My kid is in juvie
Should I raise my hand? It's joys & concerns, and this is a huge heavy concern. It would probably really throw him off up there. I'd get to see some church ladies squirm. That could be entertaining. I don't think I can say this without crying. I don't want to throw my kids out there for the judgment and the gossip. I know the power of the prayer list, but I also know the gossip it feeds. But this hurts the same as cancer. It does. Jesus knew and put it on the same short list. I just can't say it without crying.
It has been a very rough week and I have shed many tears. My bonus kid came to me in July with a bit of a rap sheet. I haven't written about it because he's a kid and I've felt it's his story to tell. He is a insanely talented kid, too, who tells his story at his own pace, in his own lyrics, and to his own audience. His grandpa reminded me, though, that there is probably something I am supposed to learn here, too. When I met with him to tell him all B's probation officer had told me and the consequences that I believed were best after the latest series of bad choices, he said that he tries to remember there is probably something here for him to learn, too. Fighting tears he said, "What is it that God wants me to take from this too?"
Why did I stop that? I listened for the lessons with Mr. 1inamillion's cancer journey. I knew I was along the path with him for a reason, too. The biggest thing I've noticed is that life amidst juvenile delinquency is a lot like life amidst oncology, at least from the driver's seat. There are PO appointments. Psychology appointments. Substance abuse group therapy and 1-on-1 sessions. A sentencing hearing is a lot like scan results. You are forced to wait for a long, indefinite period of time in a waiting room for someone who does not know you but because of a higher education they're qualified to sentence you to months of whatever treatment they believe will hopefully put this behind you for good. or at least for now.
The language is different. The juvenile court system has it's own set of words and acronyms much like, but completely different than, oncology. I'm slow, but learning them. Of course B asked for his consequences with actions and bad choices.....not unlike some cancer patients (smokers and tan addicts) but certainly unlike most and Mr. 1inamillion. While waiting for B's last hearing after two days of scared, wrong choices, my heartbreak and anguish felt the same. Seeing the kid you claim and love in handcuffs and a jumpsuit hurts. It's heartbreaking. It hurts to tell a lawyer you just met that No, we will not take him home and allow intense probation. It is not what is best for him and he will run. We believe his best option now is the boys ranch.
I don't know firsthand what Dane thought or felt lying in a hospital bed, and I can't understand what B is thinking or feeling inside a cell. I do know that sitting outside of a juvenile detention center, the anguish felt is not much different than that felt sitting outside of a hospital. This is one thing I've learned. I understand why Jesus put both on the short list of the least of these in Matthew 25.
I knew before this last week that the kid had been whittling away at my high horse. As moms, we look at other people's kids as trouble for our own. Stay away from him, he's a bad influence. Stay away from her, that girl is trouble. I have said to B, just as to things 1 & 2, all of your friends are welcome here until they specifically give me a reason not to be. There are a couple that I will chase off of my lawn with a snow shovel because they earned my wrath firsthand. There are friends he has made that were preceeded by the gossip and attitude from other parents or teenagers. I am trying to offer those kids the same grace and chances I want for my kid because I know my kid's heart, and I know many probably judge him and consider him the bad influence. I tell you that some of those deemed trouble by the gossip mill have proven to be true friends who came through to save his life and encourage the right choices.
This week my horse dropped a lot lower. I've judged. I've blamed. I carried a burden I did not want and did not believe I should have to carry. Why God? I don't want to do it. I know, be the Mom he needs, not the Mom he wants. It's not my job to make you happy or comfortable, as a parent the goal is to get you to adulthood as a responsible, contributing citizen. Oh, God, I shouldn't have to be the hard ass mom. Was I tagged in to just be the bitch? It's Christmas.
He's going to miss Christmas. HE IS NOT. He will miss the tradition and commercialization we've made it about, but not the grace. Jesus was born in a barn...amidst shit & flies...he spent his first birthday and second as a refugee in Africa fleeing Herod's genocide. Jesus came to make all things new and he started in shit & flies. B is not missing Christmas. He may have the truest Christmas of all. OH LORD, PLEASE LET HIM KNOW THAT. PLEASE, GOD, MAKE YOUR PRESENCE SO CLEAR AND OBVIOUS TO HIM. I AM TALKING BIG, BURLY ANGEL IN THE CELL 'FEAR NOT' KIND OF OBVIOUS. PLEASE, GOD.
Oh, it hurt to see him like that. To let the judge say we didn't want him. That isn't true. We want what's best and we know we're not it. It's not fair being the bonus mom that has to be the hard ass mom. God, that was gut wrenching. So now you understand why I couldn't let her do it. Oh, Lord, I do. I am so sorry. I can't imagine! I can not even imagine doing this if I had birthed him and cuddled him. If I had overcome all that she has, I would no doubt fall. I would crumble. Oh, Lord. Please comfort her. Please be with her and help her, too. Please help me be the mom you need me to be for B. and for her.
So, it is Christmas Eve and my heart is heavy with concern. My kid is in juvie. With the same confidence I had before for Mr. 1inamillion, I am asking for prayers. It's not a coincidence Jesus put them both on the short list. Broken people are just broken, and hurt just hurts.
...I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. (Matthew 25:26)
...When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?
The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me. (-Matthew 25:39-40)