Friday, February 4, 2011

The Stages of Development (Plot and Otherwise)



Exposition:
17 year-old son announces he wants to go with four friends to NBA game in Los Angeles (a 60 mile drive in heavy southern California traffic to crowded stadium).


He wants to drive.


Conflict:

Person vs. Person: Mother vs. Son

Person vs. Environment: Son from small suburban city in small car on crowded freeway amid huge, honking SUV's

Person vs. Self: Mother battles inner voices. Should she just say NO? Is she holding him back? Is she preventing him from becoming independent? Is she merely protecting him? Is it her duty to say no? Does she have a backbone? Is she using it? Is she overprotective and smothering? Is it her own fear or legitimate concern? Is she crippling him? Is she setting herself up for Lifetime Movie Tragedy?


Rising Action: In the week leading up to game, mother and son discuss possible trip. She refuses to give him answer. He refuses to let issue slip away. Mother loses valuable beauty sleep due to worry. Decision must be made. Father finally says OK but with hesitation and with caveat that mother must agree.


Climax: Mother closes eyes, says prayer, prints out maps, talks to every boy going in car about importance of maturity, gets cell phone numbers of every boy in car. Father checks over all safety aspects of car, parents lecture boy on safe driving, responsibility, use of AAA card, use of common sense.

Boy and four friends get in small red car car and leave for game as mother watches from window. Fingernail imprints left in window sill indicate her mental state.


Falling Action/Denouement: Two hours later, cell phone call confirms boy and friends have made it to game. Mother collapses in bed from exhaustion. Four hours later, father confirms by phone that son is on way home and goes to bed.


Resolution/Conclusion: Sweetest sight in the entire world at 5:00am when mother awakens?

The little red car in the driveway.

The lump in the bed under that familiar bedspread.

The shoes by the door.


47 comments:

Lori said...

Oh goodness, I've been through that more times then I can count except it was a two hour trip into Minneaplis or St.Paul. I know the worry and then the relief at the sound of the door, seeing their shoes by the door...ect...I do not look forward to going through this again but I'm pretty sure I will be. Glad he made it there and back safely!

Catherine said...

Oh my friend ~ I feel your pain!

My son is 20 yrs old and I still remember the first 'road trip' a couple of years ago with him and his friends, him driving, 2 1/2 hours to Saskatoon. It was such a long day for me. The friend in the passenger side had to text me at least 2 times during the trip, and then confirmation upon arrival, 1/2 way through day, upon leaving, upon 1/2 way home, and you are so right, to see them arrive safely home.

What did mothers do before cell phones??? Worry more I should think!

I think we forget sometimes when we were that age and had no fear and wanted our independence. It's just that our kids aren't as wise now as we were back then... right? ;)

Have a terrific weekend Betty!
xo Catherine

Mamma has spoken said...

Oh I so know this feeling! For me it's every time it snows. I worry that I have passed on my fear of driving in the snow onto them. Glad he made it home safe and sound.

Seams Inspired said...

I get anxious just allowing Son#2 to rollerblade around the loop in the neighborhood. I can't even imagine how insane I'll be when my kids start driving. Yikes! Love your take on the situation. And glad to see those shoes where they belong...in the house! LOL Happy Friday! :o)

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Oooh, this reads like when my 14 year old went to the Vans Warped Tour with a friend and her older brother. It was the sweetest feeling when he walked in the door that night. When he wants to drive? I might need a demerol drip.

Daisy said...

I have lived this story too, several times over as a matter of fact. I have one son who is 21 and one who is 16. I still worry about the 21 year old driving in busy, faraway places, and now I have the younger one to add more worries to the ones battling it out in my brain. I'm glad to hear it went well and your son made it home safely. I so understand that feeling of relief knowing he is home again.

Leah J. Utas said...

Well done.

Madi and Mom said...

Oh BB....been there done that!!!
Well done you all survived and came out better on the other side of this trip. I'm with you though LA is a big place for a young driver. Teenagers are like gnats when they want to do something they wear you down!!!

When my daughter started taking driver's ed she started pitching a plan to us.....every day for a year!! Mom I'll get my license on a week day (summer birthday). Why don't you let me take you to work after I get my license then I can have the car all day!!! Then pick you up!!!Our reply for 364 days was we'll see.
Night of day 364 arrived: Hubby has been practicing with her every day taking her all over driving and testing her. He says she'll be fine. Bad mom is hoping maybe she won't pass the driving test. Oh my stars she made 100 on written and aced the driving test. I can still remember watching her drive away from my office. Mind you this was 1987 NO Cellphones. Seeing her sitting in my parking lot at 5 was a beautiful sight.
Hugs Madi and Mom

Flartus said...

Awww, love the shot of the shoes! Glad you won't be starring in any Hallmark movies anytime soon.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Good for you, Mom!

Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds said...

I've only ever been the teenager in that scenario, so far. Much scarier looking at it from the parent point of view.

Old Kitty said...

Awwwwww BB!!!! Time to plateau!!!!! Oh dear!! Awwww your son is lovely!! Yay he's ok and home!! Have a lovely rest now! Take care
x

HulaBuns said...

Great job in using your backbone! This is a sweet post, love the picture at the end. So glad he made it home safely. :)

Out on the prairie said...

At least he told you where he wanted to go. My sister used to take off, before cell phones , and drive. Finally my dad noticed his mileage was going up on weekends. She replied, just cruising.

Jules said...

Exactly why I'm thankful I have no children. I know my mothers gray hair is because of me :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

A Tale of Two Cities said...

As the mother of two now grown sons, I feel your angst and relief, recalling those days when I really just wanted to keep them locked in the house and away from potential risks. Glad I'm on the other side of that, although I miss having them underfoot, yes, even the shoes at the door....

Debi

BECKY said...

Beautiful! And, yes...I've lived through those times, too! Thanks for the "recent" memories! :)

Baby Sister said...

I'm glad he made it home okay. :)

Linda said...

I don't have children so haven't gone through this myself. But you write so well that my heart was right there with you. I'm glad it worked out the way it did.

KLZ said...

Oh, those shoes at the door have got to be the sweetest things to ever see.

Brian said...

Ya done good! That's what is called Stress for Success!!!

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Phew. Having grown up in LA and knowing the stadium scene, I've got some fingerprint marks on my window sill too. Will windex do the trick, Betty?
xoRobyn

Sparkling said...

Awesome way to post! I smiled!

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Don't get too stressed he'll be fine,

Enjoy your week-end,

Yvonne.

The Adorkable Ditz said...

I have yet to take a road trip where I drive to LA. I don't want to because it's insane. Just driving through Agoura is bad enough!

http://theadorkableditzmissteps.blogspot.com

Noelle said...

You're a great mom Betty!!!

My Big Secret Blog :) said...

God bless mothers that let their kids GROW! ;)

jenny_o said...

Fearsome, awesome, and then some. Don't know that I could've done it. In the end, we have to trust them sometime, and you know your own kid best. Glad it turned out fine!

Gigi said...

Although Man-Child has his license and car - we have yet to go through that one yet - but it's coming and I know I will feel exactly the same way.

They (teens) think they are bullet-proof while we (parents) know better.

Glad he made it home safely.

Peggy K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peggy K said...

LIttle did he realize that this would become a rite of passage that mom would actually write about!! Y'done good, BB! I'm sure he appreciates it, whether or not he says so.

baygirl32 said...

way to go mom!

SquirrelQueen said...

Will son ever admit to any living soul that the LA traffic scared the living daylights out of him?

Jerry said...

I'm so glad that we are far past that decision stage with our kids now. I'm sure that every decision I made was wrong, but somehow they survived. It looks like you made the right one.

Hilary said...

Oh I know that feeling.. over and over and over again. I felt your panic but mostly I giggled at your humour. Now go hug that boy!

Sarah said...

Who can blame you? Even the best behaving 17-year-old boy can get into trouble. He passed the first test. More to come.

Ashley King said...

woo hoo!!! i just KNOW i'm going to have a hard time letting them go....

growing up, our front door was sooo squeaky. Mr Tillett offered to grease the front door for my mom on multiple occasion, until she said, "that's how i know when the girls get home."

=)

Medeia Sharif said...

Awww, he's home. Next time won't be as painful, I hope.

Have a great weekend.

christine said...

I remember making the decision to allow my daughter to make the rail journed down to London to stay with her boyfriend and his parents, whom I had never met. Such a responsibility. I don't think the fear ever leaves you if you love your kids, you just have to bite down on it and survive!

Shan said...

Whoo, my eyes *and* nose burned with this one. So glad all is well!

Ann said...

Thank goodness for cell phones. I remember when you had to painfully wait with no way of contacting them.

Sandra said...

You are a terrific mother Betty! And you described how mothers all over the world feel when we are forced to let our little birds fly free. I love the part where you fall asleep from exhaustion. I had an "Awwww" moment there and wanted to hug you.
This is the best post I have read in a while!

Trooper Thorn said...

Greater falling action if they were facing the Raptors.

Velvet Over Steel said...

I can so relate to your post & mental state!!! Brought back many, many stressfull mother vs. son discussions and Event from when my oldest 2 sons were in high school. Oh my!! So hard to let them go back then too & I too worried to the point of collapsing!

So very glad that he made it home safely & that You survived more or less, Betty!! Big HUG sent to you!!! ~ Coreen xoxoxo

Tracy said...

Betty,
AMEN!!! to his safe return...Nicholas who goes to 6th grade just across the driveway tells me to stop worrying about him becuase he is just fine!
Mom's...our worrying will never cease; no matter how old they get.

Jimmy said...

Way to go Mom, sometimes we just have to let them do it, if for no other reason but to show that we believe in them.

Marlene said...

Oh I feel your pain!!! I felt the same way when my 19 year old daughter wanted to drive to Canada by herself! She did!!! She did it at least another 20 or so times after that! Whew. They grow up so fast.