We’re finally grown and on our own!! Yet, from a mother’s perspective, her 17- year-old is not fully grown and should not be on his own…..doesn’t anybody want her opinion? At this age, he’s still in high school and, most likely, unable to support himself. How can he work a full-time job , which is necessary to survive while still attending school? And my child? He’s less mature than my 15 – year-old ! Just last week he caused a car accident because he was driving on the wrong side of the road….intentionally! His explanation: “I’ve driven on this road a hundred time and nobody is ever on that side of the road!” His common sense is not yet fully developed. Well, to be honest, we’re not really sure if it’s even began to develop……but that’s ok, he seems to be fine without it. He decided that if his $7.00/hr. fast-food job doesn’t get any better by next week, he’s moving to Europe!! Well, I guess if he can manage Europe, he’ll be fine. I’m just being an over-protective mom….I should just relax and let him go.
Evidently, the State of Texas agrees with me. This child of mine was always the smarter one of my four children….. was actually born knowing everything! He always told us the turned 17, he was moving out. I tried to reason with him and explain how difficult it would be but he always had answers. My hopes that he would come to his senses were shattered when, on the day he actually did turn 17, he took all of his things and moved out in the middle of the night!
Of course, I went down to the police department that next morning, begging for help and receiving none. I discovered that in our State, parents have no authority over their 17- year-old kids; however, if they commit a crime or even skip school, parents are responsible. I argued a little because it just made no sense. I don’t know where he is living but I’m responsible if he doesn’t show up to school??? The first time I saw him after he moved out was at a school meeting that we were both required to attend. Talk about awkward! I knew nothing of his recent doings, couldn’t tell them that I saw the homework or if he’d attended the job fair for auto-tech. Yes, I was responsible for all of these things. Even worse, if he did not attend school and was actually charged with truancy, I would be the one to pay the fines and it was even possible that I would could end up in jail. OK now, let me get this straight….I could go to jail, causing the loss of my job , which means I can’t support my other three children, or provide medication for one of them, which leads this child to disruptive behavior and failing grades, and so on and so on….. Who voted to approve this law?
My younger son made a comment that seemed rather wise……”We’re teaching them how to be bums!” He said this after hearing from his brother, who was going from friend to friend, staying where ever he could until they made him leave, while losing a little bit of his belonging everywhere he went. At 17, even if they have a job , they are not old enough to rent an apartment or a house. They can’t sign a legal document or open a bank account. They may not have transportation but you know, even if they do, they can’t get auto insurance. They can’t even go to see a doctor without a legal guardian! I suppose I don’t mind being responsible if he has an accident and has no insurance. Maybe I could get a second job to pay medical bills if he is injured in this accident, for when he moved out of my home, my health insurance would no longer cover him..
This intelligent, mature, responsible child of mine left his family and a beautiful home, where he had a room big enough for a bed, dresser, tv, game systems, sofa, chair, guitars w/stands and still room left over! Eventually, I found out where he had finally settled……living with a dis-owned uncle who, at 34 years of age, spent his days smoking marijuana and playing video games while his wife worked to support him and their four children, who ran wild without supervision and sleeping on a torn-up, roach-infested, twin-sized mattress on the floor. I was relieved though when one day, he told me it wasn’t too bad because there were only two mice in his closet that day and, after getting high with his uncle, they were rather fun to play with. So he’s happy, no worries. And as always, I don’t mind being responsible!