I posed this question to my soon-to-be 18-year-old son the other day as we were driving home from Juvenile Hall where he had spent a weekend sanction for not following the rules of his probation. Surprise, surprise... he didn't have an answer. He wasn't even sure what I wanted to hear, which is how he answers most questions that I pose to him. What I wanted to hear was simple. Anything. Anything at all close to resembling a sentiment that he wanted to straiten out, stop smoking marijuana, start thinking about his life and what he wanted to do with it. Words that expressed how he wanted to get his High School diploma, that it was important to him. I wanted to hear something that showed the slightest bit of excitement or drive for something positive. A job, an activity, an interest, a sport. Anything.
As it stands it is my goal and my priority to see that he graduates from High School. Somebody has too. It certainly hasn't been him. Graduation time for the class of 2013 has come and gone. He is still short on credits. Even with summer school he'll still be short. I have made it my duty to be the sole bridge that gets him to that age where his brain has finished developing and he can distinguish that there are consequences to his actions. The only thing standing in my way is that magic day that takes place in two weeks. That date that has been looming over my head since he was 14 and started getting into trouble. The day he turns 18 and society considers him an adult. What's going to happen when he's 18? My husband wants to kick him out. There are times when I do too. The lies, the behavior, the disregard, the arrogance all begin to weigh on you. Even the one person that will love that child forever, no matter what he does or what he becomes has her breaking point. Believe me, when I say, I have reached and gone beyond breaking points that most mothers can't even fathom. A part of me is broken inside. That boy was the light of my life. He was my reason for breathing. Now, it seems that I breathe for the both of us. Every time he is out of my sight the breathing gets labored because I just don't know if he is going to make it home or he is going to be arrested again or found dead somewhere. It is a daily ordeal. In fact, both times he was in the Hall for a weekend sanction and the time before that when he was in for 12 days by husband and I both agreed that it was a relief because "at least we knew where he was."
Somewhere along the lines a light turned off inside of him and a dullness set in. Logically, I know it was the drugs. Everything he does revolves around getting high. He was arrested for breaking into someone's home. He was there with three other "delinquents" to steal items for money. Money he could use to buy pot. Now, he can't even follow a simple program where he gets tested 1-2 times per week for THC (marijuana). He either doesn't show up for the testing (lies to me about going) or tests positive.
So when I ask him "what do you want?" I'm not really waiting for the words to come anymore.His silence speaks volumes. "To get high," he is thinking. "And to be left alone."