70: I Just Can’t Look the Other Way

By 5:00 pm this evening, all cadets were to report back to school; therefore, last evening was the end of Thanksgiving furlough. (I mistakenly breathed a sigh of relief yesterday as I thought his last evening home would be uneventful.) But by 3:00 this morning, a strange thought swept through my head … “So this actually does happen in real life – not just in teen movies.”

I had discovered that had arranged four pillows strategically under his quilt; it was 1:52 in the morning.  He was gone, and here’s what was swirling through my head:

It’s 30 degrees…He doesn’t have transportation…
How did he get out of the house…
Where in the world is he…With whom is he hanging out…What are they doing…
When will I see him again…Will I see him again…
Do I call the police?

     Luckily, this heart pain didn’t need to last longer than approximately 23 minutes…and that’s when he slid in through the back door as quietly as a rebellious little teenage mouse. His first words…“Mom, I didn’t do anything bad.”

     The strange truth is that my first reaction was relief and happiness as I discovered that he was sober. He apologized for sneaking out and explained his side of this crazy teen movie…“Mom, like 20 friends of mine were all meeting at a park to say “Goodbye” to me before I went back to school. I had to go – they were waiting for me.”

     If I stopped looking and turned my head, would all this mess just go away? Did the other parents know that their kids were out in the middle of the night? Were they anxiously awaiting their child’s return too? Sometimes I wonder about things like that. And then I remind myself that no matter what the other parents know – or don’t know, I just can’t look the other way. But where do we go from here?

2 thoughts on “70: I Just Can’t Look the Other Way

  1. Have you thought about putting an alarm in that he does NOT know the password to. They can alarm doors, windows, etc that as soon as they are opened they will alarm. Desperate times…desperate measures…

  2. We are very supportive of your strong-willed action through these tough times, but tonight does not seem to be one of your stronger days. Having people with addiction in our family, this just looks like the same broken record. He sneaks and lies and magically makes you feel “good” that he didn't do something even worse. He deals more in a long line of “reasonable” sounding excuses. What he did is a complete violation of almost every rule and boundary you have set – sober is not even the issue. There is nothing innocent about teens sneaking out to congregate at 2:00 in the morning. We can't imagine what we would have done, but a first thought would have been to warm up the car at 3:00 am and drive him straight back to the military academy and let him explain himself at the gate.

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