Sometimes, There Is Just No Good Reason To Say “No”

**This post contains language that some may find offensive.  If the F-Bomb offends you, please exit immediately, and never, ever return.  You have been warned, fair and square. Thank you.

Last Friday, we allowed what some might deem the unallowable to happen.  We allowed Mini Me to drive my car, by himself,  to Murfreesboro, TN, to visit Middle Tennessee State University.  Not only did we give him permission to spend the night in the dorm with his good friend and bandmate, Jody, but we surprised the shit out of him and told him that if he was going to drive his ass all the way up there, he might as well stay the whole weekend.  I loved seeing his face when we gave him this unexpected news.

It’s really a long, and somewhat complicated story that I am not going to totally go into for a multitude of reasons.  This will be long enough as it is.  I must tell you, though, that on Thursday morning, after hitting the snooze button five times, I was not at all happy about finding a five page, full color presentation, complete with pictures and graphs and all sorts of information about why JC and I should allow Mini Me to drive to MTSU, alone, on Friday.  This really pissed me off.  I was not pleased about having to get out of bed at 6:15am, much less having to read some long-winded plea for us to allow a 17 year old to take my 2012 mini van basically all the way to Nashville, by himself, for a college visit, and God only knows what other shenanigans! PULEEZE! Just who the hell did Mini Me think he was? I was the QUEEN of this kind of bullshit, back in my day!  I skimmed through the presentation, which, I had to admit, was rather brilliant.  JC was still in the bed.  “Here, check this shit out, ” I said, rather callously, as I threw it at him, “but don’t get mad–there is no way in hell this kid can actually think we would let him do this!”  I started getting dressed.  When JC was finished reading it, he chuckled.  “He is pretty damn smart, isn’t he?”, he said.  I had to hand it to Mini Me.  Smart, he certainly was and is.  When I ran into him in the kitchen, I said, “Nice presentation, but don’t get your hopes up.” This brought on some stomping and slamming.  On the way to school, it was all he talked about.  I had a splitting headache before we even got to school.  I don’t think I even came to a complete stop before I opened the back door and screamed, “GOODBYE JACK! I LOVE YOU! GET OUT!”  Oh. My. God.  I drove home and began my day and did not give this ridiculousness another thought…..until the text messages started coming in around 3:00. Mini Me wanted to know if, when he got home from school, could he and I sit down and have an adult conversation and would I keep an open mind? Oh. My. God. THIS KID.  I was going to kill his ass.  I was seriously going to be on Alive at 5, because Mini Me was going to be dead before 5:00.   I texted him back that I would definitely try to keep an open mind and yes, we could have an adult conversation, though I doubted it would change anything.  He texted me back that I already sounded like my mind was closed.  I had to agree. He was right.

The thing about Mini Me is that he is extremely strong-willed.  We have gone to a couple of child psychologists over the years.  The last one we saw assured us that there was absolutely nothing wrong with him.  I can honestly tell you that all the fighting and yelling and screaming stopped when we finally started letting the fuck go.  This was not and is not easy to do.  I am sure that many people do not agree with us, and frankly, my dears, I no longer give a rats ass what anyone else thinks!  I really don’t.  The child psychologist told us to do what works for us, not what we think every other parent thinks is the right thing to do.  Letting the fuck go is what works for us in our household.  Now, that little phrase can be adjusted a little….like…. “letting the fucker go”, and, well, that happens sometimes.  I have found that it feels really good sometimes to just go ahead and admit that well, sometimes, there is just no good reason to say “no”.   Again, this is what works for us. Our children are not running naked in the streets, dancing on poles, or cooking meth in the basement or anywhere else that we know of.

Anyway, when Mini Me and the Middle Child walked through the door after school, Mini Me handed me yet another presentation.  This time, it was down to two pages–full color, with photos.  He had an answer for all of my potential problems.  I had a meeting on Friday at his school.  He was going to pay for my Uber ride home.  I read through it.  I had to hand it to him.  He had all of his bases covered.  He gets three college visit days that are excused at school.  He needed to visit MTSU, since it is on his short list.  To try to shorten this saga, we let him go. So….everything went along really well.  Mini Me checked in when he was supposed to.   I did not worry incessantly. Saturday night,  I was glad that the weekend was coming to an end and he would be coming on home the next day.  Around 4:30am Sunday morning, something woke me up.  I was dead to the world asleep.  I was not sure if I had just heard Tupac singing “California Love”, which is my alarm tone, or if the Magic Mike theme song had just gone off, which would mean somebody had actually had the nerve to call me at 4:30am, but I was pretty damn sure it was Magic Mike.  I turned on the light and checked my phone.  Yep. It was Magic Mike, alright. And the perpetrator was my mother in law! Oh MY GOD.  Somebody must be dead.  I called her right back.  She said she absolutely hated to bother us at that hour, but she was getting phone calls from Mini Me’s phone, but he was not saying anything,and when she tried to call him back, he was not answering! She was also getting calls from some other number and the guy was asking for Zack.   I told her to let us try to call him and I would call her right back.  In my mind, I hit the panic button.  In a matter of about 20 seconds, Mini Me was high on all kinds of illegal drugs and at a wild party, calling everybody he knew but me.  Then, he had been kidnapped, raped, robbed, and murdered. My car had been stolen and so had his phone.  The assailant was calling all the numbers in the phone and was going to ask for ransom.  During this full color, video presentation that was playing in my head, I tried to call Mini Me twice and it went straight to voice mail.  I was saying things like, “Call Jody’s parents!” to JC and “Call the MTSU police!” JC did neither.  I sent Mini Me a text message that said,  “call me immediately”.   And guess what? My phone rang IMMEDIATELY!  And it was MINI ME!!  “JUST WHAT IN THE HELL IS GOING ON UP THERE!” I said.  “What?! What is the matter? Did somebody die? What is wrong?” Mini Me said, “I am asleep.  I have been asleep since like 10:30!”  I paused for just a minute.  I could hear the sleepy in his voice.  “YOU WHAT?” I said, remembering my visions of drugs and alcohol and murderers and what not.  “Mom! We are all asleep!” I explained to him that someone was calling MiMa from his phone and he said that he must be rolling over on it.  Essentially, he was butt-dialing his grandmother in his sleep.  RELIEF. OH MY GOD.  I knew he was telling the truth.  “I don’t think I can go back to sleep, Mom! You have scared me to death! I thought somebody had died!” Mini Me said to me.  ME?! I scared HIM to death? Was this kid FOR REAL? I thought about it for a minute.  “I am so sorry, Jack.  We are just glad you are okay.  Nobody is mad or anything and nobody is dead.  Go back to sleep. Let me know when you head home in the morning.  I love you very much.”  He told me he loved me too and we hung up.  I had to call my mother in law back and let her know everything was all good. The person calling for Zack was a wrong number, by the way. That guy had nothing to do with anything.  I could not get back to sleep for a little while.  My head was swimming.  I hated that I had immediately jumped to the negative, but I knew why I had. When I was his age, I was doing things that I am not proud of today, and things that I hope to God my kids do not do!  I realized that as much as I like to call Jack “Mini Me”, and as much as he is like me, he is not me, and when that child pulled into the driveway Sunday afternoon, I was happier to see him than I have been in a long time, but I am still glad we made the decision to let him go….because….I will say it yet again for those who may need to hear it twice: Sometimes, there is just no good reason to say “no”.

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