Just talked to my cousin Peter (15 yrs old) online and he told me that he wants to quit his school’s football team. But apparently his parents have to sign a paper for the school to let him quit. I know, it sounds fucked up to me too. Since when do students need permission to quit a team…? Anyway, his parents refuse to sign. So I encouraged him to just stop going to practices/games and let the coaches know that he’s off the team, with or without a signature. If the kid don’t wanna play football, he don’t have’ta play football.
After this conversation, I mentioned it to my parents. I should have known that, like always, sharing anything with them would be a mistake. They got upset that I was “meddling”, and that the problem with Peter was none of my business. They also got angry because Peter’s parents will likely call and complain if they hear that I told their son that he, and him alone, could chose to play sports or not. Forgive me, but I didn’t tell Peter what to do, I didn’t say what his parents should do, I didn’t actually “meddle”. All I did was let a kid know that he didn’t have to be miserable in school if he didn’t want to. I guess I’m a “big problem”. My dad said that eventually I’m going to rile up much of the extended family if I continue such dialogues with cousins. I let him know that I didn’t care, because if some one is pissed at me without a good reason, their anger isn’t my problem.
It’s sad that my parents still manage to criticize me and attempt to instill guilt even when I try to have a positive influence on someone. If Peter lets people walk all over him(parents/coaches) in every way, his college life away from home could be difficult. He’ll suddenly have choices, and be free to make them. Without practicing his most basic freedoms early one, he just may make the wrong ones in the future simply because he’ll lack the experience of chosing. This happened to me, because my parents were the same way. I didn’t wind up making bad choices per se, but some things were difficult for me. Like when I drank for the first time in college, I thought it was “wrong”. I felt guilty for something that wasn’t wrong in the least. Parents shouldn’t raise their kids to live their lives based on guilt, but to live by making intelligent, rational judgments. I’m wasn’t asking Peter to rebel and stop doing chores, I simply reminded him that he can make choices.
And if anyone thinks that I was wrong in doing so, give me a call and I’ll promptly label you a fool.
Today I worked my internship 9-5, then came home. My dad was supposed to be there so we could go sign up at Planet Fitness for the summer. He wasn’t, so I packaged some eBay items I sold to kill time. He arrived, we left shortly after, signed up, came home. I then went to go to the bathroom and my mom said “Not yet, it’s time for dinner.” And I told her to go ahead and eat then. She said “But we need to say grace!”. I reminded her that I don’t say grace, so they could start without me. She continued to make a problem out of nothing, so I finally said “If I need to take a shit, I will take a shit.” Naturally the s-word prompted her to say, loudly, “Watch your language in this house! I’m a girl besides!” (whatever that means), which got my dads attention and he got pissed. Sigh.
I just wanted to go potty.