I Guess We’re the Village

CH has a friend. We’ll call him S. S is in the ROTC with him, and doesn’t live too far from us, now that his family has moved. I feel some kind of way about his family and his home situation.

A few weeks ago, he came to spend the night. They had an ROTC event, and he was going to ride with CH. This was a Friday night. Saturday I went to pick them up, and CH asks can he spend the night again. Sure, if that’s ok with his aunt and/or grandmother. He stays. The next day, HH heads to work and tells them to wrap their weekend up by 5:00.

At 4:55, CH comes to me wanting to know if I can give S a ride home. Something about his aunt didn’t want to drive in the rain. And? I’m supposed to drag my 4 month old out in the rain? No! Make arrangements to get your kid. Or, as an ADULT, you call me to square the situation away. Don’t send messages through the kids. As you can tell, I was a bit perturbed. We don’t send CH anywhere without arrangements to pick him up, or prior agreement with other parents to drop him off.

Long story short, these trifling azzed people his family do not come and pick him up or make arrangements for him to be picked up. HH has to take him home at 11:30pm.

Who does this?!?

He’s been over another night since then, but now that they live closer it’s walking distance. One day I asked CH what’s the deal. This was a day that I was nice enough to drop him at home, since I was running errands. To my chagrin, we pull up and there’s two cars in their driveway (grrrrrrr – you got 2 cars but can’t give your kid rides anywhere?!?) Anywho, CH says he lives with his aunt and grandmother, and from the little interaction he had with them, he even felt that they were trifling. He said that S always calls or texts him on the weekends wanting to know what he’s doing, and saying he’s trying to get away from the house. I asked him what does S plan to do after HS. He said he’s going into the military.

I don’t know where his mother is…but it appears his aunt/grandmother took him in, and they act like it was done under duress. Why would you take him in if you didn’t want to be involved in his life?

I feel bad for him, but I am not about to entertain and feed him every weekend. He looks to be well clothed. When they’re not paying attention, I check for signs of any physical abuse, and I haven’t seen any.

Yesterday morning he walked to our house so he could get a ride to ROTC. He came back with CH in the afternoon and stayed here until CH sent me a text asking if he could stay the night. I said no, maybe next weekend before we head to NY. I wasn’t feeling well, and Lailah was on one. I felt kind of bad, but I just wasn’t in the mood.

I’m trying not to make too many assumptions. Maybe he’s trouble when he’s home. Although I don’t think so, because he’s super polite when he’s here. If I go grocery shopping, he’s trying to beat CH to the car to get the bags. They made breakfast for everyone last weekend and cleaned the kitchen. He clearly knows the rules here. LOL

On the one hand, I feel good that our home is an environment that he feels comfortable in, but on the other, you’re not going to hand your kid off to me and I’ve never even met or talked to you. It takes a village to raise a child, but my goodness. I just really wonder what goes on at his house, that he always wants to escape…

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18 thoughts on “I Guess We’re the Village

  1. Have you considered introducing yourself to the aunt/grandmother? I don’t know what good it would do. Maybe say S can’t stay the night again until you talk to his guardians. Just a thought…

    I feel bad for S but I understand your dilemma. Your life has changed drastically. Having another teen around is major.

  2. You never know what’s going on in that household. my brother had a friend in school like that who was ALWAYS at our house. Finally one day my mother sat him down and point blank asked him why he never wanted to go home and why no one ever bothered to check on him when he was at our house. Or seemed to care. Long story short, there was a situation involving an uncle that liked little boys, no food in the house and just neglect. He felt safer at our house. After that, he practically lived with us on the weekends. Sometimes he had extended stays over during the week too. When he graduated from College, he came back to my mother with flowers and cards and money and really explained the difference she had made to him just giving him an alternative. And for being his second mother. You never know how you can make a difference.

    • HH and I will have to sit down with him and have that convo at some point. There is obviously something, being that he never wants to be home. It’s just a bit much with a newborn and one teen already.

  3. He was brought to you for a reason…no matter how inconvenient it may be. I love that you let them wait until HH got home Sunday night to take him home. That lesson was necessary.

    But at the same time, this kid has obviously been through a lot just by being abandoned by his mother and being raised by by his aunt and grandmother. I kinda think the whole situation screams “please accept me!” And that’s so, so sad when you think about a young person who didn’t get the things (emotionally, not materially) that we did growing up.

    I never had to ask anyone in my neighborhood to love or accept me. I got it at home, just as you did. But this kid doesn’t seem to be as lucky and he probably thinks your home structure is pretty great.

    While you may not have wanted to be a village (not saying you don’t), maybe he just needed y’all so much that he latched on.

    • That’s likely what it is…he ate dinner here today. Just left a little while ago. I hadn’t even planned on cooking all that, and didn’t even know he was coming. I used that time to ask him about his other classes, but I didn’t press about home life.

      • It just makes me sad. I mean, I know not every situation is ideal, but can you even imagine a scenario where your mom leaves you with other people? I can’t. And for that reason I’m probably wayyy more sympathetic to this kid than I should be. It’s not his fault. Nothing you have said indicates that he’s been abused, but just the abandonment issue is so, so big. And something most teenaged boys wouldn’t even know to talk about.

        While it may be inconvenient, I would just try to accept him in and try to make his life easier. Of course, I say this because I’m just me and don’t have a baby to care for. But – if you can – try to show him some stability. He needs you. And while you may not need an extra…he may just need you that much.

      • I agree with everything Miss Mile High said.

        Heartbreaking…and the young man needs you.

  4. I agree with many of the comments about you never know about home life. We had a young lady to always come home with my Mom after tutoring. She’d always state she needed extra help. Over time we realized that our house was quiet/calm and instead of getting help she would immediately fall asleep. her home had many people in and out all day and night. She never was able to get a sound sleep at home. On those days, we just let her sleep. That’s what she needed.

    It’s hard to make that sacrifice of your own peace, quiet, and routine with your own family, but sometimes we are compelled to make that sacrifice. We are better for it in the long run.

  5. I’d go meet his family. They should have already met you guys before he spent his 1st night over your house.

    I do think it’s not a bad idea to let him stick around. He could very well be a good influence on CH but meet his family just so you can see for yourself if these are good or bad people.

  6. This is sad. I absolutely despise trifling parents or guardians. Kids don’t beg to be born. I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t receive some financial assistance. My heart breaks for the kid. He’s living where he is being neglected and I’m sure he feels it. Mom is doing whatever and apparently no dad available. Whatever your family is offering seems to be valued by him. I understand that you can’t offer him more, I just feel for him, especially when CH goes to New York for the summer.

  7. Yikes, I have no clue what I would do in that situation… on one hand, I’d feel sorry for the kid and want to help him in any way I can since it seems like he’s a good kid who got the short end of the stick in his current home situation… on the other hand, teenage boys EAT A LOT.. and food and drink is not free… and we ain’t got it.

    • And that’s my dilemma. There’s so much I’d like to do, but don’t have the capacity. I’m not budgeted to feed two Teens every weekend. But we will do what we can. HH gave him a haircut last time he was there, and it’s not a big deal to take him to the school for ROTC stuff, because we have to take CH, anyway.

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