When Maya got home, she went straight into Aubrey’s room to begin her homework. Aubrey was somewhere else on the property taking a phone call she didn’t care for anyone to know she took. Skyla didn’t see Maya when she came home, but she heard her come in and went to find her in her room. She wasn’t there. Skyla knew where to look next. “Hey pumpkin. Why are you always in your sister’s room?”
“I like it in here.”
“I dunno. It’s so…bright…and girly.”
“Oh. Well, if you wanted to redo your room, you could just tell me.”
“Nah. I’ll be too old for this style soon enough. Did you want something, mom?”
“Yeah… We need to talk.”
She was still working on her homework. “About what?”
Aubrey came in to do her homework and totally disrupted Skyla’s train of though. She knew Aubrey probably needed this talk too, but she was only prepared to deal with Maya at the time. Besides, Maya needed to be punished for coming home so late, and Skyla didn’t think it would be right to do in front of her sister. “Ummm…we need to talk about you.”
Maya figured she would bring it up at some point. It was no big deal to her, and she had an answer for everything. She wasn’t sure why her mother was making a big deal out of it and toyed with her already fragile emotions. “Whatever do you mean, mommy? I haven’t done anything,” she said in a mocking tone.
“What’s going on?” Aubrey finally asked.
“Nothing, sweetness. Maya and I just need to have a chat in private…” She waited for Maya to get up and exit the room.
“Ok,” Skyla said. “First of all, I would appreciate it if you would turn that off so we can talk.”
Maya looked at her like she had three heads. “T-turn it off? But…I’ve never turned it completely off before. Isn’t turning it off and on bad for the battery life or something?”
Skyla felt like she was being trolled and was getting a wee bit annoyed. “Just put it on silent or something! I want your full attention, ok?”
“Ok, ok, mom. Geez! You could have lead with that.”
Skyla took several deep breaths before she began her address. “I need to understand why you think it’s perfectly fine for a girl your age to hangout until morning on a school night.”
Maya rolled her eyes. “Moooom. It’s not like we were doing anything bad! We were just hanging out!”
“Until 2:30 in the morning on a school night? And you didn’t even call to check in? That is not ok, Maya.”
Maya knew she was in trouble when Skyla used her real name. “But, mom, I still made it to school! I’m fine.”
“You were late! The principal called here looking for you! And, no, you’re not fine! I see how tired you are right now.”
“Maya! I am your mother. I birthed you and nourished you from my own body. I know you! You think staying out all night only affects you, but what about us? We were up too, and we were worried!”
“But I was fine, mom. You didn’t have to wait up for me.”
“But what if you weren’t fine? What if something happened? You think all of this is ok because you’re only thinking about yourself. That’s what makes me upset. You don’t live in this house by yourself, Maya. You have your parents, and we love you and want what’s best for you. You have a little sister who watches everything you do. Would you think it would be ok for Aubrey to hangout with some boy until whatever hour of the morning?”
Maya sighed heavily and rolled her eyes. “No.”
“Right. It’s not ok for you either. Being older doesn’t give you more privileges. You have to act responsibly and be a good example for your sister.”
“Ok, but mom…don’t you understand? You were young once…I think. I love hanging out with Anthony! When we’re together, I don’t care about what time it is or waking up to go to school! I just want to be with him!”
“I get it, Maya! I do! I felt the same way about your dad, but you have to be responsible and establish boundaries. Anthony seems sweet and you guys are close friends. I don’t think he’s going anywhere, pumpkin. You act like you’re never going to see him again sometimes.”
Skyla’s words made sense, and Maya would consider them even though it was hard.
“Now, pumpkin, you’re going to be a woman soon. I want you to understand boundaries and responsibility now so you won’t find yourself in compromising circumstances later, ok?”
“I think you need some time to think about what that looks like in your life, so you’re grounded for two weeks.”