Jonathon's Closet

Saturday, June 16, 2007

I'm gonna go help Jack ...

Ya know, life is stressful enough even without the addition of an evil teenage attitude. But honestly, no matter how many times I share this thought with my 14-year-old son, he really doesn't care. He's been a real challenge lately, and that's putting it oh-so-mildly. But every once in a while, I see a glimmer of hope ...

A few days back my mother called. She wasn't feeling well and wanted me to come. I knew full well that I really couldn't afford the gas to drive the 2 hours to her house and then the 2 hours back. But the BOY - oh, the BOY was being just awful! - and once I heard my mother's voice, well, you guessed it: I wanted my mommy! And that's really saying something - my mother and I are NOT close. In fact, we are the farthest thing from it. But yep, I wanted my mommy. So we got in the car and headed to Grandma's house.

The BOY was nasty non-stop for the first 40 minutes of the ride. I fantasized about opening the passenger door and tossing his behind out in the middle of the interstate. But that would be wrong. Instead, I burst into tears and began screaming at him. Nope, don't remember what I said. All I know is it began with the words "Who do you think you are?" and "How DARE you treat me like this?" and (yes, I am ashamed) "You dishonor your father each and every day you choose to behave like this instead of acting like a young man should."

I screamed non-stop for the remaining 1 hour and 20 minutes of the trip. Well, almost. Somewhere around 1 hour and 10 minutes I managed to blow out my vocal chords. Still don't really have my voice back, I'm kind of froggy! And while I screamed, he stared. Jaw dropped, eyes opened wide, stared with a look of total disbelief. Just sat silently and stared.

We got to Grandma's house and I simply melted into my mothers arms sobbing. Must've cried for another half an hour or so. And then, of course, all I could do was whisper my attempt to tell her what was wrong. The BOY sat quietly next to me, patting my shoulder and handing me tissues and saying "it'll be ok, Mom", still with that stunned look on his face.

Right about now, you're expecting me to turn this post into an obituary for the BOY, right? Surprise! As we sat there, the BOY spotted an elderly neighbor, struggling in the heat to mow his lawn. Unprompted, he said "I'm gonna go help Jack" and immediately headed off across the street. I saw him talk with Jack for a few minutes (it appeared as if they were debating whether or not Jack needed help!) and then Jack grinned and shrugged and handed the lawnmower over to the BOY. The BOY worked for Jack for 4 hours. He mowed, fixed the trimmer, trimmed, weeded, painted a sign, and helped clean the garage. And refused pay.

Yep, the BOY has been a real handful lately. But every-once-in-a-while, I still see a glimpse of the young man he was raised to be ... and I am proud.


  • I'm sorry it's so tough on you Kate. But it sounds like Jona's going to be a good guy - we all have our 'moments'. :0

    By Blogger Roe, at 9:09 PM  

  • I think all kids have their evil moments, and they take them out on the safest people (moms); but only the really good ones will take a break and go help an elderly neighbor....for four hours, no less! Guess he's been raised right...

    By Anonymous Becki, at 10:49 AM  

  • I understand what you are going through somewhat. My 11 year old is giving me a run for my money. It hard!! Nobody said how hard it would be. But like you there are those moments and where would we be without those.

    Hugs to you xx

    By Blogger Britmum, at 3:14 PM  

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