Disconnection Notice

Disconnection Notice

Disconnection Notice 4032 2268 Alison Linnell



Welcome to motherhood (again). Please read the terms of this agreement carefully. You may believe you comprehend the commitment being made (such as, how you will let him eat the last homemade snickerdoodle cookie, even though you may want it, because you know they are his favorite; how you will be informed, repeatedly, of missing assignments at parent/teacher conferences and then try not to be irritated with him for not turning in the homework you not only reminded him about but also spent hours helping him complete; and how you will need to offer encouraging words, a supportive shoulder to cry on, and unending patience in order to tolerate his moodiness when he misses the winning shot at a basketball game), but you should know you will often be surprised how frequently you misunderstand your role in the relationship. The object of this contract is to inform you of the terms and conditions and your responsibilities along with his rights in the services you render.

Upon creating this account, you acknowledge:

  1. a) You will be required to provide everything for your son’s well-being, seeing as, at first, he can do nothing for himself.
  2. b) You will be up most nights with him since he will struggle to sleep when he is not being cuddled.
  3. c) You will be exhausted for days and weeks and months and will come to believe he will never, ever stop crying.
  4. d) You will take him to the doctor’s office often for examination, but you will be told there is nothing wrong with him.
  5. e) You will disregard the doctor’s observation that he might just be spoiled and you should not hold him as much.
  6. f) You will believe there is no way a one-month-old baby can be spoiled.

In addition, you may expect the following, but you should note the agreement can and most likely will be changed at any time, at any place, for any reason, and most often without warning:         

  1. a) You will immediately wonder upon seeing him how you ever lived without him, even though he is your fifth, and last, child.
  2. b) You will be delighted by the joy he brings in little moments of your day; such as watching the fascination a two year old experiences with a garden hose and water; not only will he be entertained for hours, but so will you as he tries to water everything that doesn’t grow (the street, the sidewalk, the basketball standard, the garbage can, his big wheel, the neighbor’s sports car) and not the grass that will.
  3. c) You will, for the most part, especially during his elementary school years, see this relationship as easy to maintain. He will not only be excited for a Slurpee run and another game of UNO, but he will usually recommend them too.
  4. d) You will find other things encouraging, especially the way he approaches adolescence and how he observes his older siblings and wants to emulate their achievements and learn from their mistakes.

Cancellation Policy:

Please note that a request for cancellation by you of your services can never be honored no matter how many times you are up until midnight finishing a book report or a science fair project; you may also believe his smelly basketball uniform found wadded up on his closet floor again – on game day – another reason to cancel your contract, especially when he asks you – as he runs out the door to school – to wash it and bring it to him when it is laundered, but this claim will also be denied;  furthermore, his teenage hormones and his refusal to heed your advice or regard your warnings on things (such as, but not limited to, how eating two spicy McChicken sandwiches, a large fry, and a large Dr. Pepper for lunch should not be a daily occurrence or how it isn’t necessary to ask every girl, who giggles at his jokes, on a date simply because she wants him to) is definitely not a cause for a disruption in the guidance you are required to provide.

Additionally, during the early stages of the relationship, you will think you can control everything and believe the outcome of the relationship resides in your power. However, you should be advised the plans you have (him always being your best buddy, him always coming to Sunday dinner, him always living in the same state as you) for this relationship are subject to adjustments and alterations according to his whims and inclinations, and not yours.




Please be advised that your relationship agreement is under review. This action is required because of that fraught day when you could not find your two-and-a-half-year-old son anywhere. And although it was only nine minutes and thirty-four seconds that you frantically hunted for him in every room of the house, bolting upstairs and downstairs and back upstairs, tearing apart every closet and searching under every bed before your sister, who lives down around the corner and across the street from you, called to tell you that your son was at her home and must have walked the block and a half to her house by himself so that he could play with his cousins, you still lost control of the relationship. Furthermore, it is necessary that you make arrangements for future situations as to how you can be more conscientious in reinforcing what control you may still have.

Alternately, try to see his budding independence as a good thing even though you may still be taken back by the fact that he already knows how – and even has the desire – to run away from home.




You should know your son has been pleased with many aspects of your relationship; nonetheless, it will now be mandatory for you to carry him home, wriggling and wailing, squirming and screaming, when he finds playing cars and building Legos and eating fruit snacks in other homes more enticing than picking up his cars and putting away his Legos and eating his banana and peanut butter sandwich in your home. He will tell you that you are no fun. He will claim you constantly ruin everything fun. Please remember that it is in your contract to, on occasion, ruin his fun.



Your relationship status will be altered from here. You will watch your son skip into his classroom, almost forgetting to turn around to wave good-bye to you as he buddies up to his new buddies. You will stand there on the school grounds longer than you know you should, staring at the door he entered, waiting for him to come back outside crying and running to you because he decided he can’t be away from you for that long. Instead it will be you crying, wondering what you will do for three hours without him.

His father will try to convince you that this is a good thing, that you will now have time to do some of the things you’ve been talking about for years, like training for a marathon or creating a family cookbook, and he will also assure you that your son will survive without you – that it will be good for him to figure some things out on his own. And even though you probably should embrace this new situation, you won’t see him surviving without you as something necessary or necessarily a good thing.



Your skills to build forts from sheets and blankets and pillows and boxes have been appreciated, even admired at first. He will see this as a valued benefit of your relationship. You will pull out all the blankets from the closet and drape them from one corner of the room to another and play Disney Sorry for hours together in that tent. However, when he discovers friends can build forts too, he may not require your assistance as often as you might have anticipated. Some days, this might feel like a positive advancement in your relationship, but then you may begin to worry about what other skills he will find his friends have and how they might be more creative than you.


There will be a day when he follows some friends to the field behind your home to build a fort out of sticks and weeds and discarded wood and cardboard boxes and forgets to tell you where he has gone. You will search the neighborhood for him. You will call his friends’ mothers to ask if they have seen your child. Your concern will grow with each: “No. I haven’t seen him today.”  You will be required to make a judgment call as to if or when you should notify the police.

He will be perplexed by the mixture of tears and fury on your face when he walks through the door, and baffled when you hug him tightly, then shake his shoulders, while scolding: “Don’t ever do that to me again! I almost called the police.” He will not understand what he is not to do again because he does not grasp the panic you felt, or the horrible scenario you imagined of him being kidnapped, and how devastated you were by the prospects of never seeing him again. He will be confused as to why going off with his friend, who possibly makes fort building more fun than you do, worthy of notifying the police.



Upon further review, you are now required to monitor this relationship, at times, from a distance. You will pack his bug spray and sunscreen and ChapStick reiterating to him the importance of each, and you will wonder how you can possibly let him go for an entire week. He doesn’t see this as a problem. As a twelve-year-old boy, he is probably excited to go a whole week without brushing his teeth and have no one pester him about it. On the first day, you will keep your phone with you constantly, checking it often, certain he has forgotten something and needs you to bring it to him. On the second day, when you hear from another mother that she heard that he didn’t pass the swim test and won’t be able to go out on the lake in the canoes, you will wonder if you need to go fix it, but know you can’t. After only six days apart but what felt like seventy-six, you almost won’t recognize him when he walks in the house when he returns home with swollen, chapped lips, and a sunburned, peeling nose, and filthy, grimy, unruly, uncombed hair. After you inspect his bug bites and make him take a shower, you will coat his lips with many layers of Vaseline and will wonder if you should mention the swim test, worried it might make him feel bad, hoping he’s worked through it, but certain he can’t do it without you. When he tells you he chose not to do it because the water was too cold and he didn’t want to get in it, you contemplate if you should have been there to make him do it.

At this point, you should be worrying about what other things – playing soccer, earning merit badges, going to church – he is doing only to please you and not because he wants to do them, but instead you list all the experiences he might miss – making new friends, learning first aid, knowing God – or would have missed if you didn’t push him to do them.



Effective immediately, the position you held – or thought you once held – as a guide in his decision making skills has now been commandeered by teenage girls. They will have a peculiar power over his choices resulting in some even more curious actions. He will not care who you think will be his perfect high school prom date. He may even ask a girl you do not know – and ask her without discussing it with you – because his friends encouraged him to ask a friend of their girlfriends. Your son may even spend more money on the date than you think reasonable. He may even have a horrible time and complain about it to you for weeks after. You may take this as an opportunity to let him know he shouldn’t let his friends make choices for him. You may also take this as an occasion to tell him the importance of not acting on a whim. And you may take this as an opening to let him know of the kind of girl you think he should like. You may wonder after this why he shares less with you about future dates and girlfriends.



Your conversations with him will be interrupted and somewhat restricted from here. He will find himself without you in the car, and perhaps, relieved that you have been relieved of chauffer duties and relieved the twenty question game – How was your day? What homework do you have? What did your teacher think of your paper? What grade did you get? How did you do on your math test? Why was the test horrible? Can you retake it? Did you ask that girl out? What other plans does she have? Did you ask her about the next weekend? How was basketball practice? How many free throws did you make? What time are you leaving for your game? Are you going to be home for dinner? What are you going to eat if you don’t come home? What plans do you have for the weekend? Who else is going to the movie? Why don’t you know who all is going? – has come to an end. He didn’t know that the very thing he once deemed the interrogation chamber could actually bring him so much joy once you were removed from it.

The first time he drives himself to school you will stand at the front room window watching him back out of the driveway not knowing how you won’t stress about his safety until he returns home. You will resist following him. You will resist driving by the school to see if his car is in the parking lot, and he made it there without incident. You will not resist asking him how it went driving to school by himself and you will do this in a variety of different questions – Were you nervous turning left into the school? Was it hard judging how to turn left without anyone helping? Where did you park? How was it backing it out? Would it be better parking farther away from the school? – when he returns.



It is recommended you regulate and amend your feelings and expectations when he returns from a week-long basketball camp wanting to play more basketball with his friends. Even if you cooked his favorite meal, you should not expect that to matter. He will come home long enough to tell you he is home but will immediately leave home with no concrete answer of where he is going or when he will return home. You shouldn’t feel like you should wait up for him, but you will wait up for him anyway hoping he will have time to tell you about his experiences at the camp then, but knowing he will likely be too tired.



As per the conditions of your contract, you will be required to increase your time commitment and emotional support in this relationship when other relationships with females fail him. You will be required to stay up late at night as he sits at the end of your bed on the floor, not looking at you, but needing you. You will assure him that this girl was not right for him. You will assure him that he doesn’t need to change who he is to find the perfect girl. You will assure him that some girl will be absolutely perfect for him.

You should assure yourself that you will be okay and that, even though your relationship will be different, you will survive when the perfect girl for him does come along.



Please be advised that your son will spend significant amounts of time away from you at this point in the relationship. He will even go out of the country for church service. While he is away, you will wonder if he is getting enough to eat. You will wonder if he knows how to find his way around a foreign land. You will wonder if you taught him everything to be safe, to not drink the water but to drink enough water, to be kind to strangers but to not talk with strangers, to be brave and courageous but cautious and aware.

After he returns home with minimal notice after a year of separation, you will be excited that he can now come with you to the Christmas concert your family attends each year. But when he declines the invitation and goes to a basketball game with friends instead, you will make excuses for this – that he missed his friends too, that basketball has always been his thing, that the concert will probably be the same as every other year, that there will always be next year for him to go with you.



The influence you have with your son regarding who he spends his time with has now been terminated. He may show you pictures on dating apps of his potential dates, but you should anticipate him discounting your suggestions. You can badger him about the cute neighborhood girl he should ask out, but you should not be shocked when he says he will her take her out – but never does – only to stop the pestering. You may think the 5’11” blond female majoring in exercise science on the app to be the perfect choice for him, but you should not be surprised when you hear rumblings of the 5’4” dark-haired psychology major he took to the movies instead. You won’t have a problem with the dark-haired girl, but you will be perplexed as to why you did not know she would be someone he’d be smitten by.

You may continue to submit recommendations to him as to how his relationship status may be updated, but your account has been changed and is now honoring his non-reply clause.



Regretfully, your relationship with your son as experienced in the past will be disconnected. Previous notices have been sent but have been mostly ignored, misconstrued, or deemed improbable by you. You must understand that regardless of the deposits made – the games played, the cookies baked, the Slurpees bought, the forts built, the rides given, the hurts repaired – the relationship will not remain the same, and should not.

You should note you will feel foolish after you ask your son what color dress you should wear for the wedding when you realize it doesn’t matter to him, because it doesn’t matter to her, and it is in that moment you understand he only cares about seeing her walk down the aisle in her dress. At the wedding reception, when the deejay announces the mother/son and daddy/daughter dance, you will do an unplanned slow dance with your son. You will be perplexed by this event and wonder if it had only been your idea for all those years to do something choreographed at his wedding. Then later, when you stand among the crowd watching him cut the cake and playfully feed her a piece, you might be thinking about all the times, through all the years you fed him and cooked his favorite meals and the many cakes you made and decorated for his birthday, but you’re fairly certain he will not.

This disconnection will likely feel unjust, unwarranted, and excessive in nature. However, as you consider lobbying complaints to anyone who may listen to you about this disconnection, it would be best to review and examine your relationship plans and expectations instead. You should be warned that more damage than repairs may be done to the relationship by any grievances you lodge and/or submit.



Your relationship will be renewed at a future date when your son has a son (or a daughter). As he rocks his child late at night to calm her down and begins to obsess about protecting and preserving the innocence of his child, he will – somewhat – understand your need to keep him safe, to maintain control, to ask too many questions.

You will want to warn him of the disconnection that will eventually occur, but at that early stage he will think it will be different for him and his child.  And you will hope it will be, but your certain he will one day be dancing with his daughter at her wedding and wondering how that final disconnection came so quickly.

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