Friday, March 18, 2011

Zackary James Stilts

My first baby, 11 days old in 1991.

Parenting is the hardest job I've ever had. The pay is inconsistent and I'm on call twenty four hours a day. The scariest part is the unknown outcome: I have no idea if I will be successful and be promoted, and not a clue whether or not my kids will turn out to be responsible, successful adults.

So far, I have a 20 year old son, a 14 year old daughter, and a 12 year old son.

Zack, my 20 year old, is on his own now and wasn't raised by me. My aunt and uncle adopted him in 1993 when he was 2. Although he came back to me in his teen years, beginning with weekend visits at age 13, we were never really able to repair our relationship. Eventually, my aunt and uncle didn't know what to do with him anymore and he came to live with us when he was 16.
He was a rebellious boy with his own ideas of how he wanted to live. He didn't see what was wrong with partying all the time, nor what the point was with school. After running away several times, we decided to have him go to rehab. He completed his program there and came home with ideas of going to get his GED and finding a job.
Now, three years later, he still doesn't have his GED and he's never had a job. I hear from him occasionally, mostly to ask for help in whatever way but I haven't seen him in a couple of months and have only talked or texted with him a few times. I think about him every day but I know that he needs to find his own way in life. It hurts to see him making the same mistakes I and many of my friends have made, but I am confident that he will grow up and become a man one day.
At least he hasn't made me a grandmother. Yet.

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