Melissa is the youngest of my four children, the seventeen year old, gypsy child or should I call her the hippy of the new millennium? She’s living life her way. I see dropping out of high school to be in her near future, as her attendance becomes more infrequent. I see her moving out of the house real soon following in the footsteps of her friends. I’m avoiding the ultimatums set forth by her friend’s parents, seeing as their tactics failed. I balance myself somewhere in between overbearing and indifferent as if this were the ultimate game of risk.
I know she’s playing me, testing me, wanting me to throw her out so that whatever consequences befalls her can be my fault, so it’s not her being a ‘freshy’ but a victim of poor parenting. The kids in her group are a manipulative lot. I have my troops in position. I play them as needed.
I have the cell phone contacts coming in from her Godmother when she won’t take my calls. There is the Sunday evening dinners with my ex, her Father; we piece together information regarding her well-being. I have Aunt Dorrie who monitors her moves in the next town where she and these hooligans’ hang out.
Melissa holds down a job at the pizzeria. They are a tight group over there. I occasionally stop in at work to see her. I’ll do this when I start forgetting what she looks like, as she sneaks around and out of the house trying to avoid confrontation. There she’s trapped, and polite, not wanting a scene. On her nights off she’ll be hanging out as an escort with her buddies delivering pizza. Her sister works there when she’s home from college and while away she is still texting the pizza maker, keeping tabs on ‘little gaeta’.
Melissa has more parentals than any kid I know yet I feel helpless as she navigates those mines in the world of adolescence.
When I find the strength I’ll write My Adventure at Parenting Two ‘Freshies’ on Cape Cod: The Vacation Not to be Forgotten. It may be a while, this happened last summer and I am still recovering. As parenting sometimes is the survival of the fittest.
Above I included the ‘freshie’ photo, Lord, may this be her only mugshot. Amen.