My younger son, the king forever of good decision making, brought home a drunken friend last night, with the predictable results.
My favorite part was when she raised her head from the toilet and said, "Wow. I did not expect on this." I didn't say more than aiming instructions, but I had other things crowding behind my teeth.
Why wouldn't she expect this? She did the same thing just about every Friday night for years, starting when she was 15 as far as I know of, and probably well before I knew. At least she's old enough now she's not breaking the law on top of everything else. It's not like she didn't know the consequences of that much Jack, especially on a body that had been dry for over 6-months.
She'd already told me why she wasn't thinking, so I didn't need to ask that. Why did she think that this was the proper response did come out, but her answer was mostly lost in retching and sobbing.
Why do I do it? I get asked that. I don't know. What do you suggest I do? Throw her her out? I've known this kid since she was in the girls' 3rd grade class. She's been wandering in and out of my house since then. I've told her she was making bad choices, and even helped her get into rehab before. I can't do it for her; she has to want to do it and keep it going by herself.
Mostly, I do it because over the years with all of them I've realized something. When you're presented with a situation like this, you have three choices -- to help, do nothing, or make things worse. I could have shouted at her, thrown her out when they presented myself at my front door at that ridiculous hour of the morning. I could have just pretended I didn't hear them "sneaking in" and carefully not heard or seen anything was amiss until she was gone. Or let her sleep on my couch, clean her up, and try to make sure she goes off into a better situation then the one she came here from.
The trick is figuring out what is actually helping, or what is making things worse. There have been times when throwing them out was the helping choice. And while I'm not constitutionally suited to the do nothing choice, I have done it before so I could choose a better time for a word about what they're doing.
She's on her way home, wrapped up in an old work-shirt of my son's that has seen better days and I actually hope she doesn't bring back. She's had a cup of tea that stayed put, washed off the blurred and streaked makeup, and combed her hair. Her AA partner picked her up, and I imagine that's going to be a pointed conversation. Hopefully they can help her realize that failing once doesn't mean you give up, and help her get back on track. Just on general principles, I'm not going back into that bathroom until my younger son has scrubbed it until it shines like the top of the Chrysler Building.
Now that I'm writing this, I realize maybe she meant the part about me helping her clean up the mess she made of my bathroom. I guess that's different. I'm not screaming foul language at her loud enough to melt the walls like her mom used to when they lived upstairs from us. Her mother is a self-righteous hypocrite who has modeled this behavior herself all the girl's life, from the drinking through the night and it's accompanying stupid decisions right on through to the next day's penitent crawl a hundred times. But instead of helping or getting help herself, she would pray and shout and wail her way from binge to binge, and then punish her daughter for doing the same even when she was the one who gave her the alcohol. I haven't seen her in years. I haven't heard anything awful has happened to her, but I don't know how she's doing.
I don't know. If someone has another suggestion as to what to do in this situation I'd be interested in hearing it.
I'm in the middle of a nasty crunch at my Daily Planet job, and it's really driving me up a tree. But despite the fact that most of this day has sucked the chrome right off a trailer hitch, there are always little things going on that help.
Today, for example, I would list:
I've accomplished another lap around the sun, and the children have kept with tradition by writing and singing my annual birthday song. (You can see explanation and a couple previous examples here.)
They have outdone themselves this year. They seem to have gone for the evil overlord part, instead of the sappy, geeky, or gray sides. And as my part of the tradition, I get my revenge by sharing this with you.
Set to the melody from Gaston, out of Disney's Beauty and the Beast soundtrack, without further ado I present, "My Mom."
Gosh it disturbs me to see you, my Mom
Looking so creepy and grim
And I can see you're constructing a bomb
And you're probably aiming at him (point to sibling who annoyed you earlier that day)
There's no one around as malicious as you
You're everyone's nightmares alive
That man who annoyed you is going to die
And it's not very hard to see why
No one's quite like my mom
Deals with shite like my mom
Dismembers a victim at night like my mom
For there's no one that matches her fury
Even short, she's still something to fear
You can ask all the fearful and wary
They'll show you the bodies she's hid around here
No one clones like my mom
Or builds drones like my mom
No one's got a collection of bones like my mom
As her specimens, yes, we're intimidated
ACK! What a quack, that's my mom
She likes the screams
She loves the wails
Have a care what you say
'Cause she's scary that way
No one jeers like my mom
No one leers like my mom
No one severs rebellious ears like my mom
For there's no one as creepy or scary
As you see she's got darkness to spare
Not a bit of her caring or merry (it's true!)
And nothing is nice in her horrible lair
No one kills like my mom
Gets her thrills like my mom
No one gives all her children the chills like my mom
She's especially good at ex-per-i-menting
10 kills for my mom!
When she looks at me with her slitted green eyes
I know I might be on thin ice
My homework is due and I haven't had time
I've been chasing her lab rats and mice
No one shoots like my mom
No one loots like my mom
No one turns nosy kids into newts like my mom
She's used entrails in all her de-fen-es-trating!
Mua ha ha ha
They totally got into it, too. After that, I think I better put a household moratorium on watching Young Frankenstein, NCIS, and maybe Pinky and the Brain for a while.
I've been typing this in with a grin on my face. I really don't mind. Now I'm a year older in the only way I want to measure it. ;)