When B walked home from band practice at the park, he arrived half an hour earlier than usual, which was odd, because I’d lent him our zoo pass and suggested that he look at the animals as well as play on the play ground. He sat down and said in a voice that sounded like he’d like to be disrespectful but wouldn’t, "Mom, please read the member’s manual more carefully before suggesting that I go to to zoo by myself, no one under the age of 16 can visit the zoo without an adult!"
Well, I hadn’t read the manual, we’ve been members on and off since B was a toddler, and DH was on a first name basis with some of the keepers, I figured that we knew the deal. I phoned DH to ask him if I should talk to the zoo administrator about the manors of the ticket booth clerk, but he interviewed B on the phone and decided that the person hadn’t been rude to B or tried to humiliate him, he’d just been officious and B was embarrassed.
B is so responsible, that when he was playing with K this morning, I heard him say, "Oh, no wonder you aren’t laughing, your diaper is full, Don’t worry, I’ll change you." and he did.
How annoying that he can’t go see the animals he’s been enjoying since he could barely walk, just because I wasn’t there. Some actuary somewhere must have calculated based on a table that young people are likely to do something lethally expensive if they weren’t attended by their parents, and with a lion and snow leopard, I suppose lethally stupid could be just plain lethal.
But my son is not stupid. And what is wrong with our culture we are raising a generation that cannot be trusted to go to the zoo until they are 16?
As I washed my dishes, and baked biscotti for the family reunion in a few weeks (biscotti keep really well because they are so dry, so I’m baking them today in the cool weather so I don’t have to turn the oven on later when it might be really hot) I listened to my local NPR interview some childhood experts. One said, "Of course some people take sheltering their children to the extent that they homeschool them." I wanted to phone in and tell this story as a, "So there!" and, "Take that!" but I sound stupid when I am angry, and they probably had all their phone lines full by then anyway.
More importantly, I shouldn’t be taking revenge, but leaving room for God’s wrath, not that the uninformed expert had actually done me any harm, and the zoo officials do need to protect their animals.
I just wish I hadn’t set my responsible boy up to be embarrassed by a world that isn’t used to responsible children, and limits their freedom by expecting them to be spoiled.