The girls had been friends for seven or eight years and were fifteen when one day ....
The mom called me one in a rage telling me how I needed to discipline my child for being disrespectful towards her. I was taken back by her anger and I have to be honest like most I don't much like anyone telling me what to do especially when it comes to my children; but I took a deep breath and asked her what was going on.
She went on to tell me that my daughter called her a bitch in a letter she had written to her daughter.
"How do you know?" I asked.
As a parent we all want to believe the best of our children and I confess I'm no different. But my daughter had been corresponding with her daughter for months. I asked myself what possibly could have been the reason for her calling this woman that I know she adored a bitch? I wasn't naive teenagers are capable of pretty dumb things even cruel behavior and at the very least I wanted to understand why she did what she did.
"You saw this letter with your own two eyes?"
"I read the letter myself." she responded curtly.
Oh I thought to myself my daughter was gonna be puuuunished!
"May I ask how you came to read this letter?"
"No. I just read the letter; now will she be punished or not?"
"Can I infer from that answer that you didn't have permission to read this letter?"
The silence was deafening and long enough for me to put two and two together and figure out she read the letter during the act of
For my own piece of mind however I wanted to be clear of a few things.
"Were the girls doing something that pushed you to read the letters?" If there was I think you owe it to me to tell me. "Was it drinking, drugs, boys and sex, cheating in school, shoplifting something that you thought might put our daughters in danger that the letters might reveal?"
"My actions are not your concern or your business" she told me." "The only reason I'm calling is to insist you punish your daughter."
What I do know is we instilled in our children that our home and family is always a safe place and that they could be assured of their privacy. It is something that we consider sacred in our house- privacy. That being said my daughter messed up and I assured her I would talk to my daughter and she would be punished. Our phone call was over and I had a sneaking suspicion that our friendship was too.
My daughter told me through torrents of tears that she was very ashamed that she called the mom a nosy bitch. The missing piece of course was why. She said she was actually responding/agreeing with her friend calling her mother a bitch when she found her snooping thru the things in her room. Doesn't get my daughter off the hook she is fully responsible for her own actions but explains why what happened happened.
My kids are fairly sensitive kids and my daughter was more upset at our disappointment in her than in the one month punishment she received. We also suggested that she call the girls mom to apologize and talk it over with her. A letter of apology wouldn't go over well for obvious reasons.
The next evening our daughter dialed the phone and the father answered, my daughter said "hi may I please speak to your wife I'd like to apologize." He called my 15 year old daughter a fuckin bitch and hung up on her.
We've always been blessed with good friends. We as individuals and as a family have always been able to navigate the ups and downs of our relationships with this one exception.
Sometimes situations just seem to take on a life of their own and there's nothing to do but let it go.