I’ve been cranky as you have probably guessed. (Posting lists of nasty names to call an ex and such.)
“Why so glum, Annie?”
You may not want to know, but I am telling you anyway.
“Too bad we won’t see Pop on Father’s Day,” Little Man said sorrowfully last evening.
“He isn’t much of a father anyway,” he added, frowning.
“Perhaps he could come out for the weekend?” I suggested. “You could ask him.”
“He’ll say he can’t afford it—it’s too expensive,” Little Man replied.
(The average salary of an attorney in his state is approximately $120,000 per year. The average household income in his state in 2009, the last year for which data is currently available, is $48,000, at which time only roughly 25% of the populace had attained a bachelor’s degree. He has two, plus a law degree. Right. He can’t afford it.)
The phone rang after I had settled my children in for homework time. It was one of the masters from the tae kwon do studio. My twelve-year-old had assaulted a younger, smaller student in the locker room after class. I called my son in for questioning. Guilty. Bullying; a first. Fortunately no one was physically hurt. Even so, I was livid. I offered my most sincere apologies to the other parents—I’ve been on their end. My son is now thoroughly aware of my disappointment and dismay. He understands the need to accept responsibility and make amends. He understands he may be excluded from the academy.
This came on the heels of a phone call from his school counselor. The boy can’t sit still, his impulsivity is on the rise. They are “concerned.” Two days ago he poked a good friend with a pencil, piercing his flesh. He says the poke was an accident, which probably isn’t entirely true. Most certainly he is sorry. He feels remorse. He feels a lot of remorse. He feels enough remorse that I worry it will make it more difficult for him to make good decisions in the future.
“What is going on?” his counselor inquired. “Anything worrying you?”
“The summer,” he said flatly.
The prospect of visitation looms.
“Last summer my alcoholic father split my brother’s head open with a sledgehammer! I’m just worried, okay?!” he shouted.
You ain’t the only one, kid. “What a stupid pee pee head,” I whispered to myself, breathing.