I may have become a little too overprotective of Jason this week. I kind of jumped the gun, so to speak.
I hate when I unintentionally rhyme.
After I had that big revelation about being there for the family I have and bringing my life back to normalcy, I took the rest of the week off of work to stay home with Jason. He had been emailed many assignments and one of his female classmates brought over her notes and lent her textbook for the weekend. I teased him about the crush the girl obviously has on him but I didn’t even get a smile out of him. He didn’t speak at all on that first afternoon but he read the notes and studied the text book; he was more focused than I’ve ever seen him. It was frightening – that was also a joke, I am incredibly proud that my son is taking responsibility for his education despite the circumstances which forced him here. After a few hours of just sitting and watching him work, I let him be. That first afternoon was incredibly boring but I came back the next day with a cup of coffee, determined to be a part of my son’s life. 7am, I woke up, let James sleep – he was on the night shift all last week, poor guy – and woke Jason up with probably too much cheerfulness. But he didn’t fight me. He woke up when I asked him to, he got dressed, ate breakfast, and sat down at his desk, all without uttering a word.
There is nothing so unnerving as a silent child.
But I kept talking, I kept asking him questions – staying on the subject of his school work, of course. I knew better than to bring up other subjects, the things I really wanted to ask. How was he feeling about his sister? Did he want justice, or to forget? Does he blame his parents? Does he blame himself? Questions I’d love to ask – or love to know were being asked by someone – but I’d never dare at this moment. Not when he was so silent. So terrifyingly silent. I don’t know why it bothered me so much that he wouldn’t speak but I have never felt so much relief as on that Thursday afternoon when he finally told me that the answer to Question 2 was x=13.75a
I still don’t know what that means: that wasn’t the right answer. Maybe it was a metaphor? I think he just wanted me to shut up. But in any case, he spoke, and he kept speaking: walking me through his answers, responding to my corrections, rolling his eyes when I teased him about Textbook Girl. I spent the next two days with him, helping him get caught up, keeping him talking.
On Saturday night he came downstairs – which is a feat in itself – and told me “mom, I’ll be fine” Before grabbing a bowl of leftover spaghetti and returning to his room. My heart pounded through my skin and I got chills – the hairs on my arm stood up. The first time we’ve come close to discussing something akin to his feelings in a month and a half and it’s over a bowl of spaghetti. It couldn’t be any other way.
Jason went back to school on Monday, still barely smiling but communicating as best he can. James is back on a daytime shift this week so I’ll get to see him more often. I’m back at work, trying to catch up as quickly as possible: doing the best I can.
It sounds corny but that’s the theme of the week.
Doing the best we can.
As always, dear readers,