Sunday was rough for our family. Bud had been sick with a sinus infection for about a month; on antibiotics since the previous Tuesday. He hadn’t been sleeping well and had gone to bed early (for him) Saturday night after getting in trouble for coming home an hour past his curfew. Sunday morning I woke up having some difficulty breathing (we call them Mom’s “bad breathing days”). Around 2 p.m. I was worn out from the effort, so I laid down (propped up) to take a nap.
I woke up about an hour later, took some meds and laid back down to rest and watch TV. Bud knocked on the bedroom door and stated he needed a ride. I told him to ask Art, who was out putting up Christmas lights. Bud said, “He can’t. He’s busy.” So I drug myself out of bed, put on some clothes and got ready to go.
I got the feeling Bud was trying to get out of the house without talking, so I asked him what had happened the night before and why he was so late home. He said, “All I’m going to say is that as soon as I get a job and save up enough money I’m getting emancipated and I’m out of here.”
I said, “You’re getting emancipated because you got a punishment for breaking a rule?”
He said, “No, because you guys have too many expectations of me but you don’t treat me with the respect I deserve.” Now due to Bud’s health problems, we are actually easier on him than we were on his brother at the same age, so this was out of left field for me. I countered some of his issues, but he was not in the mood for a discussion.
Finally I said, “At least you can say please when you ask me to give you a ride since I had to get out of bed to do it.”
Bud replied, “Well I have a bad headache. If you can’t take it I can just walk.”
“Fine, then, ” I said. “Go ahead and walk. I’m going back to bed.”
A few hours later, Bud called and told Art he needed a ride to the ER since his headache was much worse and he wasn’t able to eat. I stayed home while all this was happening as I didn’t think it was a good idea to expose myself on a bad breathing day to all the possible germs in an ER. I was very nervous. The doctors were trying to rule out meningitis. I was beating myself up for being a bad mother and texted a good friend so I could vent.
After a few hours and some tests it turned out that Bud was dehydrated, which combined with not eating had exacerbated the pain of his sinus infection. He stayed in the ER on an IV drip for another hour and also had two shots of painkillers. By Monday he was back to his old self.
Here’s what my friend told me when she heard the good news: “When he’s feeling better, you use this moment as a teachable moment, that as wonderful as it seems to have all the advantages of being an adult, it’s not always as fab as you might think.” In other words, sometimes parents really do know best.
Tune in on Friday, December 2nd to read The Hard Way Part 2: Teachable Moments.