Friday, April 17, 2009

Buzzing with Activity

Our lives are abuzz with activity. Two kids in track, one in tennis, one starting soccer -- my jobs, the church, and it's Springtime. And I have made it to the YMCA every morning this week with Kari.

I really wanted to spend this time writing a parody of the song "Your Body is a Wonderland", changing it to "Your Body is Such a Wasteland" but I really cant' dedicate the time to it. I know you are disappointed.

i was talking to Kari this morning about how right now we have nine kids at home and 4 of them have to be forced to do what they are supposed to do and the other four do what they are supposed to without being told. I am so tired of parenting the ones who have to be cajoled, threatened, consequenced, even bribed just to do one chore a day and the dishes once a week. you'd think I was asking them to climb Mount Everest....

The group home where John lives left a message last night on my phone. They were calling "make sure he had our permission to leave for the weekend to see his brother." Well, I immediately knew Kyle hadn't invited John for the weekend, and nobody here had, so I knew it was Mike he was planning to see. I called them back and said, "That's like you asking me, "Does John have permission to jump out of a six story building face first onto concrete. No, of course he doesn't have permission to spend the weekend with Mike."

Mike doesn't have a vehicle. He doesn't have a license. But he does have manipulative powers over John that might convince him to abandon a very good plan.

It was almost exactly two years ago this week that Mike was in a halfway house. We had him qualified for free room and board and a succession of programs that would guide him into adulthood. He was a senior in High School on target to graduate with six weeks left. And he walked away from it all.

John is in the same position. He has room and board paid for indefinitely. He has six weeks until graduation. He has a plan. But this one weekend with Mike could derail him completely and he could end up homeless and without a diploma very quickly.

I know that John is 18 and he can walk out of that group home and go with Mike if he chooses, but I certainly am not going to put my stamp of approval on such a stupid plan. But it's beyond my control and that stinks.

It could go either way. John could tell Mike no, that their parents won't let him, and stay put for the weekend. Or he could simply arrange for Mike to pick him up after school and not go back to the group home. I hope he chooses the former.

It's unfortunate that I am so used to bad choices that I almost expect them. No matter how much I repeat myself and harp at my kids about making good choices, they just don't. And then they are so shocked at the natural consequences of their actions. I could give you paragraphs of examples.

But instead I will just repeat my mantra,
"Lord, give me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the person I can, and the wisdom to know it's me."

1 comment:

Angela :-) said...

"we have nine kids at home and 4 of them have to be forced to do what they are supposed to do and the other four do what they are supposed to without being told"

Is this that new math? I'm missing a kid...

Angela :-)