My oldest son is old enough to where he wants to go with his friends. He will, however, be the 'adult' if his younger brother and baby sister need to go to the movies and there's no other adult.
I drive about an hour in the morning to work and about an hour back (I actually make it back quicker) and they get out hours before I'm home.
A lot of times, Jess or Ty or Dona and Jim or all four will take them to a movie. I've told them not to even ask me. They used to when I first moved into C.I.'s. And then one time they missed a movie because I was in a meeting and didn't get their call in time.
They are extended family and I couldn't make it -- nor could the kids -- without them. They are wonderful with the kids and I trust their judgment. So if they decide at 3:40 to see a 4:00 movie, go for it. It's not a problem at all.
My problem is when there's a movie I want to see. "Puss & Boots"? I wanted to see it. I wasn't going to go by myself! I'm far too old for a cartoon. But it's a cat and my daughter loves cats so I asked her to go see it with me and she said "Mother" which is a sure sign that she's very disappointed in me.
She just did not want to see that movie.
And that's fine because Dona and Jim have their baby and, in two years probably, it'll be movie time and I'll just take their baby to the movies! :D
There's one movie that we're going to be seeing with Ty and his boyfriend. (Ty and his boyfriend have been together for five years now -- longer? -- and I want to be clear if someone new stumbles onto this post, I know his name, but he doesn't want to be online so I will only refer to him as "Ty's boyfriend" here.)
My middle son thinks it will be hilarious and he asked me and I said, "Baby, I would love to see that movie with you." That made my daughter jealous. Then she found out it was "21 Jump Street" and, like her mother, she thinks Channing Tatum is a very cute looking man. So she wanted to go. And then Ty and his boyfriend wanted to go and it became a thing so that even my oldest wanted to go. So we'll be seeing that. Is that this Friday, by the way?
I think it is.
So I don't have that problem that Molly does.
I will share a story about a retired co-worker.
And this is why I don't push my daughter to do this and that with me. If I give her space, she'll do plenty with me and she'll also do plenty alone (with her friends) and that's fine and healthy.
What wasn't was this women I'll call "X" who was 65. Her daughter was a senior when the woman was 65. She would not let the girl date. That way it was "more time for us!" The daughter didn't even get to go to prom. The only friends she could have over were her cousins.
The mother was obsessed with Adele and other acts that a teenager should be obsessed with but a 65 year old woman? No.
Then there were the "Twilight" movies. She'd say her daughter kept asking her to sit somewhere else.
And the mother wouldn't. She thought it was a funny game.
No, it wasn't.
The mother wouldn't buy snacks and snuck things in. Fine. When my ex-husband and I were first dating, we'd sneak M&Ms and cokes in.
But she was bringing egg rolls and hamburgers and I forget what the other big thing was. And her daughter was wanting to sit with friends and not with the mother who had everyone staring at them as she pulled out this and that from mthis huge canvas grocery sack she always carried around (even to work).
So that was sort of my "Betty, don't smother your child" moment. Seeing that (and it's much worse than I've described) and not wanting that for my child.
"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):