My 14-year-old is up to something.
Today is the last day of a week-long stay at Shawn's house, while I worked in Oklahoma City. At the airport last night, Molly and I talked by text. She was at Baywalk, an outdoor mall downtown. It's notorious for wandering teenagers starting trouble. She was with her friends, no adults. Shawn had driven her down there. Whenever I take her down there, I make sure she buys a ticket and goes into the movie theater. Then I'm waiting when the movie gets out. If she wants to walk around, I shadow her, which she hates. Shawn drops her off and picks her up down the street at Starbucks.
I checked in with Shawn and he said she was going to see Prom Night. I followed up with Molly. She never went to see the movie. I'm not sure what she was doing there. Just hanging out, she told me.
Today, she and her friends took off for downtown on their bikes and they were gone all day. I took Clarke to his lacrosse game. When I dropped him off, I asked Shawn if heard from Molly. No. I asked if she'd shared her plans with him. No. So I called her. She was at a blues festival.
Later I called her again. She was at American Stage Theater, getting ready to go to theater in the park with the youth ensemble. They were going to ride their bikes home. In the dark. Again I called Shawn, to clue him in. I suggested that he go get the bikes, which he did.
Shawn brought the bikes to my house, since two of them belong here. Again I pried. "What's the plan?" Shawn told me Molly wanted to spend the night at Geena's. This is starting to sound really fishy to me. I suggested that that would be a bad idea, since Molly has to altar serve at Mass in the morning. So he called Molly and negotiated that he would pick her up at 11:30 p.m. at Starbucks. The show ends at 10 p.m.
We've always had different parenting styles. I'm much more aggressive. And I have a lot more energy. And I believe that even good kids push the boundaries. But I don't know who to be mad at, Shawn or Molly? Molly is clearly taking advantage of Shawn's laid back approach. A shrink would say that's age-appropriate. And Shawn, at the end of a long week when I've been away and not able to help him, is clearly worn out.
I don't have any evidence that Molly's doing anything wrong. I just think she has way too much freedom when she's at Shawn's house. A 14-year-old kid should not be roaming around downtown without supervision on Friday and Saturday nights.
But she's with her dad, not me, at the moment. I'm always telling the kids that when they live in two houses, they have to get used to two sets of rules.
Would I be a crazy meddling, need-to-get-a-life divorcée if I drive down to the theater in the park and follow Molly as she cavorts about downtown, just to see where she goes?