In the grand scheme of life, it isn't a big deal, and quite honestly it isn't far off from anything Matt and I may or may not have done when we were his age. The sad truth for Eli is that if he had asked permission, we would have granted it. The biggest issue of the whole situation is that the kiddo took a giant stab at the trust we had placed in him. And trust is something that we speak about often in our home. We have expressed to the boys that we want to trust them, but our trust in them is dependent on their actions. Do they show me I can trust them or do they show me that our trust would be misplaced?
I think there is probably a time in most parents' lives when their child flips the switch from being totally trusted to having his every move and claim scrutinized. My other child flipped that switch at like 4 years old. He's a shady one. This guy was the one I relied on to tell me the truth, good or bad. I know he hasn't always been honest with me, but he also isn't characterized by lying.
So now we enter this chapter of our lives where we have to work really hard to balance giving the kids the chance to have fun, be with friends, and grow into themselves with guarding them from putting themselves in difficult situations. In a nutshell my job just got more difficult. Though I haven't been turning a blind-eye up to this point, I have been more trusting than I feel I can be in the coming weeks, months, years, decades....
Parenting teenagers is hard. Thankfully, I have a few things working for me, and them.
1. We have given them a solid foundation of strong moral values. They know right from wrong, I don't have to tell them. This doesn't mean they will make the right choice, but there is no doubt in my mind that they know when they are making a poor choice.
2. We have a crowd of witnesses praying over them. Before my kids were born my peeps became their peeps. They were prayed over, they are being prayed over, and will continue to be prayed over until the end of time.
3. The power of the Holy Spirit trounces their ability to hide things from me. I'm not suggesting that God will reveal every little thing they do wrong to me, but I do know that I found out about these shenanigans because something inside me told me to unfold a simple bit of paper I found on the ground. I pray that the stirring down inside of me will help me bust the kids when they need to be found out!