Oh, my sweet little Beth. She's the kinda girl every mom dreams of having. She's fun. She's incredibly intelligent. She has compassion for everyone she meets. She's loving. And I never have to worry about her getting in trouble.
Ummm, well, scratch that.
She's still fun, sweet, smart, loving, and compassionate. She's also hip deep in Feces River.
I gave Beth permission to spend the night with her friend, Chelsie. Even better, I let Beth drive her car to Chelsie's house. She was on cloud nine. Of course, only angels can stay in the clouds, and tonight, Beth was no angel. She plummeted back to Earth and landed right on her rump.
When I gave Beth permission to drive, I gave her some rules. Not everyone would agree with me on these rules, but that doesn't matter. I'm the mom, which means I'm the keeper of the keys.
First Rule - Don't get behind the wheel unless you have already received permission from me to go somewhere.
Second Rule - You are too inexperienced to have your friends in the car with you, because they will definitely be a distraction. After you've been driving for a month or so, we'll probably let this rule go.
Third Rule - Call as soon as you arrive (or before you leave) so I don't have to panic needlessly.
So, Beth drives off to go to Chelsie's house. My heart was wrenching. I came in to the house and said to my mom, "I just wanna follow her and make sure everything is okay!" Of course, I didn't do that. Instead, I ran an errand for her sister. When I came back, though, I decided to bypass my driveway and head up the road for a mile just to make sure that Beth parked the car on the side street like I instructed and make sure she locked the car.
Hmmm. The car isn't there.
I call home and my mom answers the phone. "Did Beth call?" Nope.
Fortunately, being a child of the new millennium, Beth carries around a set of "electronic handcuffs" in her purse thanks to my overpriced Alltel family plan. I dial her number and she answers. "Where are you??"
I can hear the slight hint of panic in her voice. "I'm at the library. I told you I was going to stop here on the way to Chelsie's and my car stalled out."
Okay, that's reasonable. She has an old car and it's been having starter problems. "Don't worry, I'm just around the corner, I'll be there in 30 seconds." That's when her slight panic turned to full-fledged freak-out mode. She hung up and moments later I pull in to the library parking lot. She gets out of the car and I give the ignition a try, but it won't start for me, either.
She also informs me that she needs me to drive home to get her medicine which she forgot. "No problem, I've got the prescription right here. I'll just take you to Chelsie's right now and I'll get your car later."
Her cell phone rings. It's Chelsie. I'd imagine she's probably trying to figure out why Beth is 45 minutes late. I say, "tell her we're on our way."
Suddenly, though, Chelsie seems to be in more of a panic than Beth. Why? Because she's hiding in the trees a mere 10 feet from Beth's car. Without shoes. In the snow. Yeah, barefoot in the snow. Why? Because Chelsie's shoes are inexplicably locked in Beth's trunk. Did I mention Beth has a two-seater sportscar?
Chelsie says "don't leave!!!" So Beth explains that she's behind the trees. I glare at my formerly angelic daughter and I said, "SPILL IT!"
Beth just couldn't stand the thought of not tooling around town with one of her best friends in tow. When they get to the library, the car won't start (I call that karma...or car-ma, as the case may be) and she's stuck.
Since they need me to come and get the car started, Beth decided to try to hide Chelsie in the trunk. Umm, that'd never work. Even if Chelsie was the size of pre-preggers Nichole Richie, she wouldn't fit in this teeny trunk.
But when I call and say I'm on my way, Chelsie decides to make a run for it and hide so Beth can continue with her little charade. In the meantime, she loses her shoes. Beth, ever the little genius, decides to hide the shoes in the car instead of throwing them to her soon-to-be-frostbitten friend. Chelsie was willing to go along with this little scheme until she saw that I was putting Beth in my car and we were taking off for her house. A mile is a long way to walk barefoot in the snow, after all.
The keys, which Beth finally earned after 11 months of driving practice...they're mine. At least for now.
Oh Beth. I love you. I'm mad as hell at you, but I still love you.
I just don't trust you anymore.