Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Need to know - or Not?
I am a firm believer that any mother in her right mind wants to be on a "need-to-know" basis. If I really don't need to know about something, then spare me the agony and don't tell me. And, for God's sake don't tell your father. I don't need a confession of every little sin or minor transgression you may have had. Not only do I not need to know - I don't care. How about let your mother sleep in peace at night.
It is bad enough that I have to know about some things. Yes, it was best that you told me about the "incident" involving the police prior to Mary Alice's mother calling. I was better prepared to deal with her. However, I really did not need to know how many beer bottles you and your friends had to hide from us when you were 12 years old and we came home early. Nor do I need to know that the family car will actually reach the speed of 120 miles per hour.
Some mothers want their children to be their best friends and share everything with them. How much heartache can they take? Maybe their offspring are not as "adventuresome" as ours. Perhaps theirs stay between the lines, follow the leader, and play by the rules.
One mother asked me the other day, "Don't you want to know what they are doing?" "No, have you lost your ever loving mind?", was my reaction. "I don't want to know. I don't want to think about it. I've been there, done that, and bought the t-shirt." (Although, it doesn't fit any more.)
If my kids need me, or need me to know something then they can tell me. I'll always be here for them. But spare me the pain and angst of what I've already been through. It was painful enough growing up. They can do it on their own. They're big girls. There are a lot of things mothers don't need to know. And everyday, I am thankful for the knowledge that not knowing is OK, in fact a lot of the time, it is the only sane way to survive.