I managed to gather one of my son’s college buddy’s phone number. Earning this phone number was a simple as simply asking for gift suggestions — in secret. But at the same time, the privilege of keeping this number does come at a cost. I know that I can never play the “mom” card with this number – asking questions that in any way “hint” at the prospect that I am merely using the friend to check up on my son. The second I do that, I can guarantee my number will soon become “blocked.”
- What am I talking about are questions that merely suggest gathering real-time information, such as:
- What are you guys doing tonight? Hanging out? That would just be “weird.”
- So, is he home yet? I haven’t heard from him all day. Sounds too needy…
- What time did you guys get up this morning? Really?!
- Has he been eating the carrots I bought down there? Total embarrassment.
It’s best, I’ve learned to not even offer advice — no matter how valuable. Much better to wait until asked. And yes, you will be asked.
- Here are some appropriate friend-of-your-son texts:
- Heads up. I’m sending banana bread — make sure the UPS man doesn’t steal it from the mailbox.
- Do you guys prefer nuts in your chocolate chip cookies — or just chips?
- It’s finals week, and we’re ordering pizza for you guys, and should be there by 10. Do you want the works — or just pepperoni?
And you will be rewarded in small, important ways:
Like the video they send you of them singing happy birthday to your son. But far more important, are the multiple texts that come from your son, and his friends that say, “There’s a shooter on campus, and we are all safe at home.”