Image by kr4gin via Flickr"Don't get me wrong, I love the Holidays. It's my family I hate."
The speaker was 15 years old, and filled with adolescent angst.
"They're materialistic and stupid, and they don't want anyone to have a good time." He had a point. He had recently been caught smoking marijuana on school grounds, and the stupid, materialistic parents had spent a lot of money on fines and lawyers, had to kiss the school administration's ass during hours of meetings, and fun was not big on their minds.
I pointed out that good lawyers charge multiple hundreds of dollars per hours to keep you out of jail.
"So put me in jail! I feel like I'm there already!" Of course the closes to jail he had been was probably an episode of Prison Break.
"Listen, " I said, "they're worried about you." He sniffed. I swear, actually sniffed. Like a character out of Remains of the Day. I was getting a little warm.Figured it was time to shift gears.
"Let me tell you a story," I said.
"Can I smoke?"
"Once upon a time..."
"--there was a mom and dad who were very worried about their son. He was hanging with the wrong kids and getting high, and getting in more and more trouble at school."
He grinned at the word "trouble." If it was a badge he would have worn it.
"They had loved their kid and raised him and tried to instill some basic values. They weren't perfect. They made mistakes. When he became a teenager, they made some big mistakes because they had never raised a teenager before."
I checked. there was some eye-rolling, but also some minimal attention. Of course it was probably because I was doing all the work.
"He got in bigger and bigger trouble, and they worried more, and paid more lawyers, and had a hard time sleeping. They were desperate, and didn't know what to do. But I'm sure you know what happened next."
He nodded, sensing victory.
"Right. They moved. Cut their losses and ran. Threw him to the wolves."
"Pulled up stakes and changed their names. All of a sudden he was on his own, in court with no one who loved him in sight. Funny thing about love, when it's there it's easy to take it for granted, but when it's gone, it leaves a pretty cold and empty vacuum behind it.And suddenly, instead of dealing with people who love him, he's dealing with people who look at him as a social problem to be handled."
"Oh no, I've taken mommy and daddy for granted!"
"There, there, little fella" I said.
The vibe on my cell phone interrupted my reverie.
Okay, that's not exactly how it happened. It would be nice, though. Usually it takes two sessions, right?