October 31, 2012

it killed the cat

When we lived up in NY there was a girl who was friends with one of our daughters. She came with us everywhere; she truly was a part of our family. And the reverse was true our daughter was just as comfortable and welcome at her house and with her family. But our families eventually moved to different neighborhoods and the girls took to writing letters with each other about what ever teen girls do when they're teen girls. I should also say that we had a comfortable friendship with her parents they were nice people and I believe they thought the same of us.

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  snooping curiosity!!

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."

I have to mention dear readers I don't much care for snooping I prefer talking to my children and have them talk to me back. I do realize every parent has the right to their own parenting style her style was not my style. I find snooping to be incredibly distasteful and disrespectful. I thought it was sad and unfortunate that in order to find out what her daughter 'was up to' she had to snoop. But what really upset me was that she was reading my daughters letter in the process.

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.

Big sigh...

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.


  1. OMG! I did NOT expect the way that ended with the apology call. Apparently, apples don't fall far from the tree (speaking of that family). I would have reacted exactly like you. My kids tell me things, always have, because we communicate. I never snooped either because of that. With friends like that, who needs enemies but I felt very bad that your daughter got mixed up in that!

  2. The really sad part was that it happened after years of friendship. Times change and I believe people change, too... and not always for the best.

  3. That is sad what the husband said to your daughter. She, daughter, realized she had done a wrong thing by calling the mom that name and wanted to make amends for it and he shut the door on that and of course I'm sure the friendship as well. Very sad.

    I've tried not to snooop over the years; I've had some legitimate reasons perhaps to snoop. I tried to communicate with them and keep lines of communication open but with my daughter's severe depression and suicidal thoughts at times, I had to sort of snooop behind the scenes to see if I could divert anything she might be planning to harm herself.

    I hope your day was a good one


  4. Wow. Just wow. I am with you. I can't stand snoopers. It isn't right. Kids, especially teens, need to be able to express their torrent of emotions without fear. I guess your daughter learned a valuable lesson about name-calling in writing - don't do it. And sounds like you are better off without those so-called friends.

  5. I don't even know what to say about this. Your daughter was clearly sorry for what she did (even if it was deserving). How do you explain the reaction of the father to her? I think it's unfortunate when we have to explain to our kids that some people just aren't that nice. I hope their daughter can rise above her parents' behavior.

  6. I can NOT believe he said that to your daughter. I am appalled by that. He's a grown-up and should be reacting maturely. Ridiculous!

  7. Oh me, oh my! That father should be ashamed of himself! Teenagers will be teenagers, but adults should act their age and not their shoe size. The family apparently has bigger issues brewing and you guys are better of without them being apart of your lives. Good riddens!

    1. Never spoke to the mother or the father again so I can't say whether they were ashamed or not. But my daughter learned her lesson and then some but good.

  8. That is horrible! Good riddance, I say. I'm sorry that your daughter had to go through that nightmare with a friend and her psycho parents. Geez.

    1. They seemed so normal when we saw them. Kinda shines a light on why their daughter spent such a tremendous amount of time at our house!

  9. --"Bitch" is indeed the perfect title for this woman...and I can't say much for her yucky, horrible husband either.

    This is one friendship I'd kick out on its ass and never look back at.

  10. Funny what comes out of the mouths of babes huh! I see you agree. Me too!

  11. This is a sad situation and yet, really? The mother clearly stepped over so many boundaries and her reaction certainly could not have rebuilt any trust that was lost within that family. I know 15 year olds. I know they can be mean. They also can try on different personas, jus to see how that might feel/look. And peer connections mean the world to them. YOur daughter may have simply been supportive to her friend, clearly never intending for anyone else to see the letter. And, really? bitch? come on - that's not a respectful term and all that stuff but it didn't call for dissolving a friendship. I wonder if there was something else that the mother was afraid of? or jealous about? Interesting situation. Good for you to honor privacy - I tell parents they have to know that their children are safe but they don't have to snoop unless they have a specific reason to be doing that -- One caveat - FaceBook - what problems that causes among kids! I would rather not see kids under high school age having FB pages - and I would still want my child (as a 15 year old) to show me her page and the page of any friend I want to see. FB can be brutal.

  12. oh my gosh..if that family got so upset with being called a bitch that is the least of their problems...there is clearly more going on than that....I sometimes feel like the lone soul too in respecting privacy of my kids...my friends sometimes gossip on and on about other friends kids from stuff they see on Facebook...and it is like they stalk their Facebook..oh well, like you said..nothing you can do but let it go...

    1. I don't get it Annmarie! You'd think at our age they'd have something more interesting to do! I hate snooping, don't even get me started on gossip!!

  13. Wow. Wow. Wow.

    Shame on that family! Seems the daughter is trapped!

    Good for you for doing the right thing

  14. Wow is right!! It's funny Amory this happened a long time but... the lessons like the ones we learned here really kinda stick with ya.

  15. Your poor daughter! Trying to take the high road and do the right thing does not always pay off, but I really wish our children didn't have to learn that lesson!

  16. She learned her lesson and she was safe, most important to us.

    Actually we all learned something with this experience so I guess that's something :)

  17. I am sorry for your loss. I pray that grace may eventually shine in the dark places of this situation. I know, from my own experience from broken relationships, that the sense of loss and pain in these kinds of situations can be heavy burdens that take a lot of prayer and grace to get through, but God heals and brings good things even after being burned. I pray that you and your daughter and the other girl and her parents will be blessed with His healing.

  18. Your daughter was only responding to her friend and most young girls would have done the same. I would not have read my daughter's letter and would not have reacted in that way eitther.I would probably have laughed and realised they were talikng about me snooping. My mother in law was a terrible snnop. When my daughter stayed with her she used to go through her overnight bag, why? I don't know it was just her nature to be nosy. She would ask the kids a question then aske my hubby and me the same one just to see if it was all the same anwers. It made me mad lol!!


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