Thursday, October 13, 2011

How do you dodge a 200 ton locomotive? You don't.

I've been doing a lot of whining and moaning lately about my sixteen year old (yes, it's official - his birthday is this weekend).  I suppose you're all tired of it by now or at least ready to hang yourselves for the fateful day day when your little ones hit the dreaded teen years.  I apologize for going on about him but he has been taking up a lot of my lunacy lately.

I used to think that the battles between teenagers and their parents fell mainly between the like sexes for instance, sons and their fathers, daughters and their mothers.  Not so.  It happens to land on the most volatile of personalities which makes complete sense actually.  I was foolish to think otherwise.  William and I are both extremely headstrong and stubborn.  Of course we're going to butt heads on everything.  Why would I expect anything else?

So yesterday was another fight, another ugly scene.  It wasn't as bad as Monday's.  I didn't use any expletives on him.  He was completely out of control and he knew it.  Thank God Eric was home again to diffuse the situation.  It's amazing how my cleaning OCD kicks into gear when I get stressed out.  My kitchen counters never sparkled brighter.  It was also the day our weekly home therapist comes and visits.  I suppose this was the best day for it so she could see the Potts' family's true colors.  Austynn was outside trying to kill every bug he could find,  Bri was manic in the kitchen, and Eric was trying to de-escalate William who was yelling at Mom from upstairs.  A Leave it to Beaver household to be sure.  Pure 1950's perfection.  I'm surprised I didn't have cookies burning in the oven.

First she visited with Austy outside where she discovered there was trouble in paradise.  What else is new.  Lots of fighting with William lately.  Then she sat upstairs with Eric and I in our sitting room.  Yes, William has been pushing my buttons.  What can I do to escape it?  Nothing.  Yes, I have a mental illness.  (No one has ever said this to my face before.)  How do I cope with it and two extremely difficult emotionally disabled children?  I do the best that I can.  (Wow. She's asking some very tough questions.

Eventually William came in.  I always hold on tight when this happens.  You see, it's suppose to be a family therapy session or in this case, a session with William (no Austy); however, it turns into a painful 20 minutes of William directing everything hateful towards me.  The therapist tries to contain it but to no avail.  I get to just sit there and take the beating.  Mom's a bitch.  Mom doesn't listen.  Mom interrupts.  Mom's not nice.  Mom doesn't do anything.  Until the end of session when William gets up says how much better he feels, walks away, and I'm still sitting quietly in my chair thinking, "Ok - thanks for protecting me from that 200 ton locomotive.  I feel so much better now too.  Not!"   

So after all was said and done this week, after all the fights and therapy, this morning William and I had another doozy.  I accused him of sneaking some sodas out of the refrigerator last night.  This was not a far fetched accusation because in the very recent past he has done this and there were several missing this morning.  Instead of giving a civil response, he became extremely nasty with me.  Yes, I should have asked and not accused but he should have also understood why I immediately assumed it was him based on the recent problems we've had.  His tone and attitude became ugly.  I had him leave the house extremely early for school with nothing more than a cold Pop-Tart for breakfast.

After ten minutes I felt bad and went after him.  With tears in my eyes, I found him walking alone in the dark, pre-dawn streets - that same little boy we adopted ten years ago, bundled up in a wrinkled blue jacket he must have had crammed in his book bag.  He was angry.  I could see it in his stride.  I pulled over and opened the door for him.


"It's cold out there, please get in."


"Because I love you."

William stepped into the warm car and leaned into my open arms.  I held him close against me and hugged him long and tight.  I gave his wavy, auburn hair kisses and told him I loved him.  I told him I was sorry.

"I'm sorry too, Mom.  I'm sorry I was so mean."

"I know."

"Will you take me the rest of the way to school?"

"Yes.  Do you have somewhere safe to sit inside?"

"Yeah, I can sit outside the library and read my book until they open."

"Ok, here you go."  I pulled up to the front of the high school where it was still dark and somewhat empty.  The street light shown into the car and William saw the tears on my cheek.

"Why are you crying?"

"I feel bad, buddy."

"I love you, Mom!"  And with that William gave me one long, final hug before he jumped out of the car.

"Have a good day, sweetheart."

I will, you too!" and then he was gone.

Before you take the rope out, just remember that there will be beautiful moments in all of your lunacy too.

Song:  With Arms Wide Open/ Creed
Played at William's Adoption Ceremony  


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