I started a post last night that was originally titled Teenagers or This is Why Some Animals Eat Their Young.
I've mentioned before that in addition to my 8 month old baby, I also have a 19 year old (not living at home) and a 17 year old. I related some amusing-yet-makes-your-brain hurt moments I've had with my 17 year old son.
For example, he forgot his key the other day. Instead of calling me or calling my mother, who has a spare key and lives just over a mile away, he scaled the neighbor's fence, got their ladder, manuevered it over the fence into our muddy mire of a back year. Then he proceeded to climb in a second floor window, tramp across the house to open the door, return BACK across the house to go back out the window, down the ladder, through the mud, over the fence, yadda yadda yadda.
Did I mention we HAD beige carpets?
Also... I roasted the last of the Costco 4 (chicken, anyone? Can I offer you a sammich???), I figured we'd have at least one of them for supper... While I was on my way home I got a phone call from the boy.
"Mom? Are these chickens for eating?"
"One would hope so, why?"
"I hope its okay if I ate some..."
"Sure, I was going to serve one for dinner, so you can eat some of the other one."
"Well, I kinda punished the chicken."
"I ate it."
"All of it?"
"Oookay. Well, we had two."
"You ate BOTH chickens???"
Yes indeed. He ate both whole, roasted chickens. In one sitting. This kid weighs a buck and a quarter soaking wet.
Moments like these make my brain hurt but grateful. We've had a tough year since school began, frankly. It started with having to change his ADD meds and he didn't react well at all. And a group of his "really great friends" started making some stupid, stupid choices such as constantly skipping classes and my son went right along with these choices too.
He started to straighten himself up for a while, even got his first job as a busboy.... then some guys followed him home one early evening and pulled a gun on him in a church parking lot. He actually kept his wits and his mouth shut and the only thing hurt was his pride.
At one point he ran away for a week. At one point I found a twelve-pack of Bud Light. (let's also stop to consider the overwhelming amount of substance abuse on both sides of the family, shall we?) More truancy. More heartache. Counseling, school meetings, substance abuse treatment, you name it.
Well. he actually got into a fistfight with my husband, his stepfather, in November. I got caught in the middle and trampled. My husband got him pinned while I called 911. When the police arrived, he was arrested. Damn. We became an episode of Cops.
Well.... more substance abuse treatment, more counseling, lots of work. And then his doctors had the bright idea to TELL him that any treatment or counseling via Kaiser Permanente is VOLUNTARY on his part. That anyone over 14 can refuse treatment and counseling and no one, including parents, can make him do it. Are you KIDDING me??
So I then started coughing up close to $300 a week for private treatment and counseling, which certainly ate away any savings we had, but what are you going to do? Shrug and decide not to do it??
We've had ups and downs since then... I'll skip the details. I have hit more brick walls than I ever thought could exist. I have met with police, I have met with doctors, I have meet with school officials. And all I could do is wait for him to pretty much hang himself with his own rope.
But just as I was getting ready to post last night's piece, there was a pounding on the door. I open the door and there's a county police officer and.... my son. In handcuffs.
He got picked up with a kid that's really well-known to the local cops - a kid I had to call the cops about a few months back, in fact, because he showed up at my door with three cars full of kids, pounding on my door and screaming threats at 1am. My son says "oh yeah, but we're tight now!" Well isn't THAT special. This kid has no license, they were drinking beer in the car and my son had pot on him. But hey! They're tight.
I'm just as angry as I was last night, but today I think I'm a little clearer with it. I knew this was going to happen, sure. He's a substance abuser and he doesn't WANT to stop. I don't know too many people who quit the first time they got caught. He said the right things, he went through the motions, but he didn't quite mean it.
He said more things last night... he might mean it a little more, but whether he's truly ready? I don't know.
So excuse me please, for not bringing any 'funny' to the table today. I'm still trying to wrap my head around how I got here and why I just can't seem to get out of it if I'm "doing all the right things", as the courts and police and schools and counselors are telling me.
I'm doing all the right things.
But that's not much comfort right now, because those right things don't seem to be working really well.
If you have a spare prayer or thought or even kick in the ass to send my way, I could use 'em. And in the meantime, at least my husband has taken the baby to visit his grandmother this weekend, so perhaps my older son & I can tackle the latest issues.