Peacemonger Mom

My son just enlisted in the military. I'm a peace activist. Why couldn't he have rebelled in some other way, like being republican?

Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day

I’m sure it will come as a surprise to none of you that I have not yet heard a single word from TB. Nor, even less surprising, have I heard anything from Ex or Mrs. Ex. I never thought that I would, and I’m certainly not going to ask.

That’s the part about this that makes me the angriest, I think. That my child would presume to know better than I regarding what I need. I realize that at some point we all begin the slow change from capable adult into elderly child, in need of someone’s careful eye so that we don’t burn ourselves on the stove, or get lost on our way to the post office.

I can assure you that I am nowhere near that point, nor are my parents. TB is taking quite a bit on himself to presume that he can determine for me the right way to deal with his father.

I have wrestled quite a bit with whether or not to get in contact with TB, now that I have the address (both mail and e-mail) to write him. I have sent him a cheery email, devoid of any real angsty substance, and I have no way to know if he has read it yet or not. Do they have daily access to pcs? Weekly? Rare? No real schedule? I have no way to know. So I don’t know if he knows I have written to him.

But the bottom line is that he knows – he knows – how to write to me and contact me. Even if he doesn’t have my address, he could contact Dad. He used to live there, he knows the address. “Please pass word on to Mom that I’m okay, and give her my address, and ask her to write.” Wow. How tough is that?

There are three possibilities as I see it:
1. TB doesn’t want to hear from me because he’s angry at me.
I find this one a little hard to digest. Only days before he left, we had very friendly, happy, supportive (on my part) emails and phone conversations. He did more than grunt at me, which is what he has done in the past (remember, we ARE talking about a 19 year old male. Grunting is the most commonly used language of the species). I don’t think he’s angry with me.

2. TB’s interactions with his father have tilted him towards The Dark Side. TB was never the most independent of thinkers – one of my biggest worries about him was that he would wind up with a “bad crowd,” not because I didn’t want him associating with a particular group of kids, but because I knew that TB has absolutely no ability to say, “No. I think this is wrong.” TB is, if nothing else, the consummate soldier because he will always follow the lead of other, alpha dogs. (Worrisome in and of itself)

To further back up my Theory of the Dark Side, prior to his leaving, my father asked TB something (I forget the specificity of the question), with the point being to limit the exposure that I have to have to Ex (Hello class, let’s revisit the purpose of divorce: I do not want to have to deal with you anymore, Spouse. Let’s get divorced. Good. Now I don’t have to deal with you. Thanks a million! Fondly, Ex-Spouse). TB objected to whatever it was that was being proposed, saying that I would have to deal with TB’s father eventually, that TB had gotten over his issues with his own father and that I needed to get over mine.

I’m in a fairly good mood right now, so I’m not going to enlighten you, Constant Reader, as to the “issues” that I am supposed to get over. Let me just say that this is a portion of my mental makeup, and it is not something that is “gotten over.” It is lived through, survived, wept over. It is not “gotten over.”

TB is, I believe, trying to manipulate me into dealing with his father and getting over my deep and horrible mental issues.

3. TB just doesn’t care.
This one works for me too, in a fundamentally disturbing way. Because of the roller skating rink, basically.

When TB was younger, and first developing the real social urges that kids develop, there was a group of kids from his school who went to the roller skating rink in our small town on Friday nights. This was something that could rack up some dollars for the parental units (also known as the ATMs to the youngsters), and so I thus offered TB the possibility that he could combine his allowance with any money he earned doing tasks around the house to pay his way into the rink on Friday nights. Thus, TB would (a) learn the value of a dollar, (b) learn the value of work and (c) have a social life to boot.

When I offered this to him (said work consisted of little more than picking up duties, and crushing aluminum cans that we recycled, using the handy dandy can crusher), he refused it out of hand, saying he really didn’t want to go to the skating rink that bad anyway.

????Insert befuddled mother here????

I had no idea what to do with this. He cared so little for this activity when he had to work for it, but when it was something that he was doing just to do it, it was the end all and be all of his existence, the reason that he started the week on Monday and ended it on Friday. Now, due to a little can crushing, and possibly running of a vacuum, he was a skate-hater.

This was a frequently revisited scenario. If he had to work for it, he didn’t want it. Which, as we all know, means that shortly, The Boy was going to either (a) run out of things that he actually wanted, because you know, life ain’t free, or (b) learn to work for things that he actually did want. Because I refuse to believe that he didn’t want anything. Humans are born wanting – we want food, we want to be dry, we want to be cuddled and held. We want what we need, and we want what we don’t need as well. TB did an excellent job of getting as far away from those things that he wanted, and pushing them off to the side.

Thus I am concluding that there is little that I can gain from writing to TB now. Not to mention...that anger? Yep. Still there.


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