While driving to New Hampshire yesterday to visit my parents, I saw a man pulled off on the side of the road. He was staring down at his car engine, no tools or movement that I could see. He was using his hand to hold up the hood with his forehead leaning along the edge for additional support or maybe he was hoping physical contact with the car would help him divine information from it.
I know how he feels, except for me, I’m standing over the open skull of my 16 year old son, peering down at it, hoping the answer to fixing the problem will be obvious and fixable.
I don’t know if you’ve looked at your car engine lately, but when I looked at mine, the only recognizable things were the radiator and windshield wiper fluid caps, and the oil and that’s only because they had those cute little pictures on it. Without those, I could easily find myself pouring windshield wiper fluid into the radiator. I’m not even sure if the radiator has a specific fluid. I know it needs something and without it, there are problems, but I wouldn’t bet on me knowing what that was without consulting my father or Google.
|I had to consult the manual to open the hood for the picture!|
I’ve had these conversation with my son recently that swing from highly enjoyable to down right frightening. He seems to be operating with a level of good information combining with the urban myth of the privileged suburban teenager. Case in point: If you are at a party where there is underage drinking, the police are not allowed/do not arrest kids under 15.
When I tried to tell him that in fact, the police arrest kids under 15 quite often, he didn’t believe me. What about juvenile hall, I asked. Not for drinkers, he said, without wavering.
Really? Note to self: lock your son in the attic until at least 18.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Motherhood is not for the faint of heart. I look back on the days when I was praying for just a moment to myself without him climbing all over me. Now I wish I shove him back in the womb so his teenage brain has a chance to finish baking without him having to suffer any consequences for just being a teenager. In the meantime, maybe he’ll let me lean my forehead to his forehead and I can get a little insight to what’s going on in there. On the other hand, maybe I don’t really want to know!