My Neighbors thought My House was On Fire...
Monday, November 07, 2011
Once upon a time....
there was a sweet little neighborhood where all the neighbors got along. They all had kids about the same age, the women all liked spending time together- it was a happy place. Some of these women had been through all sorts of things together- close friends for years who couldn't be closer if they were sisters.
One day, a child came home and told his mom that he thought his neighbor Jimmy's house might be on fire. He thought he saw some smoke coming from there.
Well this woman became all upset- after all- her friend's house might be on fire! She was so concerned!
She went to her phone and called all the other neighbors to tell them that she thought there might be a fire at the friend's house, and she was so worried about it that she wanted all the other neighbors to know because she didn't want their homes to burn down.
She ran around the neighborhood warning everyone about this fire and making sure everyone had a plan to avoid having their home catch fire too!
The odd thing about the situation was that in all her worry and her concern about the fire, she never called the house where her dear friend lived, the one with the house that she thought was on fire. She never told her friend that she thought her house was burning or that she was in danger...she just talked about it with everyone else.
Another neighbor called the woman who's house was in question. She checked in on her because she was concerned. And then she told her that sadly, if there had been a fire, all the other neighbors would have watched her house burn down. They all knew there might be danger because they had been warned, but nobody did anything that would help if the house was really burning down. This neighbor thought her friend should know.
So, now I know and I don't know how to feel.
My 16 year old had friends over this weekend to celebrate his birthday. I know all the boys who were invited. One of the boys had a reputation that he and his group of friends smoked pot. My son doesn't go out a whole lot- he is a quiet kid. The time he spends with this friend is either here or playing lacrosse on a team together. We have talked about Jimmy's reputation and what he has done in the past. You can't walk away from your mistakes, but you should be allowed to grow from them. Jimmy is trying to make a new start, and he and my son started eating at the same lunch table (about the same time my son broke up with his girlfriend and was looking for a new group to have lunch with). They both were in need of a new friend and they found each other. Jimmy's mom and I have discussed Jimmy's efforts to find new friends and make better choices. Although I think they are good kids, my attention is high when they are together. I feel it's the best I can do. People should get a second chance, shouldn't they? Jimmy has made some bad choices, but in the time my son, and I, have known him, he has been a nice person.
My friend B is someone who I always considered a very close friend, She has known me since our boys were in 1st grade. Our boys have always been good friend, although not as good friends the past few years. B called all the other moms who were bringing their kids to my house and told them they might want to know my son might be having drugs at his party, because has some questionable friends. She told all the other moms how worried she was that the kids might get into trouble at my house. She thought they should talk to their kids and have a plan so if drugs showed up, they could call home and be picked up from my house. She told the others she was giving them a "heads up" about what might be going on.
B was so worried....but she never called me. She never shared her concerns with me. She sent her son to the party, even though she was so concerned. I found out about all of this from a friend who thought I should know that there was a lot of talk behind my back. She thought it was mean spirited and hurtful, and although she knew it would hurt me, she wanted me to know about this person I considered a good friend. She was mad on my behalf because she thought B gave everyone the impression that I might either allow the drugs, or that my son is such a bad kid that he would do that in our house, with us at home.
During the sleepover, I was awake feeding this group of boys most of the night. (Teenage appetites are hard to keep up with!) They played cards. They watched movies. They laughed. They texted. They farted. There were no drugs-not last night. No boys called home for rides in the middle of the night.
I am not sure that there never will be drugs, or more questionable friends or bad choices made..... my eyes are open and I know my child is not perfect-none are! But my phone line has always been open...and when a friend thought there was trouble ahead, she never let me know. I have always said that I would want to know if anyone had info about one of my children...and for anyone who knows me just a little bit, they know that I would make a phone call if I thought a child was at risk.
As a concerned parent, I often have a "strategy session" with my children before I send them off into a world of peer pressure and teenage stuff. I am so upset because I think this situation went beyond that, and this time seems different to me because it was about my house- and it was one of my close friends. If she was concerned enough to call and warn other parents that something might be going on, why didn't she tell me?
What do I do? I feel really hurt- and really angry about what went on behind my back. Part of me wants to scream at her...and part of me feels disgust for how she acted....my gut says just walk away and close the door on my heart to her..
What would you do?