I was thinking this morning that parents are always eager to feel pride and a sense of accomplishment when their child does something great, but quick to avoid responsibility when their child does something wrong. So, I'm not sure if parents can take a lot of credit for the way they've raised their child (because good parents can raise a difficult child and rotten parents can somehow manage to produce a responsible child from time to time), but I have to say I feel so proud of my daughter right now.
Last night Hayley went to the mall with a friend. This particular friend has been troublesome from the start, with ups and downs happening all the time. Just not an easy friendship. But Hayley went with her and was planning to spend the night at this friend's house. At one point, Hayley called me, all excited, because she had won a "Twilight" trivia contest at Hot Topic (the prize - authentic looking vampire fangs! HA). She had to borrow her friend's phone because hers wasn't working. About an hour later, I get a call from an unknown number. It's Hayley again, this time on a stranger's phone. She's calling me to say her friend has just stolen a wallet from the store and after repeated attempts to get her to take it back, Hayley finally took the wallet and returned it to the store herself. She was calling to be picked up because she no longer wanted to hang out with this friend. I was so happy she had done the right thing, and so disappointed in her friend for putting Hayley in this situation (not to mention for making a really bad choice!). I immediately went to pick her up. Hayley's wallet was still in her friend's purse, so this friend and her mom stopped by a few minutes later to return the wallet. The mother apologized and I told her Hayley could no longer hang out with her daughter. This was the final straw for me. I've almost never interfered in my kids' friendships figuring it's their job to work things out, but this time I drew the line. The past history with this girl has been nothing but trouble and she has never been a true friend to Hayley. It's just not worth it. I told Hayley she needs to set her boundaries and seek out true friends. And people who are like-minded (clearly shoplifting and juvenile hall are not part of Hayley's plans!). Sadly, this friend may be sent to live with her dad as she has been in so much trouble. I feel very sorry for this girl and hope she gets the help she needs (and the firm parenting she needs). And I'm very proud of my daughter for doing the right thing and being ok with it, even though she was ridiculed ("you're such a mom") and told she was uncool. She's a good kid with a good moral foundation and I know it will take her far in life. But you don't often get opportunities to see your kids' moral side in action and to know she did the right thing makes me think we must be doing something right. Way to go Hayley. Mommy loves you!