Our strategy was to spend time at the house and not seek Colin out. My oldest son is 17 and the most detached of anyone to Colin's situation.
We arrived late afternoon, as Eldest had to work a life-guarding shift at the Y.
When we pulled up, my nephew was outside with his pellet gun, hunting rabbits. (didn't catch any). The critters have been plaguing my brother-in-law's garden. While we do not own guns at our house, the rule at this home is that you eat what you kill. The house is situated on 3 acres and while we are not gun owners or hunters, I do not take issue with this. I was concerned that Colin not be allowed to shoot and my nephew assured me that this would not happen. He even demonstrated how difficult it would be for Colin to physically cock the gun.
We went inside the house and visited. Dinner was at 8:00 p.m. and as we sat down to eat, Colin was nowhere to be found. I had assumed he was hiding in his room. It turned out that he was most-likely outdoors. Colin had been helping his cousin look for rabbits.
My nephew realized that Colin was wearing jeans and a sweatshirt which signaled the possibility he was planning to stay outdoors. My eldest said that we should just let him stay outside and not to bother looking for him. I had asked my sister to keep her van unlocked so he had a safe place to go.
My nephew had a friend at the house for a sleep-over and as the evening wore on with no sign of Colin, the two boys offered to look for him. Against my eldest's advice, I took them up on their offer.
It was now just past 10:00 p.m., and I went along with the boys who were armed with flashlights.
We found our runaway, curled up and hidden in the van, with only a denim-covered leg and a boot showing. After a brief struggle, my nephew led Colin up to his room and we all went to bed. The alarm was set so we would hear if any doors to the outside were opened.
Eldest and I left the next morning and went out to breakfast before heading home. Despite the circumstances, it was nice to have some rare quality time with my 17 year old.
"Living the Dream"
That night we had a dinner-dance fundraiser for my son's high school Jazz Band. Eldest plays trumpet and we go every year to support him and the band. I spent the night at home and went back to my sister's house Monday afternoon to hang out and to attend a Memorial Day cookout with her friends and neighbors.
Colin stayed in his room (mostly bathroom) and the only attempt I made at contact was to knock on his door to announce my departure. I wanted him to know that he would be free to move about the house without the threat of running into me.
I allowed my self to relax and and enjoy my time with my sister's friends. Pictures were posted on FaceBook. Only our family and a few of our friends know about the past year's struggles. I appeared carefree in the poolside photos. One of my friends commented on a picture, "Living the dream."
Little did she know it has been more like a "nightmare".
We are a work-in-progress!