The Wonder Years

DJAhhh the what the fuck is going on  wonder years.

Remember Winnie and Kevin from the TV show The Wonder Years? Their hardest battle in life as teenagers was if they were ever going to see each other again after summer during  the last season. I remember watching that show thinking I knew them. Damn it I was them. My teenage years were boring. Well at least up until my Senior year in high school. I dabbled in drinking and like to think I was a bad ass. I wasn’t. Believe it or not I was a major introvert until the last six weeks of school. Then something happened. What I don’t know. That’s another piece for another day.

My son however is a complete and utter asshole. Yep that’s right. The loving child I had cut from my womb 17 years ago, has now become this psychotic, hormone ridden, walking encyclopedia of life. Did you know he knows everything?! That’s quite an accomplishment for a young man don’t you think? Seriously. He has a GPA of 3.6 this year as a Junior. Great attendance. Everybody loves him. I mean at the age when kids start sleeping over, parents were calling ME to ask if he could come spend the night. He’s charming and charismatic and very helpful to everyone he meets. He doesn’t know a stranger. That is totally downright freaking awesome. There is only one thing though. He is so much smarter than me and his dad and that bothers me. I can’t stand knowing that my son knows so much more about life than me! Somehow in his short life he’s learned more than I have in my 36 years of existence. How could I not see that? He pointed my sad ability to know that fact just this morning.

You see, Friday night I got a phone call at 11:30 p.m.

“Mom. Remember when you said I could call you anytime I was ever in trouble and needed you?”

(I sit up straight in bed, heart beginning to pound) “Yes. What’s wrong? Where are you?”

“I’m at a party in Woodrow and the cops busted it. They are making all of our parents come get us and I need you to come get me puhleasssse! And you can’t tell dad.”

His dad and I have been divorced five years. Astonishingly he’s a complete asshole as well. Now before you judge me for not telling his dad and driving the twenty miles to pick up my son from a party that had over a hundred high school kids with a DJ and more liquor than Scarface had cocaine, you have to know this. His father would have taken this out on both of us for the next ten years. Kids make mistakes and my son, being the smartest kid on Earth (which he really was in this case for calling me instead of asshole his dad) just happened to make a bad decision that a lot of us have made as teenagers. Do I tell him this right away? No. I want him to think he’s made a paramount mistake. Which he almost did. Being 17 years old he could have gone to jail for a MIP (minor in possession) since the police assume that with that much alcohol and that many kids, everyone must be drinking. They all got off. Every last one of them. Lucky bastards. Do they know they are lucky? Nope. Do they care? Not now. At the time they did. I got more “I love you mom”‘s and “I will call you and tell you how much I love you everyday mom”‘s in the time between our lecture from the deputy and the walk to the car, then I’ve gotten in his whole life.

It’s late. He’s freaked out and I’m tired and pissed and actually kinda laughing on the inside. At his fear of course.

Today though we go to talk about that night and all of a sudden because I’m bringing it up and trying to point out to him that next time he might not get off so easy when making a poor choice, I’m a nag. No wait. Actually the words he used were, “Mom! Quit sketching! Nobody elses parent’s are sketching anymore!”

I didn’t know I was an artist. I’m certainly sorry that the other parents have lost their muse to draw. Actually ‘sketching’ is a new word for ‘worrying’. Well son, I’m sorry that other parent’s aren’t drawing worrying anymore about their kids being in the middle of an outside rave that was busted by the police. It must be really hard to have all that pent up artistic ability to draw worry and not have anything come out on paper. Sigh. Sad really. I can empathize as a writer. Writer’s block sucks.

In the end before I go to bed this morning so I can work tonight, I now see that I have a long road ahead of me. This piece probably makes no sense to anyone but it was something I needed to get out. My son on most days is a caring, giving, loving, funny and downright great human being. Today he was an asshole and still is until I decide to take back his assholian status.

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