DeTox – Day 12 A word on survival parenting

My oldest son dropped out of high school and went to live with his father.

Let me just note; This is Not a Good Thing.

But, he’s 19 now, so I don’t really get a say.  The rules in my house were apparently too strict (take a shower, finish school, apply for jobs) and so he left.  Thanks to Eminem, he still wants to have a relationship with me.

Which is not to say I am anything even approaching Debbie Mathers in the realm of parenting.  I’m not a substance abuser.  At worst, I was more wrapped up in my own stuff sometimes than in the kids stuff, but mostly I was a naggy Mother.  Not that it helped anything at all, he’s still a high school drop out without a job who rarely showers and hasn’t seen a stick of deodorant in two years.  The deodorant thing, that’s genetic, on his father’s side.

So we go out to breakfast once a month now.  The hubby and I suspect this is his only true meal.

This week was our lunch date.  Though I asked him to shower, he still got in my car wreaking of Eau de Young Man Avec No Old Spice.  We sit outside at the breakfast place we frequent in Boulder.

I’m a Mom, so I asked about his diet.  There are some things a Mother just really does not want to know and shouldn’t ask.  Ever. I suspect this varies from Mother to Mother.  This particular Mother is a lifelong vegetarian, who has made every attempt at feeding her kids healthy, balanced meals.

Their father, however, is the guy who in his twenties, when he got a job and lived alone, ate nothing but tuna fish sandwiches.  When we lived together and would go to the grocery store as a couple, he’d fill the cart in such a way that it looked like we had a house full of 12 year old boys who craved nothing but sugar.  When I tried to make him healthy lunches to take to work, he complained – not enough food, not enough variety, not the right bread.  So I stopped making sandwiches.  

When the boys were younger, their father stocked the freezer with pizzas, taught them how to use a microwave and went to bed.

So I should not have been surprised when the kid’s answer was, “Well, Dad was tight on money so we didn’t shop for a while.  I was eating, well, basically scraps.  At one point, I just opened a  Manwich from like 2010 and drank it right out of the can.  But then about a week ago Dad and I went shopping.”

Which should have been a good thing.  The son does tell me that he’s been eating fruit every day.  However, his father’s SUV had issues, and was in the shop when they went shopping.  They are now driving a rented sedan.  When they went shopping, in the Colorado heat, they put the food in the back seat and for some reason decided the safest place for the carton of eggs would be on the shelf under the back window.

You know where this is going, don’t you?

I wish I could tell you that the 52 year old man in this story had the intelligence, responsibility, and restraint to just throw the eggs away.

But I can’t.

He was so fascinated with the fact that the eggs cooked there in the sun and heat, and that they were essentially hard boiled when they cracked them open, that he ate them and fed them to my son.  

These are the genetics I chose for my children.

Dear World,
I’m sorry.

They are both miraculously still alive.  I’m sure they ate them all in one setting, in a feast that would draw envy from Templeton the Rat.

My son boxed up the leftover breakfast potatoes from our favorite restaurant for lunch later.  I told him he could put cheese on them when he reheated them, to add protein.  I was then informed that the only cheese in the house was Velveeta.  Slices.  I just smiled, probably looking a little like an in-patient at a mental health care facility who is too drugged up to remember what brought her there.  I nodded.

I dropped the kid off back at his fathers building and sent him off with leftovers and the homemade chocolate chip cookies I’d made for him.  That should last about an hour before it’s back to frozen pizzas and Manwich juice.

Some days it’s best to just remind myself I am not the Mother from Weeds, and that even she managed to raise two sons to adulthood.


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