Living Out Loud: : Protection

Father and Son

Nov 20, 2007 at 2:06 pm

He's the parent of a teenager. His son plays football and is nearly finished with his sophomore year of high school. The son says football players get all the girls, and the father wants to believe it's an all right reason for his teenage boy to play the game.

The son's a good kid. He avoids trouble and does well in school. He has career goals that include pursuing a college education. He and his father talk often and have a good relationship. The father thinks he has the typical, average, teenage son.

The father has only experienced one major setback. That's with his son's ex-girlfriend, Beth.

From the first moment he met her, the father sensed trouble. She called their home nearly 10 times a day. The father stopped answering the phone when he recognized her number on the caller ID. The constant phone calls began to wear him thin on patience.

The father always made a point of overhearing their phone conversations. On one forgettable day, the son apologized throughout the entire phone call. The father didn't know what his son could have possibly said or done to require so many apologies.

He went to his son's room and found Beth's love letters. The father didn't realize a 13-year-old girl could write such explicit words. The letters angered him. He didn't need a pregnant teenager knocking on his door.

The father asked his son to stop the "dysfunctional" relationship. The son didn't want to, and he continued to date Beth.

The father thought his son would eventually make a mistake justifying an intervention. The father wanted to believe that maybe it was best that his son learn on his own about promiscuous teenage girls, but this made him uneasy.

The day of the intervention arrived quickly for the father with another phone call from Beth. The son abruptly hung up the phone and nervously told his father he needed to visit a friend.

The father asked him if he planned to meet with Beth. The son looked directly at the father and said, "No."

The father looked at the phone to check the last number dialed. He confirmed that the call was from Beth. The son had lied to him, and the father didn't understand.

Taking a drive, the father searched for his son and eventually found him at a nearby park. He was with Beth, sitting on a picnic table.

The son was immediately ordered into the car by his father. On the ride home no one said a word.

The father would not allow his son to see Beth any longer. After that, their relationship became cold and distant. The father, knowing he had done the right thing, figured his son would come around sooner or later.

Months later their relationship is still ice cold. The father wants to talk to his son, but the son doesn't want to listen. The father thinks he's hiding secrets from him.

A few days ago the father went into his son's room, turned on his computer and read an e-mail sent to his son from Beth. She was now going to another high school and had a new boyfriend. It was an e-mail saying goodbye.

The news made the father happy. He had done his job. He had protected his average teenage son.