Guilty?


I couldn’t sleep last night. I felt guilty. I don’t know whether it’s a Jewish thing or a mother thing. Catholics seem to have it too. I don’t remember being brought up with guilt. Did my parents use it on me? I’m not sure. It was just assumed I would go to college, get married, and have kids. My parents were aghast when I worked full time when my children were born. Well, I worked part time the first year of the first child. After that, full time. And I did feel guilty about that. I don’t know a mother who doesn’t.

My youngest son, who lives with me, totaled the new car I bought for him five months ago. Thank goodness no one was hurt! I did buy the gap insurance, but oh the tangled web among insurance companies. The accident was two weeks ago. It will take at least another ten days for everything to get sorted out and the loan paid off, minus the $750 deductible. Even though I had a rental car in my insurance policy, we had to give it back forty-eight hours after our car was declared a total loss. Who reads the fine print of the insurance policy?

We are a one car family. At least my son works within easy walking distance of home. Not that he’s walked yet. Why did I offer to drive him and pick him up? And when I can’t do it, he gets his girlfriend to do it. He does have to go to Mesa for random drug testing and his aftercare class in Gilbert on Wednesday nights.

My friend Sharon coaches high school girls’ basketball. She coached the freshman team to a 12-2 season. Now that it’s the playoffs, she’s on the staff of the varsity team. They’ve made it to the semi-finals. The game is tonight at Jobbing.com arena, on the west side of the valley about thirty miles from my home. I want to support her and go to the game. And it will be fun.

I’ll admit it; at first I tried guilt on my son. I told him I was going to have to miss the game to take him to his class. It didn’t work. Next, I asked him to find a ride to the class. He’s been giving other people rides for the past five months. That didn’t work as the people he gave rides still don’t have a car. The reason I got him a car is that it would take three hours each way to get to the class by bus.

Yesterday I asked him to ask his girlfriend to drive him. He’s working and has the money to pay for her gas. He hemmed and hawed and finally told me not to mention it to her. He doesn’t want her to meet the girls he knows through the class. That pissed me off, and I said in an even tone that he would have to find his own ride as I was going to the game.

When I picked him up from work last night, I asked him if he had found a ride. He said he thought one guy might give him a ride. When I suggested his girlfriend take him, and I pick him up, he agreed that he could go an hour early so she wouldn’t see his classmates. And I would be home in plenty of time to pick him up. (I know you’re thinking I’m a sap.)

Last night I had all kinds of dreams that he went to jail because he missed his class. Although this might seem ridiculous, he had his probation lengthened by two months because he missed one drug test. He went the next morning to test, to show that he had forgotten and that he wasn’t “dirty.” The drug court judge had the power to send him to jail for that, but he was “lenient” and added to his probation.

I know you are jumping up and down and saying that it isn’t my problem! My son needs to be responsible for himself. So is it guilt that I’m feeling? Or that I still want to control everything about his life?

I am going to the game tonight.

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2 Responses to “Guilty?”

  1. Sharon Says:

    One thing I have always admired about this column is your honesty. You bare all. What a brave and rare thing that is!

  2. emjolayemi Says:

    I can relate, Annie.

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