My Son’s Choices Really Sting!


I just got a call from my son’s school who told me he had been stung by a wasp.  My first thought was, “Wow, that is so odd because we were just talking last night about a friend of his that got stung by a wasp and what it feels like”.  His teacher didn’t even have to say the words that came out of her mouth next: “He purposely tried to get stung”.  Really?

I have not yet decided on how to handle this when I pick him up at school today.  I do know that I will share the fact I am not proud of his choice but will give him the chance to explain why he did it.  Was it pressure from another friend?  Pure curiosity? Why did he do what he did?  I will also share the risks of being too curious.  What if he was allergic?  What if more than one wasp went after him?  Did he think of the consequences of his actions?  Clearly not.

This is just one of many examples of the questionable choices my seven year old has made.  All of these decisions, luckily have not led to any serious consequences but if he is testing the waters now, what will be do when he is a teenager or in college?  This thought really scares me.  This is not the first time my son has committed an act that was dangerous.

Just a few months back, I found him climbing a fence to get a ball at our local high school lacrosse game, when the sign clearly said not to.  In fact, it said, “DANGER” because there were electrical wires and such that could have electrocuted him.  No one else would go so he decided, “Well…I’ll do it”.  Oy…love this kid but sometimes I wonder…

If you are wondering where I was, all the parents were in the stands watching the game and the kids were running around with their lacrosse team friends on the track.  I kept one eye on him and one eye on the game and soon realized I could not see him anymore.  I quickly told my husband to go find him because not seeing him made me really nervous.  Mother’s intuition. 🙂

I can only imagine what his eye looks like since he was stung right underneath it.  I was once stung by a wasp on my foot and the pain was so unbearable and I couldn’t walk and ended up on crutches.  In fact, I was just telling this story to my son last night and I believe I said, “Avoid wasps at all costs”, which for some reason he translated as, “I must try to get stung on purpose so I can understand what your pain was like”.  Really?

Don’t get me wrong, I want my son to be curious, try new things and be adventurous, BUT his definitions of those things are clearly different from mine.  He has been lucky and one day I am so frightened his choices will lead to something really bad.  Is he trying to get attention?  I am so curious as to why he does these things, knowing that if I was around, I would shake my head and say, “Don’t you dare”.  Perhaps he doesn’t realize the possible effects of his actions?

I don’t have the answers but hoping to get more later when I pick him up.  I will use that ever popular line of, “I’m not mad, I’m disappointed”, which is the truth.  I don’t feel angry but really bummed about his choice to get stung today.

I feel like if I had to sum up my parenting experience as a whole, one word would suffice  Yep, you guessed it, the word would be, “Really”? When I see him, that is for sure going to be the first thing out of my mouth. “REALLY?”

I know this won’t be the last call from his school and with three boys, I know my phone will be ringing quite a few times in the future.  Kids make bad choices.  Teenagers make bad choices.  Adults make bad choices.  I know because I have made a few myself.

The important thing though is to learn from our mistakes and make better decisions next time.  Hopefully he learned his lesson but knowing him, it probably didn’t even hurt and was no big deal.  Hopefully Mom’s disappointment will “sting” worse.