This morning, I went about my daily routine. I stopped at one of my favorite morning delis to grab a large coffee and just as I was reaching the doorknob to head out, a large team of teenage boys practically ran me over to beat me to the door. I said, “It is customary to let the lady out first.” To which one rather bold youngster replied, “Yeah, but we in da hood!” With the blood boiling and rising to my throat I shouted back, “That’s why you’ll stay there!” Ah, a typical Jersey morning.
What is it kids want these days? It’s a shame, but the list is long. What used to be a Lone Ranger bb gun, is now a laundry list of wants, needs and interests. They want video games and computers and cell phones (with text messaging). They want candy and toys and CD players and cable televisions (plasma, thankyouverymuch!). They can barely keep still in their chairs without the distraction of some glowing false-light from some electronic device. In fact, they don’t respect their elders and mouth off as soon as they learn that infamous F-word and other colorful, flavorful language.
Anyone who’s watched the movie, Clueless remembers the character, Cher going all out of her way to impress, to dress and obsess over her friends. The cool part it that it only took her two hours to become mature (like?) and realize what a butthead she was being and she gets the boy in the end. Awwww….Fade to black. See that’s cool that characters can come to that conclusion fairly quickly, but that just isn’t real. Not anymore.
I think I’ve mentioned this before in some previous post about brats, but kids are just not appreciative of their youth. They seem to strive to make their lives increasingly difficult and progressive to the point of being adult while still in young, immature bodies. They have no sense of responsibility or comprehension to get your meaning when you talk to them about what that means. I am often met with a sharp glance, a disapproving roll of the eyes, or a whine. That’s Sara’s favorite defense mechanisms that set me to over-drive. Which brings me along to the hidden meaning behind this post.
Consider it a cut from the team, a letting go phase, or tough-love. Whatever name you call it, Sara has had to go. Oh, sure she’s seventeen and doing all the typical seventeen-year-old stuff trying to cover her tracks and put one over on me and her dad, but it just went overboard. It involved liberties that she hadn’t been given. It involved lies that affected other people outside of our home, and it affected me. And I am not ashamed to say that I beat that child like she were mine. Of course, this was probably not the most mature thing that I’ve done, but with a child this cruel, I took it upon myself to take the low road. And she deserved it. Needless to say, we both were bruised from our scuffle. Only my bruises weren’t just the ones you could see. Imagine that you had made a pact with someone. Imagine that you considered it to be a solemn vow after investing 5 years into helping raise a child. Then, imagine your guts being ripped out when you discover that the person you were helping was just helping themselves to whatever they could get from you. Sara is reckless, heartless, and completely clueless as to how much damage she has managed to cause. So I threw her out for the second time. She’s gone. Sara’s gone (again).
I know that she’ll be back when she runs out of options. Part of me knows that I’ll have to take her back because she can’t live on the street. The other half wants her to stay away. Naturally, the rules would change when and if she returns. She will be given a strict deadline on pushing her out the door. She may not know it now, but that’s the best thing that we can do for her. She needs to learn what life is like by herself and on her own terms. Life is full of all the difficult choices; I pray that she and I make the right ones.