And Now I’m Young.
We took away Dylan’s electronics for the rest of the school year – all of them, even his phone. This time, since we can’t trust him anymore, we are going to be certain that he has no access at all.
The day after the discovery, I didn’t know what to say to Dylan, who had kept his electronics hidden and still in use, and lied to me for so long. So I decided to say nothing at all. The ride to school the next morning – the long, agonizing 45-minute ride – drowned in the silence.
After 34 minutes, I finally spoke. “You have a choice,” I told him. “This can be a mistake that you made, or this can be who you are. And it is entirely your decision.”
“Won’t you want to kill me, either way?” Dylan said quietly.
“I don’t want to kill you,” I said. “You are my son, and I love you no matter what you do. I would prefer that you make good choices. But I don’t enjoy being around people who lie. I did too much of that when I was young.”
There was a pause.
Dylan almost whispered. “And now I’m young.”
I wanted to cry, scream, pull out my hair. I wanted to tell him, to show him – YOU DON’T HAVE TO SUFFER! You don’t have to CHOOSE the painful route!
But I said nothing at all. I’ve talked too much, over the past 14 years. He knows everything I have to say. I am in his head, becoming a part of his conscience, whether I said the right things or not. It’s too late now for talking. It’s too late now for fixing anything.
It’s time to just ride the waves, and see where we are when we hit the shore.
Meanwhile, there’s a pretty good chance that I’ve sunk myself into a real depression. I don’t want to talk about what’s going on with Dylan. I don’t want to write about it. I don’t want to admit that the glory days are really over, and that this is the life I will be leading from now on.
I don’t want to admit that Dylan is a typical teenager. I don’t want to admit that I couldn’t stop it from happening. In fact, I am fairly certain that it’s all my fault.
Or maybe it’s not. And maybe Dylan will choose to pull himself up, out of the gutter, start doing the right things.
So far, all he’s done is play on the trampoline with Shane. He’s lost contact with all of his friends because the electronics are no longer available to him. Parents are useless to him. Shane is all he’s got.
What this will do to Shane is anybody’s guess.