Joshua is what many would call a "social butterfly." He doesn't meet a stranger and always makes a friend wherever he goes. Lowell and I aren't quite like that. So having lived here over a year now, this is essentially home to Joshua. Lowell and I still feel like we aren't quite sure where we belong, but Joshua is happy, so it's all cool.
Except for the thirty minute period after church when Joshua is busy socializing with his people while Lowell and I smile at some folks, shake the pastor's hand and are ready to leave. We either sit on the couch in the foyer looking awkward or we sit in the car while we wait for Joshua to finish and realize that we are waiting for him.
So a few weeks ago, after an exceptionally long period of waiting, we had a conversation about how we truly are glad he has lots of friends, but that it is really rude to just wander off and not tell us how long he will be gone or where he will be. He acknowledged this, and then the next week, the same thing happened. We again pointed out that not telling us where he is or how long he will be essentially puts him in charge of the family. We explained that we are fine with him talking to his friends but that he needs to discuss this with us first so that we are all on the same page and so that he can make sure he is not disturbing our plans. We are the parents, we are in charge. You expecting us to wait and us waiting puts you in charge. And that's just not okay. We explained that if it happened in the future, we were going to go on about our day and not take him into consideration just like he has done to us.
Well let me tell ya' what. Yesterday after church when Joshua bounced off to visit with his friends, Lowell and I shook the pastor's hand, got in the car and drove home. (Before you go calling DCFS, the kid is 14, we only live about 2 miles from the church, and he certainly knows enough people that he could bum a ride off of.) But I think it about shocked his shoes off thirty minutes later when he called and said, "Hey, where'd you guys park?" and he got the response "in the driveway."
The funny thing about him is that he wasn't mad at us. He indeed got a ride home from a friend of ours who thought it was the most hilarious thing. She said that Joshua kept saying, "they said they were gonna do that but I never really thought they would." He has assured us that next week, he'll be the first to the car. We told him that next time that happens, we aren't just coming home, we are going out to lunch too. For some reason, I think he believes us.