My boys and their dates at Prom April 22, 2011
Learning to be a parent when your child is seventeen years old is a tad bit difficult to say the least; especially when that said child is a young man. There are just certain things that are sort of uncomfortable talking about. Like his medical and dental history, or getting used to riding in the car alone with him without my oldest son...I know that sounds funny, but we've always had the other kids around chatting and making noise.
Like yesterday for instance, I went to his track meet. Wow! What a runner this kid is. I was so proud! There I was in the stands, by myself, now that never happens, but my daughter was not yet out of school, and my dear boy made a point to come and hug me before his heat. What a great kid. But then that damn coach only let him run one event... and what am I supposed to do about it? Awkward.
This young man has been fighting his own battles quite successfully for most of his life. Is he going to appreciate input from me now? Can I call up his coach and kindly remind him that I have worked my a$$ off to get recruiters to look at my boy and now he is only letting him run one event????? Well, we did discuss it this morning on the boys' way to school and hopefully HE is going to remind the coach of that!
So, I guess you just start at square one. Which is what I have been trying to do. I'll take just a second to run you all through the legal guardianship process; it was really not as hard as I was afraid it would be. I will say this...have your paperwork in order! The state website had all of the information I needed to file the paperwork with the court, I got a court date; which was quite scary because I thought there was a chance of it going through without one. We then had to notify all parties....meaning the parent and there we were in court on April 1, 2011.
Now, that is a day I will never forget. We picked up Steve and Austin (Dad and our boy), so it was a tad awkward that we all drove together. I'm not sure how often the Plaintiff and the Defendant in a court case ride in the same vehicle, but I know it should be a good sign, right? But, I have to tell you, my nerves were on fire, I had been telling myself all morning long that this simply HAD to go through. By the time we got to the courthouse I was practically sick, in an overloaded pickup truck....what a bunch of hillbilly's!
In a small town setting, we of course were the only case on the docket, so we all got a few minutes to check out the inside of the court room and how it compares to those on tv...my kids were quite impressed and I of course couldn't have been more proud of my entire family. The judge came in with a rather stern expression on his face and asked Austin to step forward...my mother bear instincts took over and I reached out for him and I saw the judge hold back a smile...I knew we would be ok.
He then asked Tom and I to come forward and I of course hurried forward to sit near Austin as I didn't like him being up there by himself; Tom immediately took the seat on the other side of him. Man, did I choose a good husband or what? Anywho, he said that he assumed that this was to help get Austin off to college and that he had read all of the file and that he was impressed with my paperwork and the letter from the school, etc. The judge was also quite proud that people are doing things like this...
He then asked Austin how he felt about being a part of our family. And quite calmly he said "Well, I've been a part of their family a long time, sir. And I always have a place to go and a lot of fun...and well I love 'em a lot." You could have heard a pin drop in the room because Tom and I were so choked up we couldn't say a word; I believe even the judge was a bit taken back by his answer.
He then asked my oldest what he thought of the whole thing and he said, "well, it's pretty cool". He also was great to include my other two kids... like asking my daughter which high school she went to-ha! We got to brag about Austin being the fastest kid on the track team; and Steve even got to say a few kind words and then we were out of there. It was over.
The funny part was that I had held it together so well that I didn't realize that I had so many emotions inside me that I was going to lose it...And lose it I did. I bawled my head off. I was afraid the poor kid was going to change his mind and not want to be a part of my family I was such a mess. And then I had to get back in that packed truck and ride home with all of them. Crazy I tell you, Crazy!
So, now I am parenting a seventeen year old man, part time, as his Dad is still quite involved, which is a good thing most of the time. But, I'm taking care of the tough stuff, like dental and drivers licenses and insurance, etc. It's weird. So how do you ask a kid about their medical history...you ask the doctor I've decided. I'll take it one day at a time, ask for extra time at appointments, like people seem more than willing to give me, and go from there.
And as for that coach...he better watch out...cause Mama Bear is on the loose. I will give him time to fight his own battles, but he has done plenty of that I have decided....