It's been a hellish week - the child, J, isn't attending school. At all. We've got the school involved, he'll be cited (50 hours community service for him; three hours in court, court costs and getting up early to take him to community service for us), he's lost his phone, computer time, money for lunch, rides anywhere. He still has a warm bed to sleep in, food, clothes, medical care. He left without permission to hang out with friends and didn't come home until nine o'clock. He grinned at me through the front door's window, cold yet sweaty from skateboarding in 60 degree weather. Hungry. I was surprised to see him, sure he'd stay the night out. Sure he'd miss tomorrow's drum lesson and Saturday detention. I was wrong. D told me he'd be back.
"You missed dinner," I said as he strolled inside. He made himself a can of soup. Made small talk with M. Watched TV with D. Went to sleep. Another day...
Dealing with this has left D and I feeling hopeless, helpless. The situation reminds me much of when I was a child and could do nothing to control an out-of-control mother. It frustrates me. Saddens me. I see such a bad end. The depression is rolling in like late-night fog and when the children leave for school, I crawl into bed and stay there until noon.
M is enrolled in gymnastics for the first time. She loves it! She's sweet in her baby-roundness, in her clumsy efforts to follow along. She smiles at me, though, from the blue mats, trying hard, and at the end accomplishes moves she could not do at first. I sit and watch, listening to the other mothers. One boasts about how she follows her children all day long from activity to activity. "I don't miss anything. I'm there all the time whether it's practice or the games. I have three children and I get to every thing they do."
I don't understand why she needs to prove her devotion so loudly. I say nothing. We were devoted like that to J.
The exercise is good for M and will improve her tendency to fall easily, make her less clumsy. She's too much like me in that way. On the way home, M tell me about the Vice-Presidential run-off she's in for her second grade. She's concerned about the boy-girl ratio. I tell her that Hillary Clinton had the same problem. We both agree that politics is a rough road. She wants to know how many times a President can run for office. She's calculating how many times it might take to turn around that boy-girl ratio.
Next week I'm headed to a university retreat in the local mountains. I'll be grateful for the change in pace, for the snow, for the cozy dinner. It will be nice to sleep in a warm bed, alone, and in complete white silence.