Thursday, June 21, 2012
Happy Birthday Son
Tomorrow (June 22) our son will turn 19. A year ago we moved him to Nebraska to start his Freshman year of college. My, how much has happened in that year.
At the age of 18 he left the residential treatment center that he had called home for a year. He had graduated high school from the private school at the treatment center five days prior. He moved into an apartment that we paid for and we furnished. We stocked his fridge and pantry. All his bills were paid. The only thing he had to pay for was spending money. That meant getting a job.
To him he had hit the jackpot. He had hit the magic age of consent and that meant going off his medication. It was the beginning of a very fast downward spiral. 4 months later he had dropped out of college. Looking back, we did him a great disservice by paying his bills and setting him up as we did. He had no responsibility, but we can't change the past.
A year ago we pulled into Nebraska with our vehicle loaded with his things. We went to Applebee's to celebrate his birthday, then went to our hotel for the night. The next day we went shopping to buy the rest of his furnishings for his apartment and moved him into his new apartment. He seemed happy.
This year I am not sure what he will be doing. I'm not even positive where he's living. I know what town he's in and that he's living with his birth mother, but other than that, I wouldn't be able to find him.
For the past several months we have not been part of his life, except when he called for bail money. He has changed his name on his Facebook page back to his birth name, and has basically written us off, except.... yes, now we are supposed to jump up and be excited and spend his birthday with him. Why? Because he wants a gift or money or whatever from us.
For the past week or so, he has called us every day, multiple times a day, inquiring as to what we are doing for his birthday. We have told him that you don't turn relationships on and off. We either have a relationship or we don't. This was not what he expected us to say. In the past we have always done something with him for his birthday, we have gone to wherever he was living, I even made his birthday cakes for him.
There MAY be some sense of longing for "family" in him, but I doubt it. On the 28th he has court for six felonies and three misdemeanors. I believe he has taken pleas on all the charges so it should be a sentencing hearing, so his thoughts may be on going to jail....again. I have not attended court for him since he's turned 18. Again, a big change. I was at every court hearing when he was a minor. But, he has made it clear that he wants his birth family, so I am letting his decisions stand.
So, I wish him a Happy Birthday. I don't know what that will entail for him, but I truly hope he is happy for that day.