Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Rites of Passage

Yesterday morning, J came home from work in plenty of time to go to Boot's Diversion appointment. It went well. He admitted that he had done wrong & was proclaimed eligible for the program. He is to attend anger management classes & a youthful offenders group. He is to write letters of apology to me & to his mom, to turn in to the court. He will work off the court fee in community service. And the whole family will attend a 7-week "Strengthening Families" program, to work on strategies to help him handle his anger, I guess. In addition, he will be going to regular counseling sessions.

We saw his therapist for the first time since November today (she had released him because he was doing so well) & a bunch of homophobic issues came up when he was talking to her. He just wants "to live in a normal family", he says. Us being gay "is just wrong", he says. This is all new stuff, nothing he's ever expressed to us or to Miss Rose until the last 5 weeks with his father. I don't know if it's an age thing or crap he's been fed over the summer, but I certainly have my opinion on that. I don't know why Pie is so resilient. He's never had the anger or the distance that Boot has. Miss Rose is working on setting up a support group at the counseling center for kids from LGBT families. We also showed her the nastygrams J's gotten from the father over the last year.

On the way home, I gave them some lessons on what we'd have to do if we were to follow all 613 Biblical commandments literally. No bacon or ham for Boot, who adores them. No crab for Pie, who swoons over it. No mixed fabric clothing (nix on any non-pure jerseys for Boot). No mixing seeds (sorry, Pie, but there are already azaleas in the flower bed so we can't plant your zinnias). No video games or football on the Sabbath, just prayer & worship. Etc. I also told them that the Biblical penalty for cursing your parents (Is that in Deuteronomy or Leviticus?) is death. And that I disagree with that penalty. I told them about how Jesus came not to destroy the law, but to uphold it, but that he placed 2 commandments above all others. Love God with every bit of you & love your neighbor as if he were your very own. That means treating everyone the way you would like to be treated. Everyone. Tall order, but there it is. I forgot to talk to them about how theologians believe that God created such a strict code of law to prove to us humans that we need His grace in order to be saved. The only human who could ever uphold all of the Law is Jesus. And, in James, it says that if you break even one part of the Law, you have broken it all. So, if you eat bacon, you are also guilty of adultery. If you don't follow ritual purification procedures after menstruation, childbirth, or seminal emission, you are also guilty of murder. Etc. I did explain the difference between a purity code to differentiate the Hebrew people from others, such as the Canaanites, (which is what Levitical law amounts to) and morality. Don't know if they were paying attention or not, but I hope some of it sinks in.

Anyway, after court, J went back to work & I took the boys out to lunch at RJ's Metropolitan. Pie got a huge cheeseburger, Boot had a chicken quesadilla, & I had eggs Benedict. Then, I let them play the claw machine & get puzzle balls out of the machines (glad I had some change on me!). I spent the afternoon writing & cleaning house. In the evening, we went to Boot's middle school orientation. We met his teachers, checked out his classrooms, and helped him learn to work his locker combination. He ran into friends he hadn't seen all summer & we got to chat with their parents. I think his teachers are going to be people we like to work with. We stopped at Bob Evans for dinner, since cooking would take us past bedtime (for all of us!). We came home & went to bed after dinner, knowing that we had an early morning today. Boot set his alarm for 6 & got himself up, dressed, & fed. I think he's going to do great this school year, although he may need some afternoon naps.

With all this craziness, I am ever so thankful for my Diva sisters! Liz has been reminding me that her three sons, who are wonderful men now, put her through an awful lot...arrests for all three of them in their teen years (as well as homophobia) & they got through it & grew into such great, responsible guys who adore their mama & look out for their baby sister. Whew!


Anonymous said...

I hope that the programs that you all are getting involved with are helpful. You know that we went through pretty much the same situation with Gillian at about the same time. I know that for us it was being consistant with her and letting her know that it was not OK. Also, you might want to look at the COLAGE website and see if they have any info that would be helpful to you all. Maybe there would even be a chapter in your area.

Daria de la Luna said...

If he did e-mail, I would get him involved with the COLAGE group on Yahoo. But, he doesn't. I will look for a close chapter, though.

I am pretty good with consistency & I think that these programs will help J realize how vital it is, too. She knows it, but doesn't, if that makes sense.

I am so heartened that Gillian seems to be turning out so beautifully now.