Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Why We don't Kill Our Teenagers

I have been blessed with exceptional children.  That being said, there have been times I would have gladly pushed any one of them down a flight of stairs and told God they fell.

The oldest son is Daniel.  Daniel is my American child, born to me and my first husband.  Definitely one of the good things that marriage produced.  He is a long distance truck driver, based out of Omaha, NE.  His wife and family live in Miami.  He is father of three, grandfather of five.  He started early ;-D.  This post is not about Dan.

My daughter is Elisa.  She has been mine since I married her father almost 25 years ago.  Elisa came to the US when she was not quite 14, did not know a word of English, and had been abruptly informed that she was moving to Miami to live with her Papi and his new wife.  She graduated high school with honors, went to college and obtained her master's in child psych and special education.  Elisa now teaches special needs children in the Broward County School System, getting them ready for mainstreaming into the system.    She is the mother of one of the Grandbrats.  She is an American citizen.  This post is not about Elisa.

Then, there is Alex.  Ah, yes, Alex.  Alex is Macho Man's son from his first marriage, and he has also been mine for more than half his life.  He is a Gunnery Sergeant in the USMC.  He has done his time in Iraq.  He is the father of  another Grandbrat.  He is an American citizen by choice.    This post is about Alex.

Alex was 15 when he came to live with us.  In Honduras that meant he was a man.   Of course, to me, the Gringa, also referred to as 'that woman', he was an adolescent child.  You can imagine the conflicts this brought about.  The first years he was here, he would tell anybody that asked that he hated the US; he hated Miami; he hated the food; he hated the schools, but most of all, he hated me.  Alex was my gang wannabe.

Alex and I fought over his long hair.  We fought over his pants hanging down so low they were in danger of falling off, and being so baggy the entire family could have fit in them.  We fought about what time a teenage boy should be in for the night.  We fought about his choices for friends.  You get the picture.

Thank goodness, as we both grew older, we came to really love and respect each other.

Last night we were talking to Alex and he said the most incredible things to me.   He said he wants me to know I am his real mother.   He said that he really regretted that when we were still in the States he had not called us more often.  He said, "Now that you are in Honduras, this country feels so empty!".

I am so glad I did not push him down those stairs!

3 comments:

  1. What a beautiful beautiful post. It gave me goose bumps. I love reading your blog because your lively personality shows through. Well and because you are living in my honeymoon spot. :)

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  2. It isn't wonderful that they grow up and become such wonderful human beings!! While they're growing up, you wonder if they or you will survive! But by the Grace of our Lord we all survive AND they produce such wonderful grandchildren....even if the parents don't know how to raise them!!

    Take care dear lady!!

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  3. Alex is one of the most spit and polish Marines you will ever see; creases in his trousers sharp enough to cut you; military creases in his shirts; hair white-side-walled once a week; cover set just so many finger-breadths above his nose. This is also the son I used to tell that the Bible says, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is OLD, he will not depart from it.", but I did not see anything in there that guaranteed he would live long enough to be old. And, you are right, Nana, he makes beautiful grandchildren.

    OMW, I hope you will stay with us. You inspire me to always try and do better.

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