Non-stop flight to insanity

paper_airplaneFor those unaware, I have two children—a girl and a boy—and the Hippie has two children—a girl and a boy. Yep, they outnumber us, but that’s ok, we still usually win. They are great kids, all of them. And it’s only occasionally that I threaten to put them on ebay or feed them to the neighbors in a backyard barbecue that will be the talk of the town for decades to come.

One such moment occured this weekend. Of course, I didn’t threaten either of those options. I couldn’t.

I was too busy laughing.

You see, the oldest, my daughter, is a blossoming teenager of sixteen going on thirty—teetering on the edge of adulthood and being on her own and having her own children. She’s great. I love her to death. I do. I adore the hell out of her. She’s funny and smart, silly and pretty, amazing and inspiring.

And absolutely off her damn rocker!

I could do a whole blog on the logistics of online dating as a teen—because really, a movie or dance is completely out of the question but you’re in school with a whole football team that you can actually see and touch… not that she should touch them, but you know what I mean—but I’m leaving that for the Hippie. Eventually he’ll figure out the words that gracefully explain the “wha… huh… I don’t… but… and then… but they… in the… or the… and dance… or dinner… or what? Texas? Really? Oh I don’t get this…” thing that he stammers when the topic comes up. It’s actually quite entertaining. But back to my world. I’m going to skip right past the online “dating” of someone she’s never met, that doesn’t live anywhere near here, and jump to this weekend’s conversation.

“Mom, I need to talk to you later.”

“Why honey? What’s up?”

“Well, I want to talk to you about skipping spring break at dad’s…”

Uh-oh, what happened? “I think you should talk to him about that.”

“I did. He said check with you and then we’d talk about it.”

“He did? Huh… Well, why don’t you want to go see your dad?”

“I want to go to Texas.”

Now obviously it took a moment for that to actually sink in. I squinted my eyes and began the litmus test of how prepared she was for this… “I’m not bringing you to Texas.”

“Oh no, he’ll pay for the plane ticket.”

Plane ticket?  “Ummmm… no.” And without checking my sanity at the door, I bust into a gut rolling laughter that the neighbors heard. “Wait, let me think about it… Hell no!” More laughter. “What kind of mother let’s her child get on a plane, alone, to go see a boy she’s never met, stay with parents she doesn’t know, in a town SEVEN states away?!! Are you insane?

“We’ll talk about it later…” And she turned and walked away. I think she was hurt, and I’m sorry for that. Now. At the time, I was still laughing. A glance at Bob let me know that he was doing everything in his power not to crack.

When I came out of the laughter, I wiped the tears and said to him, “What mother does that?! Who would put their child on a plane and send them off to total strangers? The best part of that? She was actually serious!”

And from the other room came the voice of a Princess, “I give points for even asking.”

True. We’ll give her points for having the balls to ask and be serious. But they’re cash-back points, not frequent flyer miles. She doesn’t have her license yet. She doesn’t even have her temps. And she thinks she’s going to become a world traveler for a boy she met on myspace, that lives in Texas, and is 18.

Ahhh young love. It makes you brave enough to face fears, embark on adventures, and apparently, ask your mother to put her sanity aside for a moment and allow you to be stupid, possibly dangerously stupid. I don’t think so. Too many things could go wrong. Too many scenarios played out in my head in under two seconds. Too many movies and news programs prevent me from giving her this.

The worst part? She’ll hate me a little for it. But I can get over that and eventually she will too. The scariest part of all this? There are mothers out there that would allow it…

This morning she started in again, “We’ll talk about this tonight.”

“There’s nothing to talk about. And wasn’t the original plan for him to come here? He can come here.”

“He can’t afford it.”

“But he can afford to put you on a plane?”

“Well, he was driving and he can’t afford it, but he has plane tickets to use up.”

“So he can fly here.”

“But then he won’t have a car to drive.”

“You’re not flying to Texas alone to visit strangers.”

“You can come with me!”

“I have to bring your brother to your father’s.”

“Well yeah. We’ll drive to Wisconsin and then you and I can fly to Texas.”


“Arumph…” And she walked away. Still believing we were going to discuss this. Still believing this alternate reality was a possibility. Still believing I would put aside all motherly duties and actually do this.

Do me a favor, parents of the internet. Go hug your little girls… Someday they may grow up to love a cowboy. A cowboy they met online.

0 Responses to Non-stop flight to insanity

  • wolfnoma says:

    Mine is 10 going on 21. She has a “Boyfriend” in her class and the have “Dates” online at either the Webkinz site or the Penguin site. I always make sure she uses the laptop in the living room and I have made sure to take the “Boyfriends” father up on deep sea fishing offer he made to me.

    She is now stating “Ashley has a cel phone, Maria has a cel phone, Alan has a cel phone, why can’t I have a cel phone? What if I need to call you? What if I can’t get to you? What if I want to talk to one of my friends?” To which I reply “I am 42 and am on my second cel phone in my life and I did not get my first one until I was 38. You can have a phone when you can either pay for it or you don’t need me to drive you everywhere.” So she then goes out and gives my phone number to all her friends so they can call me at all different hours of the day.

    Good luck to you and yours on the managing of a female teenager. I know mine who is not quite there yet is driving my blood pressure up every day.

    I can only imagine how things are going to progress in the next few years.

  • Burke says:

    Thanks for making me realize mine is not the only teenage girl who comes up with these off the wall things!

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