Which obviously fills me with immense joy.
Due to social anxiety my boy rarely goes out, so I’m not really in any position to lay down the law on this one. Obviously, I’d feel better if it was a Disney movie at the local cinema, but so be it.
The hardest part about the teenage stage is having to let them go.
He must be exaggerating when he tells me about what really goes down at these under 18, no alcohol ‘raves’, the fine details of which fill me with horror. I know that teenagers like to provoke their parents, so I am trying to take the threat of pills, illegal alcohol, (blah blah blah!) with a pinch of salt; but this is my boy we’re talking about.
If I could lock him away for the night, I obviously would.
But he needs this. It’s only the second time he has chosen to go out this year with his new school friends, even though he has been invited to several events.
The problem with ADHD is that the executive functioning skills which help non- ADHD people make the right call on what is appropriate to tell and what not to tell are not developed, so they tell you everything.
This can be a good thing. Sometimes. I’m desperately trying to find an example of when, exactly. It probably wasn’t when he told me that I looked the oldest out of all the ‘mums’ he knew.
But sometimes too much information can backfire. I remember that when NC started going out into the Big Smoke I was always relieved when she stayed the night with friends so that she became someone else’s responsibility and I didn’t have to sit by the phone until the early hours.
I didn’t know what was going on and I could sleep soundly in denial.
A normal teenager wouldn’t dream of telling his mum about the shenanigans he plans to get up to on a night out, but Kurt has given me all the gory details of what he hopes to tick off his ‘how to kill yourself as a teenager’ To Do list, whilst ‘raving.’
He has been practicing his ‘rave’ moves, planned his outfit and no doubt found a way to secrete some alcohol into his system (for Dutch courage) before the event.
And I don’t want to ruin it for him by overloading him with my own anxieties because he’s got enough of his own and he needs to get out there and experiment and mix with his peers and make his own mistakes.
BUT he’s the male equivalent to Miley Cyrus when he’s high on life – with too much energy, no fear of consequences and absurdly impulsive – personality traits that don’t correlate with good decision-making, generally.
But worst of all, he’s still my baby and I’ve lived through his complicated development and feel as though I wear his fears around my heart. So every time I read a story about another teenager who has died from a drug overdose or jumped off a balcony, I get a sinking, sick feeling inside.
Even though deep down I know that it’s time for him to break the cocoon and spread his wings.
In answer to my own question, you have to let them spread their wings when you think they’re ready.