“Mom? What’s going to happen at this group?” Jeremy asked, a forkful of rice halfway to his mouth.
It was dinner time and there was just over an hour left until we had to leave to get to his first drop in group.
“Well, the page said they had exciting activities planned.” I paused for a moment then added, “Strip poker.”
Jeremy nearly snorted rice through his nose.
“I’d have to take my skin off,” he commented cheerfully, once he’d stopped coughing. “I’d stink at that. Maybe we could do Strip Uno or Strip Candyland instead.”
I nearly spat curry across the table at the thought of Strip Candyland. We’re a classy family, I tell you.
We got to the bus stop and I realized I’d forgotten to double check the address. Then I started worrying. What if our first bus was late and we missed the second bus? What if they cancelled the group for this night? What if no one was there? What if it’s a really close knit group and Jeremy just doesn’t click with anyone?
Earlier today I reminded him, again, that he needed a shower. Then I found myself ranting about the overflowing dishes in the sink (his chore), the stained track suit he’d worn for three days in a row, and his greasy hair. I took a deep breath and decided to explain why I was worried instead of simply ranting about the mess.
“Jeremy, I’m upset because I’m scared about you. It scares me to see you sitting around all day doing nothing. Ignoring your chores, letting your hair get dirty, sitting around in messy clothes. Remember a few months ago you said…” I couldn’t finish the sentence.
He patted my hands and smiled. “Mom, it’s just that I forgot to take a shower and this outfit is comfy. I don’t want to kill myself anymore. I’ll have my shower now.” And with that he kissed my forehead and headed off to the bathroom. He washed the dishes once he pulled his clean outfit on.
It really is a mixed blessing to hear the words “I don’t want to kill myself anymore” and I’m aware how tenuous that sentence is. I want Jeremy to find friends so badly. I can’t be his entire social life. Youtube can’t be his entire social life.
Jeremy’s not an introvert by nature, he’s always been my social butterfly. Home is now his safe place but he needs to find other safe places and he desperately needs friends. I don’t think he realizes how much.
He was eager and cheerful when we got on the bus and laughing when we got off at the right location (even though I gave the bus driver the wrong intersection). Then we got inside and discovered I had the wrong date. I have no idea how I misread Thursday for Tuesday, but I did. That being said, we got a pamphlet and a business card and Jeremy was informed that next week is laser tag. The pamphlet says they offer free pizza too. You can imagine Jeremy’s excitement over those two. He bubbled with excitement the whole way home too.
The plus side is we both know exactly where the group meets and it got Jeremy outside today too. I’ll have an update on how the actual group goes on Tuesday, when they really meet.