Shelly T.

I have a friend at work that is trying to train (is that the right word?) me on how to be a better mother to my teenage son. I have never asked her in any way or form for this help nor do I think I need it. But, she has taken me under her wing and I try to pay attention. Her son is brilliant, good looking, tall, athletic and a really nice guy. We try not to roll our eyes as we hear yet another story of his amazing bigger than life accomplishments.

I don’t know how she got the impression that my role in Tristan’s life was less than adequate. It may have started with my ADD. Yes,I have ADD ( tested and everything). Now because of that I have a very hard time staying focused for long periods of time, oh who am I fooling, for ANY period of time.

My friend’s concern started at the beginning of the school year when she asked me which classes Tristan had signed up for.

“AP Chemistry,” I would say not very confidently (you know that little “up speak” we do with the last syllable). I had been told, read his schedule, etc., but was now trying desperately to remember another class. “Spanish, uh, hmm”.

She was on to a new question, “Oh, Spanish II or III?”.

“Three,” I say enthusiastically, feeling the pressure may be off. I’m not really sure if it Spanish III, but I have to prove that I am interested in my son’s education. Then I realize she may have a way of checking on this information, she is a former Assistant Principal of the high school Tristan attends. Maybe she already knows very well what he has and she’s just screwing with me.

“Who does he have?” she asks interested. And the thing is I know she is being sincere. She doesn’t see me as the bug under the microscope that I feel like.

“I would have to check his schedule, I can’t remember,” I mutter uncomfortably. I actually went so far as to print out his schedule and keep it on my desk in case she asked again, which she didn’t.

Every morning she checks in with me and asks me if I’ve checked the paper to see if Tristan has been mentioned in the sports section. He’s in soccer and they are having a really good season.

“ You’ve got to start a scrapbook. I did with Brett.”

A scrapbook? A scrapbook? I have photos from 1998 still sitting waiting to be put into an album. My granddaughter will be 3 years old before I hang her 3 month old photos and she wants me to start a scrapbook? I said she was a friend, I never said we were close.

“I don’t get the paper,” I say apologetically.

“Oh, you’ll have to get the paper, he’ll be in it all the time and you’ll want to cut out the articles for his scrapbook!”

My compliance in this matter has become a slippery slope.

The next day she brought me a “One Month Free” coupon for the Herald.


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