08/02/2012 05:32 EDT | Updated 10/02/2012 05:12 EDT

Would You Leave Your Teen Home Alone?


When my husband and I recently escaped from our four month long home renovations, our teenagers, our two Labrador retrievers and the cold and wet Vancouver weather, we left our 19-year-old son home alone for two weeks. Our daughter, the Weird One, was working as a counsellor at a residential YMCA Camp so was out of the picture (or so we thought). As you might imagine, we were a little nervous.

OK, I was actually scared stiff.

Yes, we had multiple discussions -- he and I, he and his dad and the three of us. Again and again we said:

  • remember to take out the garbage
  • don't spend too much money
  • look after your sister if she comes home on the weekend

When we booked our trip we figured our son, the Obnoxious One would have a job. Early in the summer he had several promising leads working at either a restaurant or hotel. Unfortunately the economy in Vancouver is not that different from the rest of North America; jobs for university students were very hard to come by as employers wanted kids who would be around come September. And jobs were even tougher to get for kids with little or no experience like the Obnoxious One. Because our trip was paid for and my hubby and I both needed/wanted a vacation badly, we went anyway. But, I kept my fingers crossed the whole time and said a little prayer each night.

In the meantime, I did text and/or email the Obnoxious One every day or two, especially at the beginning of our vacation to check up on him. So which response do you think I received from him?

  1. "Hi Mom and Dad. Everything here is great. No need to worry. I haven't got a job yet but I had an interview and am still looking very hard. Hope you guys have a wonderful time in Europe," or
  2. "The house burnt down. I'm in jail and my sister was killed in a bus accident"?

Yep, he sent the first response and I'm so proud. The Obnoxious One certainly knows how to handle his worry-wart mother. That's my boy!

Have you left your teen home alone? Were you worried?