To the Moon and Back, Part I

January 27, 2013 at 3:46 pm (High School Wrestling) ()

I have decided to break this little narrative up into a few posts, because it’s been a year since my last post, and I have a lot to say. 

Part I

Ok, so I haven’t been the most active blogger out there. I love writing, I find it very therapeutic.  And I have really missed logging on and writing something about this element of my life, the little gem tucked away from November to March that I cherish for so many reasons. Being that the season is now in full swing, quite often something will happen and I’ll think to myself “that’d make a great blog post”, or “I really need to stop neglecting my little blog”…but the truth of the matter is, I have been avoiding it. 

My oldest son is now 17.  Last summer he went a little wild, became defiant and disobedient as so many teens do. He’d text me at work and tell me he was going to hang out with his friends, and I wouldn’t see or hear from him for days.  He’d come home and we’d fight.  Then he’d leave again.  It tore me up like nothing else has in my time as his parent.  This is the kid who would leave his video game and interrupt my book and sit on my bed with me for some “mother/son time”, as he called it, to talk about big life issues, or nothing in particular.  This was the kid who told me all the time “You’re so smart Mom, you just know things”, and thanked me so many times for being able to talk to me about stuff. This was the kid who, when his neighborhood friends started smoking and drinking at 13 years old, removed himself from those relationships because he didn’t want to be a part of it.  I’m sure it’s a surprise to every parent when their child goes through something like this, but I was just….. at a loss.  

Thankfully the one thing he did still enjoy and want to participate in that I could support, was wrestling.  He went to two camps over the summer, and even his friends couldn’t talk him out of them.  One of the camps was one I helped chaperone, and we drove six hours north with 10 wrestlers and 3 moms for 4 days and we had a great time.  Both camps were physically exhausting.  Knowing that’s when he feels at his best, when he’s physically exhausted from a good wrestling workout, I was relieved.  Sounds a little odd for me to say I was relieved, but I knew he was emotionally grounded after that and I was hopeful that he’d magically once again start to resemble the child I missed so much.  

It didn’t happen that way.  He went right back to finding other places to live for several days at a time and then when school started, being gone for the whole weekend.  Nothing I said or did was effective at changing this behavior, and trust me, I tried everything I have in my parental arsenal, and then some.  I knew he was up to no good when he wasn’t here, because I know what the kids he hung out with were involved with.  I felt helpless.  You can ground a kid all day long, take everything he owns but the clothes on his back, but at the end of the day you truly cannot control someone else’s behavior.  They do what they want.

I got a call from the school that he was over the allowed amount of absences in one of his classes.  I had no idea, but he was skipping his first class after lunch at the beginning of the year.  His “best friend” got expelled for selling drugs.  Finally, even though I had my suspicions, I now had some semblance of proof as to what the root cause of this all was.  All of this information couldn’t have culminated at a better time, because wrestling season started about two weeks later.  I knew that regardless of all of the lecturing and threatening and punishing and crying and yes, guilt-tripping I did, that wrestling would be the thing to pull him out. 

Continued in Part II

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