Tuesday, January 28, 2014

An age, a licence and the confidence of being a teen

And so the day dawned.. The day that the boy had been waiting for since he stepped out of his 10th std all of 16 years. The day he thought, 'life is one picnic, because he had joined college'

A two wheeler is the dream of most kids that age. My son was no different. He ate, drank and dreamt of riding a two wheeler to college. He did not foresee a wall in the form of his mom. No son, no licence, no touching the vehicle ever. He was shattered. He had a long list of reasons ready.
"A is also my age, and his father has got him a licence by changing his birthdate"
"X is riding his bike the last few months, he hasn't been caught till now"
"We can get a licence from xyz town, they give a licence very easily"
Excuses and reasons were aplenty. But none that were legal, or that would be accepted.
I had refused to budge.
A friend tried telling me, "You rode a bike when you were that age, so why not him? I let my child ride the bike when the roads are empty"
My parents feeling extra proud of their daughter would extol the varied pursuits of hers. "Your mom rode a bike when she was in her 6th class. She would do this,she would do that.."

For me it wasn't about the roads. It wasn't about the safety of my boy on the roads. It was about ethics. When the law was not permitting, he will not do it.

But sadly, teenagers have a rule book of their own. I'm not categorizing all teens. It's mostly what I know,we as mothers discuss about and stress about.

I was told, that my boy might ride a vehicle behind my back. While in college or while I wasn't watching. At that I was confident. I had brought up my boy to be honest. I knew I could trust him. He had given me that equation. The equation of belief and trust.

Every two months he would plead with me. He would ask to go to the class right down the road, or for his hair cuts when there were time constraints. He bullied me, he cajoled me. He called me names. ( Yes, he did that. I'm sure there are other kids too, who do it) He was angry, he was feeling defeated.
Here was his mother who was acting 'weird'. Who was not like 'other moms'. 'Here was a woman who hated him'

Dear son, I wish you really know the agony I go through watching you hurt and upset. There have been times when out of frustration, I've wanted to hand over the keys and say "Ok, just this once" . It's been tough for me too. To stand and be honest to my principles.

I had said "You turn 18, get your license and the vehicle is yours"

It's been 2 years of stress, fear, uncertainties for the mother in me. As much as I would like to be strong, when it comes to one's own child, we are putty in the hands of these emotions.
It's hurtful to watch that boy who towers over you feel defeated. Feel upset.
But the only thing I have to say is, it hurts for now yes. But if something were to happen, god forbid, because you relented and it was against the law, as a parent you will never survive the mental agony.

I'm glad I stood my ground. My boy all of 18, confident and happy now, a wee bit disappointed with his mother, but putting that aside ,walks off with his documents in hand. Says he will not pay an agent. Says he will do it on his own. And that he is old enough.
Yes, he did manage..though there were a hundred calls to the mother in the few hours. But he did it.

And I'm a proud mother of a boy who now holds a licence to drive a vehicle.

I now will just continue to worry...


Swathika said...

Applause to you momma and I salute your son. May he value the virtues you have sown in him. May he make you proud day after day !

vandana murli said...

Tough time doesn't last but tough people do

vandana murli said...

Tough time doesn't last but tough people do... we mom at some stages go through emotional stress

Prats said...

Thank you Swathika. I sincerely hope that he is happy with all that has happened.

Prats said...

Vandana : Thank you and yes..you should know better. You've been one of my guides on boys after all

Rajani said...

Our home, similar thoughts and fears. Like your write up as always.

Debashish Irengbam said...

Really nice and honest point of view from the other side ... Makes me feel sorry for my mother when I was your son's age ... We had our shares of disagreements too, but the good thing is - over time, when you look back in retrospect, you feel a greater amount of gratitude and love towards her as compared to the antagonism you felt at that time. Kudos to you for holding out :)

Prats said...

Thank you Deb. It has been harrowing. And getting caught in the me,ee of emotions it doesn't make my life any easier nor his. I'm just relievd it's done now.
And yes I'm hoping he will understand me later

Pooja Balachandran said...

Hi Prathibha. You make a strong mother. Your articles are inspiring. I have few queries on pregnancy and would like to get in touch with you. Could you kindly give your email id

rads said...

It isn't bad at all you know once you trust the kid and then have faith. Easier said than done, but having two teenagers driving around, I know my heart's split in two and floating around every time they leave home.
I doubt it gets better,. but it does get familiar :)

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