December 2004


I cry at every commercial involving the military. I am scared to death that Jeff will actually get off probation for the DUI (last June) and enlist in the Marines. It’s such a difficult choice, and one I cannot have a part of. He is *cough* a man.It looks promising that his probation will be terminated. If so, the reality of it all will hit me hard. The judge is (or will be) terminating his probation for the sole purpose of his participation in the Marines. Granted, once his probation is terminated he could tell everyone to screw themselves and not enlist. If he does what will he do? He’s lost his job for a poor attitude; not defiant or rude – just not a people person. So what’s change?

I have a feeling he is enlisting because that is all there is. However, as we were driving home from the recruiter’s office yesterday he told me he is going into the reserves (never mind they are being called up as fast as those enlisted full time). I asked him what he would be doing after boot camp and training if he was going in as a reserve. He informed me he would be working (which thus far he hasn’t been able to do) and/or going to school. I find it hard to believe he will do those things as without a driver’s license it makes it difficult for him to get from point A to point B. Yes, there’s a bus, but thus far Jeff has been too good to ride the bus. He thinks he will get a restricted license, but I really doubt it. Not even the DMV is that stupid. Besides, he has no vehicle. We sold his car after the DUI, and even if he got a car somehow he has no insurance. I have already told him he will never be insured on my policy again.

I feel like such a hypocrite, internally anyway. I want him safe, but not here with me. I want him to grow up and have a job but not be put in harms way (which being a Marine would do).

I love Jeff with every breath in me. I just have no idea which is really best for him. Staying here and struggling with working, school and just staying on probation (which means continuing drinking with all his friends) or enlist, learn, become responsible, protect, serve (but being in harms way day in and day out). I am torn – I am so torn I cry at almost anything related to military, flags, and/or anything patriotic.

I am scared for Jeff’s life. Here at home living this so called normal life of his, or enlisting and being one of The Few, The Proud, The Marines.

Doesn’t help that the only two MOS’ available for reserve enlistment is Food Services or Infantry.

Tonight’s difficult without my mind working over time on a decision I have no part of. It’s New Years Eve; the drinking day. (not like Jeff needs a reason). I’ve already told him to call, no matter what time, as we want him safe. I have asked him not to drink (not counting on it though).

Jake was with Jeff for a short time but has since gone to a friend’s house. Jake is not allowed to drive tonight. We told him he could go to a friend or two, but we would take and pick up. He agreed with no fight (such a nice change). So, Jake oppted to stay at one friend’s house and call us around 1 a.m. to pick him up.

Liz, well I don’t have much control over a 20 year old who doesn’t live at home; or do I? Liz was going to drive out of town with a few friends and go to dinner and do some New Years Eve stuff. I indicated I wasn’t happy with the out of town as the weather has been less than safe. With snow flurries, flash floods, and rain rain and more rain, not to mention the ice through the mountains I suggested something closer to home. She acted like she was put out as I was telling her what to do. Later on she called and told me she is staying in town (made sure to tell me it wasn’t because I wanted her to) and going to dinner her with friends and then having friends to her house for board games and fun.

So, I have no power – but I do. Like I said thus far tonight is going fine I am just hoping it stays that way.

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Jeff’s court date didn’t quite the way he had hoped. I honestly think Jeff thought it would be a breeze. The court didn’t deny his motion for termination of probation; however, the court wasn’t impressed with Jeff’s intent to enlist in the Marines. The court ordered the Probation Officer to contact the Recruiter for additional information. Jeff informed the court that the Recruiter could not say “I will ensure Jeff’s enlistment” as the military cannot be used to relieve someone’s obligations and/or participation in criminal matters. That being the case the recruiter can inform the court they have every reason to believe Jeff’s intentions is to enlist and report thus far what Jeff has done to stay active in the process. Jeff was told the P.O. would contact him back tomorrow.

Jake and Jeff left for Basslake after court and on the drive up Jeff received a call from the P.O. – Jeff was told the new court date was January 5th and that he is to have a physical, a hair cut and his ASVAB scores from his test (military stuff). The P.O. also stated Jeff is to look into volunteering with possibly MADD (Mother’s Against Drunk Driving). I am unclear on that part of the P.O. request as January 5th is the court date and that leaves little time to make arrangements to assist or volunteer.

Maybe it isn’t meant to be him going into the Marines. Maybe probation is what is meant to be. You can’t ask a mother during war time which is preferred. Probation would be fine if he wasn’t on a destructive road. Continuous partying and that **nothing can happen to me** mentality. I mean look at the alternative – Marines, boot camp, additional training and possible Iraq. If you were a mother which would you wish for. Both can lead to the unthinkable.

I am becoming more and more anxious at the very thought of Jeff’s court date on December 21st. I cannot go along with Jeff as he reverts to a kid with the mental state of a two year old in that terrible two state of mind. The next best thing was worked out. Geoff will be going with him. Jeff seems to be able to pull off a grown up state of mind in Geoff’s presence.

Today I asked Jeff what his plans were. After all he’s asking the judge to terminate his probation so he can enter into the Marines. Logically the questions will be – when will you be enlisting? That was not a question Jeff wanted to answer. That upsets me. How can he not think all this through? I suppose my mind is leading me to the thought that he will not enlist at all. It isn’t that I want him to join the Marines; now my mind wanders to will he survive if he doesn’t?

I guess all I can do is wait to see what happens. Jake tells me that Jeff has already mentioned wanting to go up to Basslake after court and stay for about a month. That tells me he isn’t going to immediately join the Marines. I asked Jeff and he informed me he was going to get into shape. Also, be away from here and his friends. Jeff’s never been able to stay at the lake very long. He’s mean to his father and grandparents. Not abusive but very disrespectful. Again, I guess I will just have to wait and see what the day(s) bring.

The worst part of parenthood sometimes is waiting for what will be. Sometimes living through what is – is far less difficult.

It has been a while since I chronicled the days involving the children. A highly emotional time has found its way to my doorstep and although I remember all the recent events with my children I have not at the time to preserve them in print.

Highlights:

Started Christmas shopping and it is difficult to shop for grown and almost grown children. I am use to providing them the world and doing so not only for them but because it makes me feel warm and wonderful. Financially that isn’t possible anymore (which stresses me out and makes me feel a failure) but also there is not much in the way of need. They have what they need and much of what they want; that being the case what does a mother get them?

12/08/2004 Geoff took the day off work to take Jeff to court for the offense of a minor purchasing alcohol; also to file the motion for termination of probation to allow him to enlist in the military. Jeff was ordered to pay a fine of a $100 (which could have been as much as $600) and was not ordered to do anything more. A hearing date to address the termination of probation was set for 12/21/2004.

12/09/2004 after a very long and emotional day (my sister’s health scare and emergency surgery) I get a call from Jeff. Jeff was at his friend’s house and when I was talking to him he said “did Jake tell you?” Now, most mother’s and/or parents know that can only mean bad news. “What is wrong” I respond. His reply, “I got fired.” All I could think to myself is SHIT!!!! – Just what I need. At least with his working I didn’t have to feel as if I was contributing to his drinking fund. I told him he would have to get a new job fairly quickly. He informed me he went back to the Marine recruiting office and really wants to enlist. “How can you?” I said. He is still on probation and with the new offense (minor purchasing alcohol) makes it highly improbable that the court is going to terminate his probation.

Geoff isn’t sure he can get the day off. It is important, so very important that he gets the day off. Jeff cannot be a **MAN** when I am around. For some reason he stays a little boy when in my presence. With his friends it seems he has to show off and be the big shot. However, with Geoff he is the man everyone needs to see. He finds that sense of adultness that is awesome. I really wish I could see that man some times but I am glad Geoff is able to call it out of him.

Geoff informed me he asked for the day off and was told no. I was upset, of course, and couldn’t believe they could or would say no when it has to do with your child. Of course I feel as if his work is probably thinking **it’s just a step child at best. ** Geoff says he will call in sick but he cannot do that now or it is cause for termination (or could be). Geoff is planning on talking to his supervisor’s supervisor and discussing the importance of his presence for my son’s hearing.

All this effort to get Jeff out of probation so he can enlist and be one of the Few – The Proud – The Marines. All that so I can worry for his safety and yes his life. Although, if he stays home and continues on the road of drinking and hanging out with friends I worry about his safety and his life. Maybe as a Marine – a cause he believes in- maybe then he will find a happiness that is missing.

I will be scared but happy for him.

Jake and Liz have been uneventful these days. Well for the most part. Jake did cut school for one full day and I took his car away for a short time. I hope that sent him a message. Time will tell.

A day of nothing but sitting is sometimes welcomed, but on the heels of such a day came drama. Of course, it’s my life would be foolish to think a day would pass that had peace and easy feelings.Liz called early afternoon- small talk which was nice. She hadn’t even truly realized she and I had not really spoken since Thanksgiving. She started talking about Christmas and I informed her that I wasn’t feeling all that festive this year; most likely would not be purchasing a tree and we would just wing the this holiday season. Liz’s reaction was what I expected – shock – “What no tree?” I reminded Liz how Thanksgiving went. All she could think to say is “You never let anything go.” Ok, well that is true, but that wasn’t the point. I told her that Thanksgiving was done for the family; mostly at Liz’s request as I originally wanted to go out, and that so called **family** day didn’t turn out grand. Liz said something to the effect about Christmas not being just about me. I was speechless and too tired to fight about it. I just told Liz to rethink her comment and we would revisit the idea of Christmas later; however I pointed out we could have the small family get together at her house. She is young and in the holiday spirit – why not start a new tradition.

Shortly after Liz came over we got a bite to eat together and just shared some time. Nothing good nor bad happened; which was something quite nice considering our last time shared.

During the time Liz and I were together I mentioned I got a call from Jake’s high school stating he had missed one or more classes on Wednesday. Liz said she knew because she called him on that day and could tell he wasn’t in class. Liz lectured Jake briefly about not cutting school. I asked why she didn’t tell me she indicated it was something that slipped her mind. Again, she has not been out of school that long where she cannot recall the occasional day of cutting. She told me she thought Jake was a friend’s house playing the new Halo game.

Since I have been telling Jake if he cuts school his car will be taken away (though I am not a great follow through mother) I decided this was the time I would make a stand. I was going to take Jake’s car away for the weekend.

After Liz left I called Jake’s cell. He was down the street at the neighbors. I asked Jake about school on Wednesday. Jake stated that he had left one period to come home and use the restroom (sounds strange but the bathrooms at school are not only filthy but can be dangerous – all my kids have always come home to use the bathroom). I asked how much school he missed. He said “not much.” My response was “Oh really – well I called the school and they said you were out all day.” There was no sound from the other side of the phone – “Jake” I said. “So were you or were you not at school?” Still silent, and then finally a response – “No.” I told Jake to get home and he did.

When he arrived I of course went into the subject on a deeper level. What’s expected of him etc etc. I told him I was taking his car away for the weekend, and if I didn’t really sense improvement he would not be driving at all. He could go back to taking the bus to school. As always I end up crying. Jake’s fully aware of the drama in this house as he lives here. I told Jake with as little as he is expected to do going to school and passing, trying to excel is not too much to ask. So when he chooses to blow off the only thing expected of him it is a very big deal. Jake acts like nothing bothers him but my distress effects him. He’s like “Don’t cry mom it isn’t a big deal.” All the while saying it his eyes tearing up. My almost 17 year old boy almost at tears because I am.

I reminded Jake that Jeff got off track and remains off track. I just can’t sit by and let that happen to another. So if I appear harsh and unbendable that is why. I will continue to be this way when needed.

Oh, and I must not forget good old Jeff. Jeff and I have barely spoken since the incident the other night; barely does mean barely I think he said “uhh” walking down the hallway. So he calls me this afternoon and asks where my father lives (as you can tell he isn’t close to him) because he and his friend are in Lake Isabella. I told him that he is no where close to my father as he lives in Lake Elizabeth. Jeff started to laugh and sounded strange so I asked “have you been drinking?” Of course Jeff was immediately offended. He had a few choice words to say to me. I told Jeff I only asked because he is in the canyon and has to drive down that very dangerous road and if he and his friend had been drinking I wanted them to stay put. Also, the weather isn’t great with ice, snow and fog it is even more dangerous. Jeff just said “Don’t worry about it Mom” and hung up.

Funny – Don’t worry about it – that is not even something I can grab on to. I have been worrying since the day each one of them was born. I don’t even know how to live a life free from worry!

I can’t say things in the world of motherhood have been heaven lately; though it was nice they were completely in hell either.Liz has given me just a little bit of heartache. I have tried to not focus too much on her selfishness as I realize that as a young adult, age 20, life really is about her. She’s trying to find herself, and sometimes unfortunately that is at my expense. There’s no ill will in her heart. I will overlook the selfish moments and look to the brighter future where she is a more responsible and understanding adult. Every now and again that person breaks through and she’s beautiful vision.

Today Liz called me because her wisdom teeth (growing in) were killing her. She spent three hours at the dentist and found out the insurance deny the extraction as it is borderline needed (according to insurance?? since when did they become dental professionals?) The dentist told her that she also is suffering from an infection and now she’s doped up at home with pain meds and antibiotics.

The dentist gave her the name of the oral surgeon and Liz, the chicken that she is, called the surgeon’s office and told them that as soon as the insurance company approves the surgery she will take any appointment date, cancellation, etc. She just needs to get it done. I know she must be in pain because she cries and puts off getting her teeth clean but is jumping through hoops to get these extractions done as quickly as possible.

Next:

So I thought things were just a little bit better with Jeff – boy was I mistaken. Things were alright tonight until about 9 p.m. I heard the front door open and a bunch of Jeff’s friend’s came in, but when I said “who is coming in” no one answered. Most of Jeff’s “usual” friends say “Hi Mom, etc” With all the quietness I felt something was a miss. I went back to his room, turned the door knob, and what do you know the door was locked. I was immediately PISSED OFF! I knocked hard, really I pounded. Jeff opened the door and I immediately smelled alcohol. I didn’t recognize any of Jeff’s friends. They weren’t, or didn’t seem to be the usual crowd, and they didn’t seem to care that I was pissed.

I told Jeff to get the alcohol out of the house. I went into the usual rant; respect me and my house, and all that other bullshit. Jeff continued to say “Mom, lets talk about this.” What’s there to talk about? “Get the alcohol out of my house now!” Jeff tried to pull the “You want them drinking and driving?” I told Jeff if that is what they wanted to do that was on them. Of course, Jeff comes up with, “You want me in the car with them while they are drinking and driving?” I stuck with “Then that’s on you.” I couldn’t believe I actually said it out loud. No I don’t want him getting into a car with kids that have been drinking, but honestly, can I stop him? No, I can’t.

The argument went on for a few minutes. I ended up saying things so inappropriate; maybe not so inappropriate but so not me. I told Jeff it was time for him to move out. All he kept saying was “No, I don’t think so.” It went on and on. Finally I told Jeff in a couple of weeks Geoff will be living here full time and he won’t be able get away with this shit. Jeff started in with “I will beat the shit out of him” – Of course the right thing to do here would have been to walk away because there is no sense fighting when he is simply saying things to get a rise out of me, but did I do that, nope, no I didn’t. I ended up saying something to the effect I would side with Geoff and Jeff would end up in jail; really motherly isn’t it!

Jeff stomped out of the house (all his fucked up friends were waiting in the car by this point) and slammed the door; then came back and punched the outside of the front door. I locked it behind him and turned on the porch light (for when he comes home later). See the humor (or misery) in that. He blows up – I verbally throw him out – I leave a light on for his return.

As I said it was a quiet, more low key time recently but when my life hits the fan it really hits the fan!