I tend to shout when I’m angry. So when my teenage son said he lost his cell phone, it felt like an appropriate time to shout.
I wasn’t angry simply because he lost cell phone. I was shouting because this was the third time my son had lost something in a 7 day period.
“You need to have a better system of keeping track of your possessions!” I shouted.
“You don’t think I know that?” he asked with more attitude than was necessary.
“I don’t think you do,” I shouted. “If you did, why do you keep losing valuables?”
“You don’t have to shout,” he said, trying to play the overly calm card.
“What are you going to lose next?” I shouted.
My son walked away without saying anything.
Before you judge me too harshly, realize that I have tried on countless occasions to give my son some friendly advice on how to keep track of his belongings. Without fail, he seems intent on totally ignoring me.
My son’s recent rash of irresponsibility saw him lose a jacket with an iPod in the pocket, an expensive pair of running shoes, and his cell phone.
A couple years ago, my son lost a wallet containing cash, his monthly bus pass, and several gift cards. I had told him if he carried his wallet to school (I didn’t recommend it) to only take what he needed for the day. Instead of doing this, he took a wallet stuffed with all his money and all his gift cards.
I was both upset and sad when my son told me he lost the wallet. I hated to see him lose close to $200 in cash and gift cards (plus the wallet I gave him). After coming to the realization that the wallet would never surface, I convinced myself that the loss would do what I couldn’t – get my son to realize that he needed to be less cavalier with his belongings.
That didn’t happen.
Since losing that first wallet, my son has lost 3 pairs of running shoes, another wallet, and a gym bag. As is often the case, some of these items find their way back home.One pair of shoes were recovered on a SamTrans bus, an alert teammate picked up and returned the jacket, and the cell phone was left in a friend’s parent’s car.
Now we wait to see if these recent losses (and finds) will offer the breakthrough I’ve always wanted.
If not, I’m prepared to shout again.