Ever hit that point in your life where you just want to run away from it all?

Yes?

I see you know what I’m talking about.  I think everyone knows what I’m talking about at some point or other.

This last week, Rowdy decided that he’d just had enough of everything and everybody and decided not to come home.  He’s now back (after being gone less than 24 hours), and so, from the far side of the incident, I can look back and reflect on things that happened.

Jetsam, Hun and I were stressed beyond belief for that short time frame that he was gone.  I think it has been the only thing in the last 10 years that actually had all of us united with each other.  No small feat that Rowdy was able to accomplish this considering Jetsam views me as her mortal enemy.  I’d like to address some things that I’ve been pondering since Wednesday:

  • Rowdy is a terrible planner.  He picked a nice enough day to leave – the temperatures were in the mid-70’s.  But he didn’t pay close enough attention to the weather report – the night dipped down into the 40’s.  He left the house wearing shorts, a t-shirt, and tennis shoes.  No jacket, no backpack, no bike, no extra food, and no money.   
  • Jetsam panics about everything.  4 hours into her son missing and she wanted to mount a search party.  Granted, I get the urge and need to feel like doing something, anything, but a search party?  It isn’t like he’s 3 years old and wandered away from the house – he’s 13!!  He has friends scattered all across the city!  At 4 hours into wondering where he was, I figured he was at a friend’s house, eating popcorn, playing video games and laughing at how great it was to be free from parental oppression!!
  • Did I mention that Jetsam panics about everything?  5 hours into her son missing, she had family members calling the hospitals for kids who had been brought in without any ID or parental escort.  Good news!!  He wasn’t there.  I could have told her that without even picking up a phone.  I tried to tell her that and she wouldn’t listen.  I work at a hospital; I know how things like this work.
  • 15 hours into Rowdy being missing, I started to question my own feelings regarding Rowdy.  Did I really love him the way I always believed?  If I did love him, why was I not panicking like his own mom?  Even Hun, who had remained calm during the entire ordeal, was more stressed out than I was.  Wasn’t I supposed to be acting like the world had ended like she had been?  Why was I so sure in my heart that he was fine?  Am I really evil?  What kind of parent am I to believe that the worst case scenario hasn’t happened and that everyone else is over-reacting?  Granted, my feelings had been correct…but what if they weren’t? 
  • Parents don’t give their kids enough credit for what they are capable of.

Once Rowdy was found, he was questioned extensively by the school, police, and by us – his family.  He traveled a much greater distance than any of us considered in our original search parameters.  As the crow flies, he was at least 8 miles away from our house.  I should have known better myself.  I ran away once as well…..within 6 months, I saw the waters of 3 separate salt water bodies encompassing about 3 thousand miles…..  I will admit however to being much better prepared at the running away bit than Rowdy has currently planned out….

He’s back now and I wish I could say that all’s well that ends well.  However, this chapter of our life isn’t over yet.  You see, Rowdy opened up a can of worms that Hun and I had hoped was buried and done with.  We’re so naïve.

Jetsam blames Hun and me for Rowdy running away.  She says he never wanted to live with us (true), that we’re abusive towards him (false), and that he needs to move back in with her (not going to happen).  She’s insisting that the courts will automatically turn custody over to her now that Rowdy is of an age that the courts will take his opinion into consideration.  Yes, the courts will consider his opinion, but Rowdy stating he wants to live with Jetsam is not the be all, end all to the inquiry….the court will look into Jetsam’s history since she lost custody 5 years ago, discover she hasn’t fulfilled the original obligations set out by the court and will (in all probability) stamp the change in custody request denied.

She’s telling Rowdy what he wants to hear and leaving us to tell him the truth.    Horrible, evil parents that we are, we insist on telling the kids the truth.  We’re not unkind about it, but we don’t shy away from what we can back up with facts and we are gentle with our opinions on subjects regarding them, their mom and custody.

We have a long road ahead of us.  I’m going to almost guarantee that there will be more regarding this episode in our life.

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