A story from August of 2012. My younger son was a great student but his first day of senior year was a little rocky. This is what happened and how I tried to make it better and then got to utter the “Thank you God for giving me sons and not daughters.” prayer.
Beav started school on Monday and he started it in a crash of mashed bumper and adrenalin. Poor kid, he had a fender bender on his way to school. I felt terrible. I felt terrible for him when he called me panicked about to cry as I stood outside a patient’s room about to panic and cry myself because I was in a rare situation of trying to care for a patient who was so flippin’ sick I wasn’t sure what to do next. One of the things I hate about my job is I can’t just drop it and leave. I can’t hang up the phone, grab my purse and leave. Thank goodness Ward answered his phone and was able to help Beav. For those of you who have followed along, this is not my first Boy Wrecks Car rodeo. Fortunately, Beav’s accident wasn’t as dramatic or stupid as Wally’s. But wow. What a way to start the first day of your senior year in high school. Especially for the kid who tries to do everything right because he is in the shadow of a brother who is his own worst enemy.
Beav shares with me the legacy of catastrophic thinking. I know when he called me he was making the leap to “I don’t have a car so I have to quit my job but I love my job.” and “I’m going to have a mark on my driving record so I’m not going to get into my first choice college.” Neither of which are remotely rooted in reality. If he doesn’t get into his first choice it won’t be because he has a 2 point ticket and he won’t lose his job because he has enough vacation time to cover missed shifts while his car is in the shop plus Ward and I can function as a unit when one of our sons really needs us. We can’t stand each other most of the time but when shit hits the fan, we deal and do it and move on.
Beav was also sure this would color his entire senior year. This was a more understandable leap. Sure he’s 18 but he still lives in the moment. I bit the bullet and decided to tell a story on myself and how I started my senior year. My friend Keith compares those late days of ’78 to an “ABC After School Special” and he’s not exaggerating. To make a long ancient and tired story short: my 2.5 year boyfriend whom I was IN LOVE WITH OMG I LOVED HIM SO MUCH and I had sex a few days before school started. The night before school started he broke up with me and announced he was OMG I”M IN LOVE WITH ONE OF YOUR FRIENDS. (I left the whole sex thing out when I told Beav. Because ewww)
I was a good girl. I was saving myself. I saved myself and then he dumped me.
Did I mention most of my friends knew he was hot for my friend? Did I mention I lost a few friends that first day of senior year?
I don’t remember too much about those first few weeks of school. I was in a daze of grief and loneliness. I didn’t dare tell my mother why I was so upset (outside of the breaking up thing) because she would have shamed me in ways I was already shaming myself. But thank goodness I had other friends who reached out to me and helped put me back together. I’m also blessed we’re still friends and someday I owe them BIG TIME if they need to be put back together. I get to see one of these friends this weekend.
I told Beav this story to try and impress upon him everything–even fender benders–happens at the time it happens for a reason. Even if the reason is: Your mom takes you to school and mimics a fake phone conversation so she can eavesdrop on a conversation a young woman is having with her own mother. The girl is wearing denim bath suit bottoms masquerading as shorts. It was priceless overhearing lies told to a mother who was either asleep or already gone when she left the house for school: “What am I wearing? GAWD MOM, I’m wearing my skirt and Toms! WHAT DO YOU THINK I’M WEARING? –THOSE SHORTS YOU TOLD ME NOT TO WEAR????!!!! WHY DON’T YOU TRUST ME!!! I HATE YOU!” I laughed so hard I couldn’t pull away from the curb and I forget about the ticket and the hole in the radiator.
It’s gonna be ok.