If you knew your child was hanging with an unsavory crowd, how far would you go to stop it? I woke up yesterday morning with one of my sons heavy on my heart. Mothers' intuition is a gift from God. I just knew whereever he was, he wasn't ok. Where he was supposed to be was school. I sent a text to my other son. Yep, son in question wasn't where he was supposed to be. He is supposed to get off the bus & get onto a van at the high school. This van then takes him to the special education campus. He didn't get on the van.
Let me throw in at this point, if as a mom, you ever, ever, feel something is amiss, then it IS. I called the special ed campus. He arrived but with a boy who was banned from the school. They refused to tell me who it was. I was livid. This is my son. I have a right to know who he is with & when. He may be 18 on paper, but mentally/emotionally he is a very small child. But, the problem with special needs is that they are not evident to the naked eye. Unless it is Down Syndrome, people often can't tell. His special needs are only notcied when he speaks or interacts.
I thanked the school, then called his brother. I also know that the kids aren't supposed to have their cell phones with them. My middle son decided on finishing out high school with his friends rather than homeschool. I dig it. I was a teen a long time ago too. My youngest had no choice. With his eye defect & the fact that he spent 2 years getting bullied, he was eager to homeschool. But I digress. I called. Middle son says he is leary about giving info unless I promise not to let big brother know it was him. He tells all.
Big brother got into a vehicle driven by a boy we'll call Mr. X. I know Mr. X's family. He is a very troubled child. I feel an ache in my heart for this child. His mother abandoned him when he was young & dad is a single parent working 2 jobs. But, Mr. X has been thrown out of school for drugs. I don't want him with my son. I would help Mr. X at any time he wished, but he likes his lifestyle. I don't like it for my kids.
I text oldest son. He calls soon after. He hesitates than says yes, he was with Mr. X. Now, as a parent what do you do? Say no, no stop that. Scream? Yell? Demand? That may work for some, but not with this child. I tell him, he knows not to do that. He says yes, but no one caught us. I remind him that he isn't allow to receive rides to special ed campus per the school. He knows, but hates the van. It's too noisy. When I realize I'm not getting anywhere, I hang up with him. I call the hubs. He is on a roof & cannot talk. Once again, it's up to mom.
I get my youngest & we pray. Hard. We ask for protection for my son & for salvation for Mr.X. I ask for wisdom. Then I call the high school where the van picks him up. I ask the assistant principal for help. I tell all. He promises to escort my son to the van from now on. He promises to call Mr. X & tell him that although he may play taxi for other kids, he is to leave mine alone. Then I call back to special ed campus & speak to the principal. I tell him I know who my son was with. He reminds me he can't offer any info. I tell him I don't need it, I know it's Mr. X. He seems stunned to know that I know. I tell him I care about Mr. X but this is my child. He assures me he'll work with the high school to keep Mr.X at bay.
Nice tidy ending? Nay. Here's where being a parent can just suck. Oldest son rages that I've 'over stepped' my bounds. That's his boy. How dare I? After all, he is 18. Well, yes, you are 18, but you live here as a 10th grader in my house with 2 other children. You aren't just some kid. You are mine. I tell him that he can hate me now, but I will stand before my God & say I tried. He retires to his room.
Fast forward several hours, here's where being a parent is awesome: Oldest son confides in middle son that he was secretly glad I did what I did. Yes, he was embarassed in front of his 'crew', but, his heart is happy that his mom loved him enough to take on Mr. X, the high school, the principal anyone else who threatened her baby. He also tells middle son that he never felt like that when he was with biological mom- he knew she didn't care. He loves me.
I'd like to say I hadn't felt anxiety when challenging Mr.X, but I did. He's not someone who likes being challenged. But, these kids are mine. They've been entrusted to me. I will go as far as I can to protect them.