Kids do stupid things.
A handful of recent incidents in our town made me remember just how dumb kids can be.
First, there was the 8th grade girl who snuck a joint onto an airplane in a tampon during the annual junior high Washington D.C. field trip. Another kid was recently arrested at the high school for selling pot laced brownies and another kid was forbidden from participating in the graduation ceremony because he tossed a bunch of pornographic material down the stairwell in, what he thought, was a humorous senior prank.
Which brings me to today.
My 15-year-old is attending an event at his high school tonight to raise money for charity. It’s an overnight event where participants are asked to walk a track throughout the night to show their support for cancer survivors and to honor the memory of those who have lost their lives to cancer. Nice event.
However, since the event will be filled with high school students who are not always the sharpest knives in the drawer, I had to lay down some ground rules regarding the event. The first, last and most important lesson that I offered was: DO NOT EAT ANY BAKED GOODS at this event. I’m not paranoid; I just don’t trust kids to use good judgment. Eat pizza, hot dogs, and popcorn; just avoid the home-baked goodies.
I thought we were done with this discussion until my son announced yesterday that one of the kids at the event is going to bake cupcakes and my son has to sell them.
Every alarm in my head went off.
Very calmly I reminded him about our discussion the week before and I told him that he was forbidden from selling any baked goods that he did not personally bake. In case yesterday’s discussion didn’t stick I thought I would remind him again today because my kid is naïve and more importantly he doesn’t hear anything that I say the first time.
Me: “Remember to tell your friends that you are not allowed to sell any baked goods of any kind at this event.”
Son: “That’s stupid. No one is going to be stupid enough to bring in baked goods with pot in them.”
Me: “Of course it’s stupid, which is exactly why someone will try to bring in baked goods with pot in them.”
Son: “I’m going to be ridiculed if I tell them that I can’t sell the cupcakes.”
Me: “You’ll be ridiculed even more when you are wearing an orange jumpsuit in prison. Selling pot laced cupcakes is a felony,” I remind him.
Enter my husband, laughing.
To our son: “Don’t sell anything with pot in it,” laughing more.
Me (getting mad now): It’s not funny. Kids are stupid. Someone will bring in baked goods with pot.”
Son: “To a cancer event?”
I continue yelling and he starts texting.
More yelling; more texting.
Son: “He hates you”
Son: “I told my friend that you think he’s going to bake pot-laced cupcakes to sell at the cancer event. He doesn’t like you anymore.”
Me: “You told him that I thought he would put pot in the cupcakes?”
Son: “Yea. Well that’s what you said. Oh, and I told him that you thought he was a bad kid”
Told you, kids are stupid.
I think the friend’s actual response was: “Your mom thinks I’m going to bake cupcakes with pot in them and sell them at a cancer benefit that I am on the board of?”
Makes me sound kind of bad, doesn’t it?
“She doesn’t even know me and she’s judging me?” he continued.
Makes me sound even worse, doesn’t it?
But the truth is, I don’t know this kid. So, yes, I am judging him. I only know my kid. And I know that my kid is still naïve and would not even think that someone would bake pot-laced cupcakes let alone have him sell them. I’m trying to prevent my kid from being the one who sells the cupcakes, gets caught, and has to dig himself out of a hole.
Aren’t I supposed guide my kids? Aren’t I supposed to share my limited knowledge of the world and hope that some of it sticks? Only now I feel like I tried to control too much. So much, that I now feel like I need to apologize to a 15-year-old. And, I’ve embarrassed my kid (ok, he did that to himself) and possibly jeopardized our relationship because he feels like a pariah.
Like I said, kids do stupid things. But so do parents.
Next parenting lesson: think twice before sending anything that could be deemed controversial via text, emailing, twitter, Facebook, etc.
Originally posted on acontrolledsubstance.com on June 12, 2011