When my son was in grade school, he made friends with a difficult child. The friend mostly came to our place for play dates, and I got the distinct impression that his mother and sister were looking for somewhere to dump him so they could have “girl time.” These visit usually ended in tears on my son’s part. The friend tormented him or enticed him into breaking rules that got them both in trouble.
When they went to middle school, my son and the friend didn’t maintain contact.
Fast forward to now. My son is 14 and a freshman in high school. Lo and behold, over the Christmas break, the friend (actually, the friend’s mother and sister) have made contact in an effort to reconnect the friend with my son. When we came back from a few days out of town, there were three voice-mail messages. The first was from the friend’s sister, who literally said, “You may not remember us, but…” She went on to say her brother wanted to get back in contact with my son. There was a message from the friend himself, and another message from the sister.
Yesterday, we got home from church to find another message from the sister. Late in the afternoon, the phone rang and my husband took a call from the mother, who wanted to arrange a get-together that day. My husband said it was really too late, but a future date might be possible, depending upon our son’s schedule.
Bottom line: Our son has stated that he does not want to rekindle a “friendship” with this kid. (The kid is at the same high school as our son, but our son says he never sees him.)
The sister has called twice tonight. We didn’t answer either time.
I think the family’s persistence in the face of minimal response from us indicates their cluelessness. I’m afraid that if we answer the phone and give non-specific excuses about other plans, the family will just keep calling in hopes of finding a time where there are no “other plans.”
Letting the calls go to voice-mail and not returning the calls feels really rude, but I think it might be the only way they’ll get the message. I don’t think any good can come from laying it all out for them.
How would you handle this?