This was what I heard when I asked Elijah this morning on the way to school if he had gotten his Titanic book off the floor this morning. Since they have had 8 snow days and used all 3 of their allotted Blizzard Bag days, he has a little bit of extra homework each night to make up for those 3 days. They are studying the Titanic right now in Reading, and have been for several weeks. They have a large packet of information they slowly are filling out in regards to the Titanic and her sister ships, and last night he was working on a big chunk of it. He laid the packet on the floor when he was finished, and there it sat. He did some other homework, and then we watched some Psych (Best. Show. Ever.). He fell asleep promptly at 7:50 and I struggled to wake him up when I went up to bed. This morning we had the typical morning routine- we each got ready and did our own thing, until it was time to walk out the door. Driving to school, which of course is always the most appropriate time to check with him that he has everything he needs, I asked him if he had his homework in his back. Silence. And then, “Awwwwwww- I forgot”, with a panicked look on his near tears face. I contemplated my next sentence. Should I offer to go home and bring it back to school for him, or should I let him suffer the consequences. Now before you declare me a mean mom and write me off, let me explain. Elijah has a habit of “forgetting” things all. the. time. He forgets his homework, he forgets to hang up his jacket after he throws it on the floor everyday (and I repeatedly tell him to hang it up), he forgets to turn off the lights when he leaves the room- he’d forget to breath if it wasn’t automatic. I’m not saying I’m not forgetful, because I so SO am, and I wish Elijah were a little LESS like me. So when I say I entertained the idea of letting him just suffer, I say it with love, not malice. I want him to learn. To become a responsible adult. To be able to have basic life skills. Better ones than I have. But then I thought, he’s 12. While he does need to have more responsibilities and a general clue when it comes to thinks, he needs to be able to be a child. I continued to have a fierce argument with myself all within the span of about 60 seconds, and finally relented. “I’ll run home and bring it back and drop it off at the office”. Pure relief spilled out from him, with a huge thank you, hugs, kisses and even an “I love you Mommy!”. Just hearing that made it almost worth it, but I can’t help but wonder if I’m making him feel entitled, spoiled or enabling him to continue to act aloof, because I will just help him in the end anyways. I’m torn. I don’t want to do too much and be that mom, but I want to be there for him. I want him to learn from his mistakes, but I want him to know that I”m his mom and will be there for him always.
What are your thoughts moms? What would you do?