My oldest son was coming through the house the other day and said, "That dryer shrinks my clothes."
I just sat there. If the dryer was shrinking his clothes, it would be shrinking the family's. And it's not. So..
I finally said, in an attempt to be diplomatic, 'Check the settings and make sure you don't have it on high".
He's been home all summer, going to college, working, eating crap food, not going to the gym, probably drinking when he stayed over at his buddy's.
I noticed he looked a bit bigger. The dryer did not shrink clothes.
The next day he came through and said, "These pants, that are ALWAYS big, are tight."
And with that, he stormed into my bathroom, weighed himself, came back and said "I GAINED WEIGHT!"
I let him vent and then I said, "When you go back to your normal routines at college, going to the gym every day, it will come off..."
I had to laugh. "The dryer is shrinking my clothes".
"Tomorrow we're burying my boy in the ground."
I lost my breath when I heard his father choke out those words.
Tomorrow is the funeral and T has decided he wants to go to the burial in Miami. It is over an hour drive from where we will have the service. If T wants to go, I will go. I cannot allow him to be alone for this.
Bones went with us as he knew the boys' family well being good friends with the younger brother. The mother, who had kept it together all night, a woman I have not seen in three years, saw Bones and burst into tears. He has changed so much and she had not seen it.
Tonight was 90 minutes of family and friends speaking, a catharsis. Tonight was what it was really about.
So much sadness in this world.
I saw this thing on this drug called Spice while on FB. Some kid died taking it and suddenly I thought, "Wow, I should talk to my kids about this."
Right. I'm about two years behind on this parenting gig, it would appear. The following is a conversation I had, to the best of my recollection, with my eldest while we were out and about the other day.
Me: Hey, I want to talk to you about this drug called Spice.
Ringo: Yeah. That's some bad stuff.
Me: Oh, so you know about it!
Me: I'm glad! I read about some kid that died and I wanted to make sure you knew about it.
Ringo: Mom. This stuff was around when I was in HS. Going to a private school, all the kids at my school could afford real weed. The kids in the other schools were doing Spice. It was cheaper. They'd say, "It's like almost legal!" and I'd reply, "It's like being almost dead!" That's stuff is bad news. Nobody I know does it.
Me: Ok then. No worries.
Ringo: No. No worries.
I realized this week, the reason my boys don't smoke pot is because... it's smoking. I'm not going to sit here and say, 'Oh, not MY boys' or "they don't do drugs because I told them not to."
I heard them tonight while they were watching the news. Something came up about legalizing pot and I heard my eldest say, "Why do people want this legalized? It's STILL SMOKING. It is STILL putting something other than air in your lungs."
So in their mind, it's not the fact it's a mind altering substance, they just view it as a mind altering substance that can cause lung cancer and they don't see the point.
If that makes sense...
My husband took the boys away for the weekend. I had 15 women at my home for a retreat. LOVE my husband for doing this for me... being understanding and making things happen at home so I can do what needs to be done in my other life.
I received a text from Bones last night that one of their friends had been killed.
This morning I found out that one of Mr. T's friends since 3rd grade had been accidentally shot. He died within five minutes.
T and his buddy quit hanging out together in 8th grade. They were still friends in school, but didn't hang out after. His buddy had started smoking pot and that just wasn't T's thing. T still liked him, but when someone starts doing drugs, you just don't hang in the same circles.
Still, he liked the kid, hoped for the best for him, and when they went off to high school, they went their separate ways. I had wanted the Mom to send her son to T's high school. I had hoped he'd get on the football team. There are drugs in every high school, but the school she was going to send her son to had even an edgier element I wouldn't have wanted my son around, in particular if he'd had a problem already with drugs.
Ups and downs they had, I lost touch, but she was a great Mom, always trying to do the right thing, stay active in their lives, listen to them, council them.
And last night something went wrong. Another teenager had a gun. And now my son's friend from middle school is dead.
T is a wreck. I didn't think he was at first, I thought he was taking it in stride, but when my husband took him to Mass today... he pulled me aside later and said T is struggling.
I'll go to the funeral with him. I'm already letting people know on the side that I may have to cancel some things in the event of the funeral. I need to be there with my son.
I'm just... devastated for my kids. In the last 12 months, Bones had two janitors murdered at his school by another Janitor. Then a little girl in T's homeroom, her mother, who had also been Bones' school nurse in middle school, was murdered by her ex husband (the girl's father). Horrific... horrific... he dumped her body in some cane fields. Then in January, two kids that went to school with Bones were murdered by their mother before she committed suicide.
And now a friend has been killed.
This is not how I grew up. My kids should not be struggling with murder. And although this was unintentional, this young man was killed... he was murdered. That makes the 6th in 12 months.
My husband sat down with them today and lectured them. "There are only two reasons for a gun to be pulled out. The first is you're at the gun range and you're there to practice. The second is it's being pulled out to shoot someone. If you are EVER anywhere that gun is pulled out, that is your cue to leave immediately".
I cannot believe we had to have that lecture. But then again, we never thought we'd have to attend the funeral of a teenage boy, let alone a teenage boy having died of a gunshot.
I am done.