Where did I go wrong?

My husband and I are blessed with five children evenly spaced out with two years in between them. They really are good kids but sometimes I wish that the two oldest girls would have a bit less of drama in their relationships. Well, the oldest one, 19, left for college a few weeks ago and I was spending a “girls’ Friday night” with Cheryl, my 17 year old daughter since my husband was away on business as usual. The other kids were in their rooms, I thought. Cheryl and I had been watching romantic comedies and chatting until well past midnight when I heard a car drive away which was strange since our neighborhood is very calm at night. Soon afterwards the front door was slowly and carefully opened and Mike, 15, tiptoed in. Well, in those shoes that really was the only angle his feet could be in. In the few seconds before he noticed us I could see from his satisfied face that he had had a very good evening. The smeared lipstick on his otherwise immaculately made up face confirmed this. I had not had the least suspicion of his leanings! Where did I go wrong?

The stunned and slightly disgusted faced of Cheryl only served to reinforce my feeling.

I had to admit that he was very cute. He was wearing a blouse and four-inch heels that I recognized as Cheryl’s. He was much more adept in walking in those shoes than Cheryl! The skirt he must have got himself since I didn’t remember seeing that before. A very nice and expensive looking skirt except there was a big pink stain on it. He really must learn to take care of his clothes better!

As soon as Mike saw us he was thunderstruck. Well, so was Cheryl.

Not wanting to start off in a confrontational way I asked him:

“Did you have a nice date?”

Embarrassed but happy he answered:

“Yes Mum. It was lovely. First we went and saw a play and then we had a delicious dinner. Then we danced and danced. Roland is a great romantic!”

“Did he give you a kiss before leaving?”

No need for an answer there. That kiss must have been something! Maybe I should let my husband talk with Roland?

“You know that I don’t allow you kids to date until you are sixteen without my consent and I assume that you asked your sister’s permission before borrowing her clothes.”

His face that had been slightly pink before took on a deeper shade. He averted his eyes. First to Cheryl but seeing how furious she was he started looking at his feet … and very pretty feet they were too. The thin pantyhose didn’t hide the fact that his toes were painted in the same becoming red nuance as his nails and lips.

Our voices had woken up my two youngest children and they came downstairs to see what was happening. Their disapproving faces only bore home how I had failed in raising my children.

How could I have raised such prejudiced children? Why did Mike feel he had to hide the fact that he was transgendered or at least somewhere in the LGBTQ spectrum? Where did I go wrong?

I could see tears forming in the eyes of Pete, my thirteen year old son, and he spoke in a pained voice:

“Hey! That’s my favorite skirt you are wearing! And you’ve ruined it!

Right. That did it! I realized that I had been too negligent a parent.

I needed to get tougher. Not only had Mike sneaked out on a date without my approval and borrowed his sister’s clothes without her consent. He had also taken his (her?) little brother’s FAVORITE skirt without leave and RUINED it! That kid was sooo grounded!



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This story is 640 words long.