It’s safe to say the last year and a bit has been a rough ride for our family…
No major illness, deaths in family or even financial hardship. No, we’ve actually been very, very lucky compared to most….
But moving from one side of Australia to the other, even if it was technically a return to “home”, with a hormonally challenged teenager, desperate NOT to leave his new friends (made in those most crucial of years, 11-14…OUCH, bad Mum!) has proven a grueling enough exercise as far as I’m concerned…
In between the buying and selling of houses and assimilating to new schools, jobs and time zones, we kind of, well….I’m ashamed to say it, but it really must be done….we lost our teenage son.
Granted, you’d be forgiven for losing a whole class of Chemistry students in his bedroom lately (and did I tell you about the time I found a piece of pizza in his bed??)
but, no. That’s not how.
I guess we’ve been preoccupied by busy lives, every weekend spent catching up with friends between endless trips to Bunnings (sorry, Masters, you just didn’t get here quick enough!)
but, no. I’m fairly sure he was still there, in his room, every single time we left or returned home.
But he was definitely “lost”.
Lost somewhere between a happy, secure life he once had in Sydney and the “new” (old) life we’d so wisely returned him to…
…an “awesome” life where friends were hard to find, self identity had slipped into that hard to reach place (usually reserved for remote controls) and the only obvious cure for such misery was, of course, hating his Mother’s -and occasionally his Fathers – guts!
I don’t think he ever really cared for his brother’s guts much, so no change there
Conversations became brief
“hi honey, how was school?” “it sucks”
“How’s the cake?” it sucks”
“Where would you like to go on the weekend?” “it sucks”
Forget about asking him to actually do anything for me! Might as well ask the cat…
Days have passed, tears have fallen, talking has been done in silence and quiet moments have been filled by the noise of hearts breaking.
All of ours.
Threats have given way to begging, fear has crept in more than once. We’ve tiptoed and we’ve screamed, and when nothing else worked we drank wine, or cried, or both.
…and that void persisted, taunting our guilt stricken hearts again and again
“you’re losing him”
returning to Sydney was not an option, but staying was doing this? Just shoot me now.
slowly…..surely…we made sense of the world he was living in and with time, and love, he started to return. But the memory of ugly fights and carelessly dropped words pointing at scary outcomes remained….
It’s easy to get stuck in the bad. We even forget sometimes to notice when things have gotten better.
Today I offered both boys a lift to school and on the way out I said to my Lost Boy, “grab my lunch out of the fridge, please.”
I didn’t expect him to actually do it.
I didn’t think he’d do it after only one request…
But when I looked down at my little plastic container of leftovers, and saw a plastic fork lying on top…
(a fork which I hadn’t placed there myself)
I realized, in that one glorious moment….