It has been quite the week, one day sort of blurring into the next and I feel like I am operating in some sort of fog. Some days or weeks are like that, so much going on that it feels like one thing is finished before another has begun, and no time to truly process them all. Nothing bad, just life stuff, but it’s funny how when you are operating under exhaustion and low-level anxiety, everything seems tinged with a bit of darkness.
At any rate, after a talk with Eli’s probation officer and Eli, he did come home; the five-day alcohol test I requested was negative, which on the surface is a good thing. However, the “five-day” test, when used on kids, is really only accurate for about 36 hours, so whether or not Eli was drinking is in question. Still, we have to give him the benefit of the doubt without having some kind of definitive proof. He was still punished for allowing his so-called friend to have alcohol in the car, and he doesn’t seem to get why that should be an issue at all-especially because he maintains the “I don’t know how that got there!” stance. I am not buying it, having used the same line to my own mother back in the day; maybe he really didn’t know, but I am not giving him the benefit of the doubt on that one. So, he is mad that he is still being punished, mad that I called his probation officer, mad that he tried to get me in trouble because I told him to get his stuff and leave and it backfired on him (his probation officer actually asked if I was even willing to allow him to come home; he is, after all, just three months short of turning 18). Still, the worst of it is over for the moment and we have been talking; not even about any of this, but the usual stuff we talk about-music, politics, religion, and this really cool trick he just learned to do on his skateboard. We do have to go to court on Thursday, and I will write more about that afterward, but for now, peace has been restored.
None of this makes the worry go away, though, and I have really been struggling with the whole “letting go” part of parenting. I just want, so much, for him to be able to achieve his dreams and move forward in life, but he has made some choices that have derailed his plans a bit. I just want to jump in and get my sticky fingers on HIS life and manage it! But I have learned through the years that after a certain point, a point that is different for every child, there isn’t anything you can do because they are just damn well going to make whatever choices they are going to make no matter WHAT you have tried to teach them. it is so difficult for me to sit back and let them deal with their own consequences. Necessary, but difficult. Don’t get me wrong, I am not sitting around letting him do whatever the heck he wants to do, but am trying to make sure he feels the consequences. Insert wailing here when I say,”But it’s so hard!” Yes, it is, but I don’t imagine it should be easy to raise strong, good children when so much we see in the world undermines that effort. I will save that whole rant for another day though.
It has just been hard in lots of ways this last week. Josie has been screaming close to non-stop for three days; I finally took her into the doctor yesterday even though she had few symptoms of anything obviously wrong; a slight runny nose, a very low-grade fever, nothing to explain her inconsolableness (it is a word in MY world), to be told that there isn’t really anything WRONG with her. A bad cold, and my doctor said something about “fake teething” which made me laugh because she is my friend and I think she was trying to placate me. We haven’t had more than a couple of hours sleep at a time since early Saturday morning, so it has made everything seem so much harder. The funny thing? In the middle of the night last night she started a croupy cough, yet she slept better than she has in days. It’s like she is one of those animals who can tell an earthquake is coming days before it happens and get all freaked out before the fact. Either that or she is just so exhausted that she is sleeping right through it.
And there have been dentist appointments and school activities and Sam has been preparing for clinic for orchestra, which is a BIG deal, and Steve applied for a better job and got hired, and Hannah and Josh might be getting into the income-based apartments in the next couple of weeks, and….it’s just a life, my life, and no matter what is going on, I am glad it is mine.