“Do you not trust me mom?”.
“Of course I do darling”, is what I say.
“You must be dreaming!” is what I mean.
I have read articles in the past,
about how there should be a circle of trust.
Parent to teens, teens to parents.
I read these articles before I had children,
and agreed wholeheartedly.
When my children were born,
I held them and had no doubt,
we would be “friends” forever.
As time went by,
I learned that to be a parent,
sometimes meant saying “no”.
This meant for a short time,
my small child did not like me,
and was not my “friend”.
Then the moment passed,
we kissed and cuddled and made up.
All was going well.
Then as if overnight,
my darling child,
morphed into someone I did not recognize.
The rows came thick and fast.
“I want to go out tonight?”
“Sorry its a school night”.
This rule had not changed,
so you did not anticipate a problem.
“Oh for Gods sake,
why not just lock me up?”.”Everyone is going out tonight”.
“Well not you!”.
“I am going out and you cant stop me!”
This too was a new issue,
as by now they are taller than you.
So in theory you cannot stop them physically.
And so the row goes on.
And on and on.
Teenagers, and parents of teenagers,
are not as forgiving,
and hugs and kisses are no longer the end of a disagreement.
And so it is,
that as rows become more frequent,
sometimes against our better judgement,
One evening, after a row,
my daughter went “out”.
This was for me the first occasion,
I played “I spy”.
Now when I said “I” spy,
I meant it.
It was just me.
No one else knew I was playing this game.
The object of the game was to,
1. Check who my daughter was with.
2. Check what she was doing.
3. Check if she was where she had promised she would not be.
4. Check she was not breaking any laws!
I piled my younger children into the car.
“Where are we going mom?”,
“Oh just out for a drive”.
Round the village we went,
heading straight for the place,
the “hooded teenagers” usually frequent.
I drove past a large group of about twenty.
Hopeless, I couldn’t see if she was there.
I’d have to call for back up.
“Oh look, is that your sister?”.
My two youngest looked at the large group,
as I turned and drove past again.
“No, we cant see her”, was the reply.
This was good,
as this was where she had said she would not be.
So off to where I thought she might be.
In I drive and once again I enlist back up.
“Any sign of her?”
“There she is, they shout, down there”.
I decide against ramming on the brakes,
and violently making the turn.
Instead I have to drive on.
“Was that her carrying a bag and drinking?”,
I ask casually,
having not seen her at all,
but fishing for information.
“No” they shout.
“Phew!”. I think to myself.
I turn around and drive towards the group.
Then I see her.
At the same moment she eyeballs me.
I’ve been caught.
I drive by staring straight ahead.
I feel her stare in the side window.
This is not good.
Then things get a whole lot worse.
We are in a Cul De Sac,
A Dead End.
In front of me, is a wall!
I am driving a seven seater,
which is not easy to miss,
with three children in the back.
I try to calm my breathing,
and execute as efficiently as possible,
a three point turn.
As we pass the now staring group,
I once again avoid eye contact.
I get out of there as fast as I can.
Later that night,
my teen arrives home.
not drugged or drunk!
“Hi darling” I casually say.
“What the hell were you doing mom?”, she begins.
What can I say?
“What darling, me in the car, up the village?”,
don’t be ridiculous!”.
And that is how,
I played and lost my first game of “I spy”.
But I can tell you,
after a further ten years of practice,
I am a world champion at this game.
And don’t get me started on,
Breaking passwords on computers!
Do I trust my teenagers?
Of course I do,
because I know exactly what they are up to!