async="src="/ Taking the Long Way Home: It's been the best of times and the worst of times

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

It's been the best of times and the worst of times

Normally, I love summer. I look forward to summer all winter long. This summer was no different. As with every summer, I had visions of adventures with my boys up in Wisconsin and downtown Chicago.

But they both had different visions of this summer. Teenagers now, they wanted to spend unlimited time with their friends. And I'm ok with that. I get it, it makes them normal, well adjusted, blah blah blah.

What I'm not ok with is the drama, the sleepless nights, and the number of late night phone calls I've gotten, especially lately.



All summer long, my husband and I wake up in the middle of the night to an empty house. Even though they they have a curfew, they ignore it. We call the boys to see where they are...and are told "on my way home". Doing what? Who knows. We hope for the best. Trying to trust these boys.

The last couple of weeks have been over the top.

Three weeks ago...my oldest was a passenger in a car accident. He called me at 10 (ok, not THAT late) to come and get him. No big deal. Right? But I ended up taking him to the ER to get his facial wounds closed. The car? Totalled. Thankful that everyone was ok, this shook me to my core. But red flags everywhere, I considered asking the ER doc to drug test him. Nope, I decided. I need to trust him. And he seemed ok.

Last week, my youngest son, fresh off being grounded for not coming home on time...didn't come home on time. My husband called him and he was with his friends, who were stuck in an elevator in a parking garage? The last I knew he was at a friend's house. Another sleepless night, my son was grounded again, and he didn't talk to me for the entire week. As if it were my fault.

Sunday night, my phone rang at 1130. It was the father of one of my oldest son's friends, who was in the ER after being found belligerent and drunk in a parking lot earlier in the evening. My son, who was home when the phone rang, gave me a vague rundown of the evening's events. The group of boys, who have been friends since first grade, were at another boy's house picking their players for their fantasy football league. That's when the story gets gray. No one remembers the boy drinking. Somehow they were called to where he was found when he tried to run from the police. He is in a ton of trouble. And I tossed and turned the rest of the night. I feel badly for the boy and his father. The details are starting to emerge. My son is being fingered as the one who brought the liquor. He is, of course, denying it. "What are you talking about?",  he keeps saying to me. When I told him he can't drive to school tomorrow, he just about had a meltdown. I told him to tell me the truth. But he swears he is. In my heart of hearts, I know he's lying. Because, after all, I was a teenager once.



My husband makes excuses for my son.

I've shed a lot of tears the last few weeks. Talked to a lot of my girlfriends who have been there with their teens.

These are good boys. Truly. I think that's what makes this all the more surprising to me. I know teenagers have poor judgement and do stupid things. But it is hard to accept it when it is your kids getting in trouble.

And it isn't the liquor use and the weed smoking that bothers me the most. Don't get me wrong, I'm not ok with this. But what bothers me is the lying. As a professional, I know all about teenagers and why they lie. But when it is your own son....

This has been the worst summer of my life. I'm not feeling sorry for myself. It is what it is.



The only redeeming feature of this summer has been my marathon training. I almost think that it was fate that I won this entry. That some power bigger than me knew that I was going to be challenged by my boys, and that I needed something to focus on outside of them, something that would make me tough.

My marathon training, being managed by my trainer Becky, who is a CrossFit coach, is different than any race prep I've ever done in the past. Heavy lifting, intervals, speed work, endurance work..each workout is meant to make me stronger and tougher. This is the hardest work I've ever done. And I'm loving it. I might moan and groan while I'm working out, but when I finish I feel great. I'm focused on controlling my pace and speed for every running workout I do.

Because right now, my workouts are the only thing I can control.


25 comments :

  1. I was this kid. I apologize to my parents, OFTEN. But know...this too, in time, shall pass. If you need a friend, HOLLER. xo

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  2. I agree with the sign - "don't give up." Just make sure your boys know how much you love them. That's the most important thing to drive home to teenagers. *hugs*

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    1. Thanks...they know I'm here for them and I guess that's what makes that so hard for me...

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  3. I think I am going through some of the same things you are. I always looked forward to hanging out at the pool with my kids and now they don't want me only their friends. They stay up late and sleep late and I am not seeing them too much this summer. Ah the fun of motherhood :)

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    1. Everyone tells me that it does get better again. This has been so hard for me!

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  4. Oh man, teenagers do some stupid stuff. I've been warned time after time that the worst is yet to come. So sorry you're going thru all this.

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    1. Me too! But I'm so grateful for my friends who are helping me get through this.

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  5. Oh, Wendy! So, so tough. Teen years are, I've got to believe, the hardest of parenting. I'm so sorry you are having difficulties--but know that there are plenty of parents in the same boat. You'll make it through. So glad you've got running to help.

    Yeah…my fishing hook story is nothing!

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    1. Yep, everyone says it does get better. But it sure helps to have friends who get it. Thanks...

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  6. Oh my gosh. I am so sorry. I can't even imagine how you are dealing with this. All. Can say us I hope things get better and just keep running. I hope your kids will be on a better track once school is in session. Thank you for joining the linkup.

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    1. Thanks! I hope things get better too. Hopefully with school and sports, there won't be a lot of free time for trouble.

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  7. I'm so sorry you're having such a tough time. I can't even imagine what you're going through. I hope the boys start to fall in line more once school starts. And I'm glad you have a healthy outlet for your frustrations. Sending positive thoughts your way! Hope things get better soon!

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    1. Thanks! all the support means a ton. It will get better. It has to!

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  8. Oh, Wendy...I can only imagine. Being a teenager sucked, and I'm sure it sucked for my parents, too - now you're having to experience it all again yourself, through your son's teenage years. Thank goodness for running, right?!? And running friends...

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  9. Ugh, what a stressful summer. It sounds like you have the best communication you can with your kids, so kudos to you for that! They'll come around... eventually :)

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    1. That's what everyone says. I have a "good" relationship with my boys...but I can't imagine how it would be if I didn't.

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  10. The teenage years. I am frightened. One mom friend I know with teenagers says she'd rather have a room full of 2 year olds than her twin 16 year olds. Again, I'm scared. haha Thanks for joining the link up. ~Susan @momswimbikerun

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    1. Be scared, be very scared...I never thought it would happen at my house. Thanks for the support!

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  11. I am so sorry you are dealing with so much. I was once that kid that kept my parents up all night. Hope things get easier for you soon. Thinking about you and I am always around if you need to talk. xoxo

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    1. Thanks so much, Karen! This has just been so stressful. I'm sure this isn't the end of it, but at least they are back in school. Sigh...

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  12. Oh no Wendy, so sorry to hear about all of the drama. I know that this is what I'm in store for too and it scares the crap out of me. I'll be needing pointers on how to get through it. Have faith that they are good boys and will do the right thing. You taught them good values. They are having temporary lapses in judgement..keep telling yourself. You are a great mom, just be there for them, I guess that's all you can do when it's out of your control. Hugs!

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    1. Aww, thanks Sue! I tell you, it really is my friends who are getting me through this. My boys were such great kids, I never dreamed this would happen at my house.

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