a little comfort to me, but it’s still unacceptable. If I wasn’t any sort of adult figure, I would’ve let him run wild without any explanation to his whereabouts. Nope, I know he needs to seek independence, for I too did at that age, even though my dad held tight on the reins, but he also needs to be guided through his freedom and pulled back at times for his own safety and well-being. I would do anything for that kid, and he knows it. He also takes advantage of me, and tries to play us against each other. That’s down right wrong, and it will stop now!