...but perhaps we should.
Here's the thing about teenagers: they are in the process of separating from the family, but they want to be completely in charge of that process.
Teenagers spend less time with their families and more time with their friends. Even when they are home they are likely to spend increasing amount of time in their rooms, especially if they can get phones or computers in there.
So they miss stuff.
Yesterday Andrew and Evan were otherwise engaged. Andrew was around for the morning; he even went grocery shopping with me. Evan spent the first part of the day firmly planted in his room. Both teenagers requested rides to friends' houses mid-afternoon. Evan came home before we had dinner but went to his room saying he was not hungry. Andrew got a ride home from his friend's parents at about 10:30pm.
Brian wanted to go to the fair. He asked his dad to take him. He asked in the morning. He asked over lunch. He asked during dinner. Dad was not all that excited about it. He explained that he was not going to pay for rides and that there was not much else to do other than look at animals, quilts, and jars of jam. But Brian really wanted to go and finally Dad broke down.
They left at about 8:00.
Evan came out of his room at 8:20 and asked where everyone was. I explained. He pouted, "They didn't ask me?"
"Would you have gone?"
"No, but I would have liked to be asked."
Yeah, I get it.
It did not occur to Hubby to ask Evan. It did not occur to me to suggest that he do so. It's not the sort of thing that Evan wants to do. I think in the back of both of our minds was the thought that if Evan had wanted to go he would have asked to go.
It's a minor thing, but there are under-currents.
If it were Andrew who had been home and yet not invited he would say something to Hubby. The conversation would go something like this:
"Why didn't you take me?"
"I didn't think you would want to go."
"Well I did." or "I would have wanted the chance."
"Well sorry, but if you had come out of your room at any point during the day you would have known about it and you could have asked to go."
Andrew might be angry or annoyed, but that would be it. This sort of thing actually has happened to Andrew a couple of times this summer. Some thing happens that he never heard about because he was not around any of the two dozen times we talked about it and nobody realized that.
Evan though did not and will not talk to Hubby about it at all. Evan is again spending the day in his room on his phone. He is almost certainly thinking, "I'm not really part of this family. If Andrew were home they would have invited him. They don't really want me to be part of things."
And then I will sit and wonder how codependent to go on this situation. Should I tell Hubby that Evan was hurt? (Actually I did do that. Hubby responded the way I expected, "Evan never wants to do anything with us. I just took Brian because he was asking.") Do I sit down and talk to Evan and explain? Do I address the anxiety that I expect he feels even though he does not express it?
Or do I decide that it is not really that big of a deal and just let it go?
Probably the latter, but of course I will write a whole blog post about it first.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
...but perhaps we should.