I'll be serious.
All kinds of crazy shit happened last week - the kiddo ran away (don't ask me why no one figured out where he was for two days, when I finally jumped in it took me all of five minutes.) That was after two ER visits in a week because he got drunk and super sick, and I had a come-to-Jesus thought process with myself.
I was so angry that I wanted to take back all of his presents and never talk to him again, period, end of story. And maybe that would have been justifiable given all of the crap he has put so many people through.
I decided not to. I'm not going to be the one person who gives up on him, although I am going to stop this, as Mr. RK says, from "eating my life" like it has been lately. We made a deal: he sinks or he swims. I'll still love him, but I'm not going to be the one they call when he presents problems, to try to convince him to be good. He's got to do it on his own.
And tonight I realized that I made the right decision not giving up on him, for an entirely different reason.
He lives with several kids in a group home that probably have relatives who at one point considered the same thing, and made a different choice. My family and I adopted each of them for the holidays.
Tonight when I went to pick him up, I saw one of them who has been particularly troubled and has been in a home since he was an adolescent. He hardly ever sees his family, even though they are within driving distance.
He popped out and gave me a big smile and said, "RK! We went shopping for Christmas! Thank you so much!" And gave me a big hug.
To be so thankful to a relative stranger, I think, came less from the fact that he was getting presents than from the fact that someone cared. I had no idea something so small could mean so much.
I don't want the kiddo to become the person who has nobody.
It reinforced what I knew deep down: that no matter how badly we screw up, we all need someone to love us, someone who doesn't give up. I am thankful for the people who didn't give up on me, and for the people I love who continue to love me when I struggle.
We should all be so lucky.