I know I talk about how hard we work with Sydney, so today, I want to brag a little bit about her.
When Sydney came to us, she couldn't be trusted. It's not a nice thing to say about someone, but it's the truth. So, she got no unsupervised time. She was with an adult every minute of every day. And, when she was with us, it was like she lived under a microscope. We were no fools. Untrustworthy behavior had to be changed right off the bat. Okay, second off the bat. First I had to break her of saying "freaking" in every sentence, but that's another conversation.
Rob had his own schpiel but mine was "When you're 16 and want to drive my car, you're going to want me to trust you. You are building that trust with what you do every day, including today."
We went through all the normal untrustworthy behavior that all parents go through, plus some. And, we persevered.
This year, she's been allowed to come home from school and stay at home alone until we get home. She has chores or homework. She can have a snack. She can play with her dog. She cannot let friends in the house. She cannot go anywhere. She can't go outside except to the back yard. And, she has to let the neighbors know she's home.
She may lose this priviledge, but for right now, she's got it.
Our next trusting step was our anniversary this year. For the first time, we left her at home alone and we went out to dinner. Rob was totally surprised when I suggested it. Sydney didn't believe me and dressed for dinner and put her shoes on. I think they were both thrown a little bit when I got ready to go and hugged her good bye. I don't think either of them thought I was serious. But, I was. We deserved a night on our own without the stress of finding an adult sitter for a 13 year old.
She did okay, but she complained about us leaving her home to starve while we went to one of our family's favorite restaurants for celebrations.
Today, she's taking a second step. She's being allowed to go to the local mall with her girl's choir group for lunch and some shopping. The girls will pair off and be allowed to roam the mall without adult supervision. (If I had no other reasons to avoid the mall today, like work, 70 unsupervised 13 year old girls would be good enough.)
I'm sure she'll do fine. I gave her enough cash to keep her from being tempted to shoplift and she's big enough to fight off any attacker. We've instilled responsibility and consequences and at least a modicum of how to behave in public. I think she's plenty smart enough to know that there's nothing she might get away with that would be worth what she'd lose when we found out. And, she knows we always find out.
So, today, she gets to fly. All on her own...well, more on her own than we've let her fly up till now. And, while we both know that she'll be fine, I'm sure that Rob and I will both relax a little bit at about 3pm when we know it's over and we haven't gotten a call from the choir teacher.
Take care and have a great Friday. I have a list of things that have to be done and a list of things I want to do this weekend. If I get to half of it, I'll be happy. And, Sydney is going to sew. I'm tired of having her quilt on my design wall. It's time to finish. She'll grumble because she's 13 and that's what 13 year olds do. And, we'll have fun. We always do as soon as she realizes no one is listening to the grumbling anyway, so she may as well stop.