Thursday, September 11, 2008

I never did like coming up with a title...

I'm having one of those days where I feel like I'm just banging my head into a wall. It's so frustrating to not be able to accomplish things I really want to accomplish.

So here's one of the stories (just one, otherwise it would be yet another unbearably long post lol!)

My kids are friends with this other kid, I'll call him "K" since he isn't mine and I don't feel it's right to spread his business all over the net :)

He is a troubled kid, I've talked about him before right? I don't remember. Anyway. He just needs people to show him something other than he's ever been taught. He's been raised by an ailing mother. His father has been absent his whole life because he's been too busy robbing banks and killing people and going to prison. He's lived in rough neighborhoods where he had to be 'tough' to survive. He resents his mother for some of the things he's been through, and for some of the things she did that, I'm sure, were things she felt were necessary at the time. Now he is 17 1/2, and terribly lost, and the path he's on will not lead to a happy or fulfilling adult life. Actually, I think he's headed toward a lifetime of incarceration if he's allowed to just fall through the gaping holes in society's support framework.

Truth is, since he's been spending time with us, he's opened up a lot, he's calmed down a lot, he's softened up a lot, and he seems like a big hearted kid who just needs some love, understanding and guidance. We, as a family, have been trying to provide all of this for him.

I've also talked to his mother, who is nearly as old as my mother. There's a generation gap between SHE and I, you can only imagine how vastly differently she and "K" see the world. And they don't talk. She just seems to make no attempt to give him what HE needs, because she's so dang busy giving him what she THINKS he needs. And she calls me all the time. Rather than talk to him or try to repair their relationship, she tries to pick my brain and find out what he's said here. Now, don't get me wrong, she's the mom, and I can identify with her, on that mother level. But if I stand a chance of doing him any good at all, I can't betray his trust by becoming his mother's spy into his life. SHE needs to open those lines of communication with him rather than use me.

Of course, I can't say that to her. Who the hell am I to question her parenting skills or presume to know a thing about their relationship, right? Well, at least that's what she's going to be thinking... unless I betray his trust and tell her the things he's told us.

Ugly damn cycle, and I am so conflicted as to how to handle things. I have to admit that I figure if she hasn't been able to connect with him in the last 17 1/2 years, there's probably little that's going to change in the short time he has left in her care. And if he has any hope of realizing the error of his ways, he's more likely to learn by example from us, rather than by waiting for her to become someone she isn't.

So, I feel like a bad person in a way, but I tend to lean towards not telling her anything, and thereby keeping his trust... But sometimes I feel like for every breakthrough we have with him (and there have been several breakthrough "light bulb moments") she turns around and does something with him that unravels it allbang head Pictures, Images and Photos

And I guess the question(s) I'm really struggling with: Am I over stepping some boundaries? And if I am, do my intentions make it OK? Or should I just back out of it entirely? And if I do just remove myself, is that fair to him? What's more important, respecting the boundaries or helping this kid?



  1. Erin, sounds to me like you are already respecting HIS boundaries and helping him in the process. You have one of the biggest hearts and the levelest (is this a word?) head of anybody I know.

    Haven't talked to you for a long time. I hope all things otherwise in your life are going well. Going to school?

    Joyce (Pepek)

  2. At 17 1/2, HE has something to say about boundaries, and what he says, I believe, needs more consideration right now than what his mom might be saying. I mean no disrespect to his mom. You may have some tools she does not have, and every kid deserves a shot at redemption. And I don't mean 'redemption' in a jesussy way.

    Trust your gut, Erin. Move forward without second guessing yourself.

  3. You already know the answer, E. The kid's paramount, and never mind the mother. If she's failed him for nearly 18 years, I highly doubt, as you say, that she's going to do anything more in the next 6 months.

    You act only from your heart, and that can't be wrong.

  4. helping the kid.

    keep doing what you're doing.

    It means a lot to him.

    As I was a troubled youth myself, I know this.

  5. I just have to add that this is yet another reason you make me proud.