For the last few weeks, my evening routine ends right here. I write slowly and thoughtfully at the kitchen table, my husband B watches the baseball games after working in the yard until the sun goes down, and my son K is usually snug in bed. But this week K has been sick, and he’s been up late. Each night he’s curious about what I’m writing, and why I’m I writing, and to whom am I writing. (Pretty good questions.) But tonight, he walked by and asked a new question…
Mom, are you ever going to do one that’s just about me?
Yes, K. I’ll do one tonight.
…Most of the time, I thought K and M had a pretty typical sibling relationship. They fought sometimes, and it did bother me when M took his “teasing” too far, but K seemed to let it roll off him. Yelling seemed to be the only way I could get M’s attention to make him stop, and as the summer unfolded, I found myself yelling words I wouldn’t typically say. But it was kind of like everything else around here lately; you had to yell louder and fight harder.
I was surprised when K explained to me tonight that his relationship with his brother was not typical. I asked him to explain, and it was in his simple observation that I learned something. He simply said…
M doesn’t seem to care.
That’s it. M didn’t seem to care anymore. He didn’t care about his health, his reputation, his grades, his safety,his sports, his body, his family…or anything that didn’t involve his “friends” and “going out.”
I realize that it is quite normal for teens to think of themselves as invincible or seem occupied only by their social lives, but M was different. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something wasn’t right.
K figured it out. He didn’t care.