The Final Plunge
High School swim season is now over. Two weeks ago, my eldest son made it to "Districts" in the 100 Breaststroke. We had to leave at the crack of dawn for a 90 minute car ride to the all-day swim meet. While my middle-son slept-in, Colin chose to come along to cheer his teammates on. Perhaps due to his eldest brother's presence, he was on his best behavior. During the car ride, I was only subjected to a couple of shushes when I was talking.
Colin sat with me up in the stands, was able to tell me where he was going when he left and politely asked for money when he wanted to buy some lunch. He even brought back my change. The only odd behavior was when we were ready to leave and had to wait for my senior to change and pose for a team photo. I noticed that Colin had his knit cap pulled down hiding his eyes. Former classmates and summer swim teammates were there with our local public high school team. I'm pretty sure he did not want to run into any of them. His shame over the past year runs deep.
Colin and his 16 year old brother also are on their NAQT ( National Academic Quiz Tournament) team and have been participating in weekend meets. Three weeks ago I drove the boys and a schoolmate up to Cleveland for a tournament. Other than the weather, things went fairly smoothly.
I took a break from the tourney to visit a favorite childhood deli. I purchased some of the world's best corned beef and deli treats for my family as well as picked up an order for my sister. Colin remembered the deli from our last visit 19 months earlier when we were in town for my class reunion, right before our relationship went downhill.
Much to my surprise, he asked if I was going to Corky's and seemed pleased when I answered in the affirmative. Fortunately I had the foresight to go early, soon after the tournament started. The weather was snowy and the roads were starting to get a bit hazardous. I don't think I would have made the trip if I waited until the end of the day.
When I got back to the meet, I chose to follow my high school junior's team as Colin does not want me to watch him compete. The ride home took twice as long due to slippery, snowy roads and a detour around a 20-car pile-up. I was grateful to arrive home safely and that Colin was well-behaved the entire time.
Due to a series of inclement-weather days off from school, it would appear Colin has been spending a fair amount of time with online gaming. One recent evening, I brought the dog down the basement to check on my son. I opened the door and let the pup in only to hear my son say, "Mom. not now, I'm playing with my friends".
I stuck my head in his room to look for "imaginary friends" and found Colin seated in front of his laptop wearing his headset. I pointed to his computer and shot him a quizzical look. He nodded in the affirmative. I grabbed the dog and left. At least he was polite in front of his online buddies.
I spoke to my 16 year old to see if I needed to be concerned that his brother was spending quite a bit of time online with what appears to be total strangers. I was told no, and that I didn't need to worry. There are better ways of paedophiles targeting victims than playing "Call of Duty".
I have to trust that my son will be o.k. Things seem to be going well, at least on the surface. What lies below is anyone's guess...
As always, "We are a work-in-progress!"