Saturday, February 05, 2005

Here Comes Trouble Day

Here Comes Trouble Day!

Your son started another fight. His third at this fancy new middle school.

"I thought you people were supposed to be good at dealing with troubled youths," you shout at the principal through the receiver.

"We do what we can with what we're given," her words are very clipped. "And what we're given is designed in the home. How's the home going?"

His Dad's gone and sometimes calls and says he might come back, which is less an empty promise and more an empty threat. "My son hates me. So what? Fix him."

He hates you only because you've decided to let his Dad's absence be replaced with silence. He hates you because you assumed he would and, as far as he can tell, you were fine with that.

"When he takes a swing at a classmate," the principal asked, "who's he really wanna hit?"

I think he wants to drive his arm straight through my belly. You think it but don't say it. "I don't know lady. You perhaps? The more we talk, the more understandable that seems."

She breathes for ten seconds. Then, "If you're not going to work with us, I'm afraid…"

Say, "He won't be back Monday."

She'll say, "I'm afraid that will be best."

With no schools left that will take him, and no money to pay his tuition even if they could, you hang up the phone with the rest of the day ahead of you to try not to think about it.

Happy Here Comes Trouble Day!