Friday, February 03, 2006

Carl called

Carl called yesterday. I don't think he had a particular reason, which is nice.

Carl is now 22. He has come so far.

On the phone we reminisced about the good times: Remember Mom, when you thought I wasn't going to graduate?

Oh yes. I remember. Someone from the high school called to say that Carl had missed one too many classes of US Government. In fact that he had cut that very day. He would not be getting credit for the class and it was too late to petition. He would not be graduating next week. I was especially furious because it was an extra short day: the classes were something like 15 minutes long. I fumed around the office muttering, "Fifteen #*%# minutes. All he had to do was go and say 'here." Would it be #%*& hard to say 'HERE!'"

After lunch my students were supposed to give presentations and fortunately the first one up was an advisee of mine who knew me fairly well. After a few minutes he stopped and asked me what he was doing wrong. "What?" "It's just that you look so angry. Am I doing something wrong?" I cancelled class.

About an hour later the school called back to tell me how sorry they were. The teacher had corrected the roll report. Everything was fine. Carl was going to graduate.

Yeah...Good times.

At the time I had no trouble at all believing that he had done it. He had been making no plans for emancipation. I think he wanted to crawl into a hole and hope that adulthood would not find him. He lived with us for five months after graduation -- two months longer than the agency's policy policy permits. We took him to Job Corps not because it was an especially good idea, but because, frankly, I had no idea how else to get him out of the house.

After Job Corps he came to tell me about a trip he wanted to take. He said that he had just enough money for it and then when he came back he could live with me for a bit. I told him he could not. He could not set out on a plan guaranteed to result in him being unemployed, broke and homeless and expect me to take him in. I did send him money to get home when the inevitable happened. He found friends who took him in for a while. And then he was homeless. For a full week he lived in a friend's car waiting for a room in the transitional housing facility to open up. He called. We picked him up, bought him lunch, a hair cut, vitamins, and put him back on the street.

Yep. Good times.

Just like now with David I would tell Hubby, "I want to go get him and bring him home." Of course Hubby would just give me that look and I would say, "I know. I know. It won't help to help him." ("Don't do something. Just stand there.")

But now...He's turned into an adult. He is making untraditional choices, but they are good, healthy ones. He is taking care of himself.

He's calling me to say hello -- not to be rescued.

These are good times.

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