Sunday night was not really pretty at our house. Rob had permission to spend the afternoon with his girlfriend. The agreement was that they were supposed to go our our church's Soulful Sundown Vesper service at 6 as they both had parts in the service and then Rob was staying for Youth Group.
Girl friend is feeling disconnected from youth group this year. I think it is partly due to her spotty attendance there--friendships can only deepen when you are present to work on them-- and partly due to the fact that she has a lot on her plate in other areas of her life. But whatever the reason, she has had dramatic emotional incidents a couple times at youth group and only been consoled by Rob standing outside holding her and talking to her.
We have made it clear to Rob that this is not a dynamic that we feel comfortable with. He loves youth group and has lots of friends there. This is also his last year as part of that group and there is a certain amount of "senior year" stuff that goes with being the oldest members of this large and active group. I also feel if T is that upset, that others need to be involved in allaying her concerns.(and the concerns change weekly). However, it is very hard for a young man in love to get that or to ignore that powerful feeling that one is protecting and aiding your one true love.
Hence, T convinced him to bag youth group Sunday night and return to her house. She dropped him back at church a few minutes before youth group was over and before my wife arrived to pick him up. The initial conversation when K and Rob returned home was not ever going to win us Parents of the Year. My wife had her Viking temper going in full force, which was understandable, but a bit counter productive to trying to talk with a teen. A teen who was sure that we were being unfair to the love of his life, that she desperately needed him, etc etc. Eventually, I convinced K to go make a cup of tea and when she came back things were calmer.
I explained to Rob that despite how much T may or may not have needed him, they had a responsibility to a) be where we had agreed people would be, and b) communicate with us if there was an emergency. I pointed out that if we had a family emergency we would have raced to church to get him--only to find he was not there.
That was the point when I saw the anger go out of his eyes and remorse instead. Teens, especially teens in the throes of first love, are so self absorbed. And much of this age is about breaking away and asserting oneself. But it had never occured to him that family could need him and not be able to find him.
Over the past couple days he has been very attentive to the littles and extra helpful around the house. I can tell that this is his way of showing he is sorry for the incident.