Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Unruly Sons, Heartbroken Mothers

I took my son to the pediatrician yesterday for his flu shot. That, in and of itself, was a dilemma. The whining, the crying. But that is not the point of this post.

Sitting in the waiting room, a teenage boy entered with his mother. The boy sat and continued texting or doing whatever with the electronic device kids use today. The first odd thing I noticed was the fact that his mother sat 2 seats away from him as opposed to right next to him, like most parents would. Interesting, I thought.

His mother proceeded to fill out some paperwork. She leaned over towards him and told him he needed to sign a form. Well, you would've thought she asked him to sign his death sentence. "Mom, I don't need to have a physical. I told you, it's stupid. Why would I need a physical to go to school?" Okay, you definitely have my attention.

The mother tried to tell him he has to have a physical and . . . well, there was not much she said after that. He, in a rather loud voice, told her to "just shut up" and "don't talk to me." He said it several times, angrily, hurtfully. It took everything in my power not to jump out of my chair and slap his teenage face.

I've heard about this behavior when children become teenagers, but have never quite seen it to this degree . . . in real life. Not only did I want to straigten that boy out, my heart bled for his mother.

I'm a mother. I feed my boys. I clothe my boys. I hold my boys. I worry about them. I comfort them. I love them till they just can't take it anymore. To think that all of that can be disregarded and utterly disrespected by those for which it was meant makes me shudder.

Obviously this mother had been enduring his behavior for some time. Her face spoke volumes. I wanted to reach out to her, but unsure how. She told the receptionist she wasn't sure they would stay because her son was being abusive and it wasn't the first time. Again, my heart sank.

She sat down next to me and just looked at me. I told her "I understand." "Do you?" was her reply. Not really. My boys are only 5 and 2. "What do you do? What am I supposed to do?" She then motioned to me that he even got physical with her.

I couldn't take it. What do I say? What do i do? Tell him he should respect his mother? Call the cops? Knock him out (that's what my parents would've done to me if I ever spoke that way to them). I wanted to know if his father was around (too personal though). Just then the nurse called them in to the exam room.

They were gone. I would probably never see them again. I'm sure they are one family of many who live this way on a daily basis. Children yelling at their parents, even hitting them. The pain. The frustration.

Having 2 boys who will no doubt be bigger than I, I worry that this could happen to me. What would I do? How would I handle it? I pray I never have to endure that kind of cruelty. I hope I don't become that mother in the waiting room, whose face someone else will never forget.

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