The Future (AKA I Am Scared As Hell)


I stay so caught up in the past and the present, that I rarely allow myself to look to the future.  And when I do (or am FORCED to by one or more of those damn people that live in my house) it scares the hell out of me. 

You all know about Big E and Tween C.  Tween C’s phone was stolen at school recently.  Big E’s iPhone was taken away for his grades and generalized lack of enthusiasm for life.

That equated to Tween C being allowed to temporarily use Big E’s phone in some circumstances when she had to go somewhere or at home just to text her friends, until her phone was replaced.  I forbid her to take the iPhone to school.  Last Saturday she went to spend the night at a friend’s house.  I didn’t allow her to take the phone.  I, instead, did some peeking at her activities with said phone.  I wasn’t exactly shocked to see photos that were obviously taken at school on Friday.  I was mad about, though.  I was a little shocked to see that she took some photographs of herself that I found less than tasteful.  They weren’t exactly inappropriate…but the idea of her sending them to someone made me slightly uncomfortable.  I haven’t discussed it with her.  But here’s the deal:  She is trying to grow up too fast.

I did discuss it with Zohrhubby last night.  Especially after he walked in with the phone that he bought to replace Tween C’s phone. It’s a new Palm.  A smart phone.  Which means it would have to have a media package.  Uh. Uh.  Not gonna happen.  Not in a million years.  Or at least 5.


I explained my position, and ultimately had to show him the pictures.  He didn’t have quite the same reaction as me.  He just said that they were “silly” and maybe he was right.  I know that sometime I have a tendency to read things into things…but I’ve also been a girl for as long as I can remember, and I’m sure that I have more experience on the subject.   He did agree with me on one thing, as evidenced by his statement that “she needs to be brought right the hell back down to her nearly 13 year old self.”

Big E, on the other hand, is stuck in a rut.  His world consists of Xbox Live, Television, computer, and chores.  He has an occasional trip to Zohrhubby’s grandmother’s house to work in her yard, the occasional odd job for a friend who needs some work done around the house…

He’s not into school.  He’s not into church.  He’s not into ANYTHING.  It’s wearing him down.  He pretended for a long time that it didn’t bother him.  He finally broke last night when I told him not to bother inhaling his dinner because he wouldn’t be returning to the Xbox as soon as he was finished as he had the ENTIRE weekend before.  He actually began to cry at the dinner table.  I asked him if something was wrong. He told me he wasn’t speaking to me.  He ate and went to his room.  Shortly thereafter, Tween C and I heard a thud.  Not a punching the wall kind of thud, but clearly an upset thud of some sort.  The equivalent of a forced cry out by preschool kid sent to his room in punishment who wants some attention.  I answered his call and went into his room.  He was laid on his bed with his hands over his face, crying.  You have to understand:  this kid will be 17 in October.  He is over 6 feet tall and when he stands erect he has a commanding presence.  He’s funny and bright when he wants to be.  But he is as sensitive and emotional as his mother.  He can’t stand to be vulnerable but at his core he is so very so.  It breaks my heart when he can’t control this part of him, because I feel the same way so often.  He has done this since he was 4, and it’s hurt me to the core every time, as though he were still my baby boy.  I sat down, asked him to talk to me, and he finally did. 

He finally admitted that he hates that he doesn’t have any real friends.  He told me that he doesn’t see any options at this point in his life.  He has not concept of hobbies, interests, or activities other than tv, Xbox and the computer.  He is finally feeling dissatisfied with these choices.  But he doesn’t have a clue what else is out there.  I was absolutely no help.  I cried right along with him.  I told him that I can’t tell him what to do or not to do anymore.  He’s too old for that.  Screw the chores and the homework and school and damn it all.  I want him to be happy. I want him to figure out what he wants out of life and go for it.  If he wants to go to college, then get his shit together and make it happen. If he doesn’t, then start broadening his horizons a little bit so he can figure out what he wants to do with his life.  I really opened up to him, and he really opened up to me.  It was the first time in YEARS that that has happened.  I told him that he was the smartest person I know.  And I meant that.  I asked him to consider three  things that he wanted to try this summer.   It might be the last summer that he could actually do something without worrying about a full time job and actual responsibilities.  Anything, I told him, without regard for whether or not they were actually doable things.  Just make a list, and then we’ll talk about the whens and whys and hows.  I explained that he really has no idea what he might like or be good at without trying.  He agreed to think about it.

I’ve got a 16 year old who is stuck.  I’ve got a 12 year old, about to turn 13, who wants to fast forward her life.  How do I manage to balance helping to speed one along some path, and putting the brakes on the other?  All the while, stopping to pick up a 4 year old who’s fallen and scratched her knee?  And a 5 year old who’s got his own little special needs who take up so much of all of our time and energy?  Couple all of these things with the constant need to keep Zohrhubby in the loop and on the same page, which he rarely is, if I’m being honest.  At least he has an opinion and wants to be heard, which is better than what some mothers have under their roof: either no father at all or one who might as well not be there, save the paycheck. 

ZH and I are set to have a discussion with Tween C tonight.  I think that I will let ZH rant a bit, and then I’ll take her into a private spot and have the talk that only mothers can have with their daughters.  I hope she gets it.  I really do.  

As for Big E, he really is a great person.  I am giving him back his phone tonight, with the understanding that he needs to start practicing a little self-restraint when it comes to the Xbox, and the phone.  I wish he would wake up and realize what he has to offer the world.  Soon.  He’s really missing out on a lot, I think. 

I hope that I am making the right choices…stunting growth when I deem it necessary and shoving chicks out of the nest when their asses are taking up too much space in my pad. 

The future is right around the corner.  And I am scared as hell.  


About zohrbak

Zohrbak is an old email username I had a while's a made-up twist on two characters from Spaceghost. Zorak and Brak. I'm a geek. I am a married, working mother of 4 children, ages 4-15. I also have interests outside of my children, but I can never remember what they are.
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16 Responses to The Future (AKA I Am Scared As Hell)

  1. Nanan says:

    No matter what you do- in the future it will be wrong- your kids will have their own idea of what happen- it won’t be the way you remember it- and you’ll probably be stupid as far as they are concerned, but as far as me- I think you are doing all you can to make things fair and TRYing to understand what they are ALL going thru- Good Luck with it all

    • zohrbak says:

      Thanks, Nanan. Let me tell you something that I am in the process of learning: one’s childhood is not made up of reality, it is made up of what that person’s perception of that reality was, instead. Yours included. Also, that perception changes as we evolve. And parenthood puts a whole new “spin” on your own childhood, because it makes you see that sometimes things happen that your children don’t consider fair, and that you don’t necessarily consider fair either, but you know in your heart it is the only thing that can happen at the time. I have no doubt that my children do or will find fault in how I have and will handle things, but I won’t be ashamed of anything I’ve done for them. And I know that you don’t, either. Don’t take your son’s perception of his childhood personally. His perceptions are evolving as he evolves. His openness and honesty is at least a starting point for conversations and perhaps a chance for you to explain things that you feel defensive about his perspective of. One thing has always been made clear from what I’ve read that he’s written: He loves his momma.

  2. Parenting ain’t for sissies!
    Girls grow up so much faster than boys, and it’s scary. My goal always was to let my kids grow up gradually and let out the line bit by bit. As a teacher I have seen the result of kids growing up too fast or not being allowed to grow up at all, so I think moderation is the key. If you feel like you need to put the brakes just a tad, you are probably right. I always found that was the hardest thing…how to know how far is far enough and yet not too far.
    I want to suggest that you keep an eye out on Big E in case he is depressed, but I don’t want to worry you. I don’t know him, so I may be way out in left field on this, but he does sound isolated and sad, so it occured to me. If he has any tendancy that way, he is at the age when depression can kick in for guys. Just a thought.
    It might not hurt to give him some pamphlets on local programs or classes for hobbies, just to give him an idea. No pressure, of course, but it may help him to think about possibilities.
    You do have your hands full, but it sounds like you are doing great. Honestly!

    • zohrbak says:

      Thanks, Jodi. That really means a lot, especially coming from you. I agree about the possibility of depression with Big E. I’ll keep a close eye on it.


  3. YaYa says:

    OK, there goes any chance of Tween A getting a cellphone in October for her birthday. I’m back to my original plan, she gets a cellphone when she has a job to pay for one.

    Big E has always had a special place in my heart. I wish I could tell him life after high school is NOTHING like high school. I had very few friends and couldn’t wait for it to be over with. I think he may be old enough to volunteer/work at the zoo, which has lots of summer programs and he is so good with children, just a thought.

    • zohrbak says:

      Don’t get her a cell phone until she’s old enough to buy you a lottery ticket in return. That’s the new rule of thumb.

      I know you heart Big E…and he hearts you right back, ya big lug.

      He said last night that he knows kids who work at the zoo, and they are creepy. 🙂

  4. ZOHRMOM says:

    I can’t even talk right now.

  5. Summer says:

    That’s a lot on your plate, Lady. My heart goes out to Big E. I teared up during this post thinking about what he’s going through.

    Also, you would be surprised at how much will sink through a tween’s skull regarding those pics. Good luck with all this. I’m emotionally exhausted reading this.

  6. Zohrsis says:

    All about the brakes for Tween C, and LOTS of talk about self respect. Keep in mind she knows wayyyy more than you think she does and I’m willing to bet knows other kids that are doing things already that would make your head spin. Just stay on top of the with who, what, when, and why’s. And NEVER assume that another parent thinks like you do about what’s okay or not. As for Big E, what about volunteering with something along the lines of Habitat for Humanity? Where he can actively participate and feel good about what he is doing. Not to mention all that he could learn. Plus, since it’s “volunteer” work, there’s less pressure. I’m spewing advice here like I have had all the answers. I gotta laugh at myself.

  7. Miz Tiz says:

    Big E has stolen my heart. Please, please help him to understand that there is life after high school, and it’s much better. Maybe those volunteer ideas will be good ones for him—like Habitat and the Zoo.

    You have remarkable insight into your children, and yourself.

  8. Ok. I just want you to know that I was in that bedroom with you and Big E. I was the blubbering, snotty-nosed, useless mess in the corner. I have a son the same age. I still fight the urge (but almost always give in) to grab him in a bear hug and kiss him on the lips. Have you considered visiting some college campuses? A lot of them have two tours they give, one with parents, and one without. Maybe if he saw that it does get better, it would light a spark?
    As for Tween C, I feel for you. I couldn’t even stand myself at that age. I remember thinking to myself “Wow, I’m being a real B right now” and not being able to do anything about it.

  9. Pingback: Being Momma « littlecackles

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