Monday, July 6, 2009

July 4th weekend.

Yes I am working on Monday. I hate it. But I am going to be off on Friday because I am going to the AGD annual meeting. So blog today and Wednesday and no blog on Friday. Remember to say Hi to me if you are going to the meeting and see me.

Man was this an eventful weekend.

First and foremost I talked to Seth for the first time about the book. I don't know if you remember but I told you I wanted to write a book about Seth and his life so far. Seth is my nephew that lived with me and my family for 7 years. This kid has had a screwed up life and continues to try to be screwed up by his mother and grandmother. For instance, last week his mother stole a credit card from the grandmother and then maxed it out (about $450) to buy crack. Then the grandmother who is all distraught because she probably needed that money to buy booze and maybe pay the electric bill, called Seth to see if he, an 18 year old 4 months out of jail, could send them some money.
When we took him to a counselor when he was about 6 or 7 years old the counselor said he had a 2% chance of not ending up in jail. All because of his family.
In writing this book I don't want to treat him like a subject. I don't want to tell his and our story just for individual gain. I just think it would be a compelling book. But what exactly is my motivation?
So, about the book....he said he thought it was a good idea. I told him that would involve him and I talking a lot more. He said he was okay with that. I told him that he should start writing all the stories he remembers down. He sounded excited. I guess when you don't have much, something is exciting.

I am going to tell you only one story from the weekend.
In my town they always have fireworks on July 3rd. I guess they know everyone is off from work on the fourth so people can live it up on the third. And it doesn't conflict with any other fireworks in downtown Orlando.
We have some friends that live within walking distance of the fireworks. So they have an annual party. They supply the food and beer and you bring a side dish and your chair for the show. A lot of people from the church come and a lot of his neighbors always come.
People get there early and just enjoy each other. I plopped myself out back and most of the men hung out by the grill and the keg. The woman congregate in the kitchen getting the food prepared. Then the third element are the kids. They are running around like packs of wolves.
Occasionally you see them when they come for a drink. They are either playing basketball, tag or beating each other up. Its all cool because I am hanging out by the keg.
Now I decided I was going to kind of walk around to see how the kids were doing.
They were playing pretty good on the basketball court.
Then another mother came up beside me and we started talking. She had a 6 year old. I said man they are going to be wiped out. I said they are going to need baths big time.
She said, "Yeah, I just took my little Alex home and gave him a bath. Turns out the bigger kids were picking on him and someone poured dirt on him."
She said, "I think it was that kid in the orange and blue."
Now you know what I am going to say next. Luke, my 10 year old, is the only kid wearing orange and blue. I WAS MORTIFIED.
Now I don't know if you know this but I am a stickler to bullying and down right meanness.
I called Luke over and then she was mortified that she was talking about my son.
But he needed to be called out on it.
I brought him over and asked him what happened. I said what she said and he admitted that they might have been pretty tough on the kid. He said however he didn't put dirt on him and threw someone under the bus on that one.
I told him that was unacceptable he needed to apologize to the kid and next time when sh@$#!t is going down someone has to be a man and say STOP. Someone has to say picking on someone or having fun at someone else's expense is not right. And the next time it is going to be you.

I have to tell you this was a wake up call for me. I have to tell you that to me Luke is the golden boy. I know he has a mouth on him and he is learning to push his mother like you wouldn't believe but when it comes to his heart or how he interacts with other kids, especially younger ones, I think this kid has no faults.
I am still in shock as I write this. I guess this is my Achilles heal....I think my kids are, not perfect, but pretty damn close.
I know I have to have my guard up at all times. I have to anticipate, I have to lower my expectations so they will deliver more. I have to raise my awareness to their brokenness.
This is not easy for a dad like me. Love is so blind and I will tell you I am blind as a bat.
I didn't want to break Luke's spirit and really get on him but we had a couple discussions this weekend about our hearts. About how a mother and father feel about their kid. How this mother's heart must have been broken when she found out that her son was being picked on.
Man, I just sit here and it sucks the air out of me to think what that woman was thinking and to think it was MY Luke that did it.

Okay, enough of dragging him through the mud.
We did something really special yesterday with homeless woman and children and I hope it will restore your tarnished image of Luke. Did I tell you he was perfect? Wait I can't do that anymore.

Have a great Monday,
Talk to you Wednesday

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It was much harder to read that YOU think Luke is perfect than to read that he is not. I don't even know your kids but I can tell you this: Your kids are far from perfect; everyone's are. If at 10 you see him pushing his mother like crazy, you probably haven't seen the worst of it. But that's how kids grow up, and that's why they have parents. Don't put your kids on pedestals where they are too afraid to tell you when they've screwed up. They all do, some in smaller ways than others fortunately. Be realistic, AND consistent with repurcussions, and you'll do fine through the next several years. Good luck!


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