Once school was out, my son actually started taking a little bit more responsibility for the community service requirement. I spent A LOT of time driving him around.
By the time he went to court in the middle of July, he had about half of the hours completed, but luckily for him, a lot of the people that he worked for gave him double hours, so that made up the difference. I wasn’t excited about him getting double hours because it seemed like he was getting more than he deserved, but I couldn’t say much about it. At least there were people willing to let him do community service for them.
The judge was glad that he got the service hours and not glad that he did so poorly at school. He said that the court was through babysitting him, though, and that he had to either be fully employed or enrolled in school when he went back to court in October, or he would go to juvenile detention for a long stay.
Afterward, my son said, “So, I have three months to get a job.”
I said, “You have about two weeks to get a job because I have to get you registered for school if you don’t get one.”
He told me not to register him for school because he wasn’t going to go whether he had a job, or not.
So, I didn’t register him. I was done fighting with him about school. If he didn’t get a job by October, then his stay in detention wasn’t going to be my problem.
With community service and court over with, he had very little motivation to do anything. So he spent the rest of the summer doing absolutely nothing. He did not look for a job and his main activity was pestering me for something to do.
When he was a little kid, wanting me to provide constant activities and entertainment, he would never let up on his quest until I finally came up with an acceptable idea, or sent him to his room because I couldn't stand it anymore. But, now that he was an angry unhappy teenager, if I didn’t come up with the solution to his boredom, he yelled at me and called me names. I would get so tired of him swearing at me and putting me down that getting out of bed every morning was getting harder and harder to do.
As the belittling went on and on, I would say, “Just remember that the next time you want to go do something fun with me, that you called me an f-ing b**** the day before and then don’t even bother asking.”
It was an awesome summer.
The best part was his birthday.
The plan was that he and a friend would go to a movie during the day. Then, that night, his father and I would take him and the friend to Chuck-a-Rama for dinner. It is one of his favorite places to eat. I invited his sponsor as a surprise. We were all looking forward to it.
At least I thought we ALL were.
Until, I was asked if his father and I could NOT go to the restaurant with him for his birthday dinner because when he was talking about it in front of some other friends, they invited themselves, but THEY didn’t want US (the parents) to go, too. He said it would have been rude of him to tell his friends that they couldn’t come.
Oh yes. So much more rude to tell your parents that THEY are un-invited to the celebration that they planned for you.
In the meantime, he said he wanted to have a Honey-baked Ham for his birthday. I said that it would be okay, but that the ham was going to be his gift. I guess he thought I was joking about that.
We drove to the Honey-baked Ham store and I bought him a $40.00 ham. He was so excited about it that he brought a plate and a fork with him from home and started eating the ham as soon as we got back into the truck. Then said, “this is not very good.”
I said, "That is your present, so hopefully it will taste better if you heat it up or have it on a sandwich with some cheese. That is all you are getting for your birthday this year.”
This must be when he realized I wasn't joking because he exploded with, “That is B*** Sh**!”
Well, he had already informed me that he wanted me to give him the money that I would have spent on the movie, and the money that we would have used at the restaurant with the original party plan so that he and these friends could use it to go bowling and then out to eat.
I felt that giving him a portion of that money was more than enough for this birthday and I let him go with all of these wonderful friends to celebrate his birthday without us.
It was not what I thought his 17th birthday would be like.
But, then again, nothing was turning out like I thought it would anymore.
I didn't know for sure if it ever would.