There I am, puttering around my ordered garden, raking up [messy] leaves and pulling up [ugly] dead plants, and I get a phone call from my neighbor/friend, the one who keeps an eye on my kid since he moved out. (Read this first if you're relatively new here, and the related link for a better understanding.) Candy is my oldest friend here, and we've been through a lot together. Her son, Conner, and my son, Matt, are close friends, so Matt still hangs out there. This is how I see him, and how I know that he's ok. He never comes over here, or even looks this way, even though he can be over there for hours, even days at a time. Candy kind of takes care of him where his completely irresponsible father doesn't, since he's "not interested in parenting" (direct quote out of his mouth).
This afternoon, she called in a panic to tell me that the boys had been in a car accident, that Matt had flipped his van. They were both unhurt, but Matt couldn't get ahold of his dad and he needed parental consent for a medical release from the paramedics. Since we were outside, we didn't hear the phone, so John missed the direct call and page from one of his BCs, telling him that his kid was in an accident, and I missed the call from Matt. I just happened to step inside to get some water when Candy called.
No one was hurt. That's the most important thing. But Matt wasn't calling to tell me that; he wasn't calling because he needed comforting. When I got him on the phone, I asked if he was ok. His response was, "Yeah. Here, you need to talk to this medic" and he was gone. The medic was there, on the line, obviously a guy I know, who's trying to explain to me what happened...I finally just interrupted him and told him to talk to John. Like I was listening to him, anyway.
Come to find out, The Most Perfect Dad in the Universe is actually out of town. In Chicago, to be exact. And wait...it gets better...isn't even due back until Monday. So this 17 year old kid is home alone, with a car, for how many days?
And I lost custody in court!
Then, he (idiot dad) asked Candy if Matt could stay with her until tomorrow, since he couldn't get a flight out of Chicago tonight without paying extra. Just didn't want to spend the money.
I drank a glass of wine (ok, three) and took a really long, really hot shower. I tried not to slump down in my closet in the dark and cry, even though that's what I felt like.
I don't mean to bring anyone down on this Sunday evening, but this is the reason I write. I was scared for him, and for Candy and her own son's safety. I am confused as to what my role is here. Legally, I'm clear. I have no jurisdiction over any of this. Not since he and his
You know that ex-boyfriend you have, the one who's different from all the other ex-boyfriends? The one you are done with and the one whose number you actually did delete from your contact list because he was such a complete d**kwad to you that you're past it? My kid is kind of like that for me. I wanted to hold on to him for so long, no matter what horrible and awful things he said and did to me. I kept forgiving, allowing and enabling, and then, one day, I was just done. Weird analogy, huh?
I'm always afraid, when I'm this *out there* with my thoughts, that you'll think I'm a terrible mom. You must wonder why I don't run across the street and grab him in my arms and tell him how glad I am that he's ok and how much I love him.
Maybe you wonder why I didn't go out to the crash site in the first place.
Or why he's across the street at a neighbor's and not here in my house.
I don't know, maybe you are, maybe you aren't. Truth is, I wish all these things were true. I can't tell you what it felt like to get the news, but not be the one to get the call.
When my son was about two, and I was newly single, I would put him to bed at night and be grateful for a bit of me-time. But he wasn't a sleeper - still isn't - and could lie awake for hours in the dark. So I would go in and curl up on the bed beside him, and I would stare into his little blue eyes. We would just lay there, staring at each other in the darkness, in a silent, unspoken contest to see who would fall asleep first. I was smarter, of course, because I would fake him out. I'd start to purposely droop my eyelids, which would cause him to ease up a little. Then I'd watch him from underneath my "closed" eyelashes, until he gave in to the sleep. We did this every night for a long, long time. I was so sad when, one night, I went in and he was already fast asleep. Our game was over, and he had moved on without me.
As I sit here now, a house and a world away from him, don't think for a minute that I wouldn't trade everything I have in this world for one of those nights - or to have been able to be there for him, today.
“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” - Elizabeth Stone
P.S. For a minute, I thought I might apologize for slamming my ex-