Friendships with folks

By Jillian Milam
March 31, 2005

The bond between parent and child is something that cannot be bent or broken, especially when students consider their folks as best buds.

“We do fun stuff together,” Cydney Sponagle, sophomore education major, said. “When I was in high school, my mom used to hang out with me and my friends…now I hang out with her and her friends.”

Most kids go through a grueling process before receiving the parent’s approval to go out on dates. Not for Sponagle, though. In fact, her mother joins her.

“We have gone to the movies together with my boyfriend and her boyfriend,” Sponagle said.

The whole dating scene is one aspect that challenges a child-parent relationship. Another significant issue that raises problems when raising kids is the dreaded curfew. Walking through the front door knowing that you are 30 minutes late, just to find your mother sitting on the couch waiting for you is not a pleasant moment. However, it is something that Sponagle does not worry about frequently.

“Last Friday we took her best friend, Kendra, out for her birthday at the bar,” she said. “We ended up staying out until 1:30 a.m.”

This mother-daughter relationship goes deeper than just having good times together. The death of Sponagle’s father left her mother a widow at the age of 21. This created a connection between the two that instilled crucial elements like honesty and a tie that cannot be undone.

“When I was growing up, she was just always very honest and open with me and I was with her,” she said.

Jay Radka, sophomore journalist major, shares a similar friendship with his mother.

“Being the hermit college student, I don’t get home very much,” he said. “But on my rare homecomings, we celebrate with a bottle of Carlo, Rossi or Paisano wine.”

When Jay isn’t celebrating with his parents, his friends are. “Everybody loves my parents! One night I was throwing some back with my friends and my mom sat down…she played poker with us all night…it was fun,” Radka said.

When asked if he enjoys his mother’s friendship with his own group of buddies, he said, “Absolutely! But my mom takes my keys away.”

TJ Crowthers, sophomore social work major, doesn’t mind her mother’s friendship with her clique of girls either.

“I always want her to come out with me…I’ve asked her to come to parties with me!” Crowthers said.

Although she feels like she can talk to her mom about anything in the world, her friends share the same notion. “All of my friends feel like they can talk to her like she is their best friend too,” Crowthers said.

Protectiveness and freedom can sometimes be hard to juggle with a close mother-daughter relationship but stands not as an obstacle for Crowthers and her mom.

“Growing up, she would always chauffer me around and sometimes wait in the car for me so nothing bad happened…when I used to go to clubs she would drive me there, then wait in the parking lot the entire time so she could give me my space, but be there in case I needed her,” she said. “So she is protective but gives me my freedom at the same time.”

Before going to college, Mrs. Crowthers wanted TJ to experience what drinking was all about firsthand. “She wanted me to learn my limits while I was with her,” Crowthers said.

Nowadays, Crowthers is learning how to make Alabama Slammers with her mother’s experience from her bartending days.

“Don’t get me wrong, my mom is a goodie-goodie! She’s not like ‘Oh, let’s go out and do bad stuff and get drugged up,'” she said. “But if I did, I could tell her.”

Posted to the web by Shane Evans

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Jillian Milam

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