Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Three Things

Yesterday, The Spare to the Throne left the nest, complete with a computer that lacked some screws, a flat screen TV that lacked a power cord, and a tea kettle without a whistle.  But yep, he's livin the dream, because he's wanted to go to Butler  for pretty much all of his vertical life.  Heck, he's not even worried about the air-condition-less dorm.  He's pretty happy.

One of his roommates was already there when we arrived.  His mom was chatty, and his dad was on the floor on a beanbag chair.  The boys wandered off to unload and the parents chatted about the boys.  We found that both boys are pretty quiet, have a small group of close friends but know and get along with everyone, and both are messy (read:  pigs).  Roomie's mom mentioned that they've talked a lot about time management.  Hmmm.......I had a talk with Seth, but not about time management.  We talked about The Three Things.  "What three things," asked the mom.  "Drinking?"  "Nope, he knows my stance on that."  "Drugs?"  "Nope, if he doesn't know my stance on that by now, then he hasn't listened at all."  "Sex?"  "Nope, not exactly."

The three things are as follows, and in this order:

"1.  If you think that you want to change or deface this body of yours that I have looked at for 18 years, you need to call me first.  If you feel the need to get a piercing or tattoo, then fine.  I'm not going to try to talk you out of it.  I just want to be sure that you go somewhere reputable and that you aren't going to come home with a disease that you can't get rid of.

2.  If someone is pregnant, I do not want to hear about it through the grapevine.  This includes after you are married.  I need to be the first to know, or it could get ugly.  That being said, there are condoms in your first aid kit.  Use them.

3.  If you are calling me from jail, it had better be to tell me that you are getting comfortable for the night.  I will NOT bail you out.  You can, however, call Jim.  He might give you bail money.  I won't.  Call him, because I don't want to hear about jail after the fact.  And you know me.  I will find out.

All three kids met #3 with the same argument:  "what if it was something our friend did, and we just were in the wrong place at the wrong time?  Because then it's not my fault, so you'd bail me out, right?  WRONG.  I did not raise you to have stupid friends, so if you choose to hang with stupid people, call someone else.  "Geez Mom, that's cold."   I don't think so.  At least, not if I warned you ahead of time.

My mom is a little shocked that I tell them these things.  She says that I must think the worst of my kids.  I say nope.  If, by the time they go to college, they haven't figured out how I feel about smoking, drinking, drugs, and doing their schoolwork, then they haven't paid any attention for the past 18 years, and they should reconsider their plans, because they apparently aren't smart enough for college.  My Three Things are the three permanent game changers for a young person's life, and they are most likely to happen during the college years.

And that being said, none of them have ever cashed in on any of them.  And I'd call that a win for the mom.

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