We’ll consider it a trial run

“Mom? What’s going to happen at this group?” Colin 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.”

Colin 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 Colin 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.

“Colin, 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 Colin to find friends so badly. I can’t be his entire social life. Youtube can’t be his entire social life.

Colin’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 Colin was informed that next week is laser tag. The pamphlet says they offer free pizza too. You can imagine Colin’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 Colin outside today too. I’ll have an update on how the actual group goes on Tuesday, when they really meet.

Raising a Perfect Teenager

One thing I’ve learned about Colin over the years is he’s never wrong. He might be mistaken on occasion but wrong? Not on your life. This must be a burden but he manages to bear it.

Take yesterday for example (oh please, take yesterday). I commented to Colin that I was thinking about buying a song off itunes called Somebody That I Used To Know. He shook his head in disappointment.

“I don’t like that song,” he commented as he sat on the couch.

“Yes, I know,” I agreed. Neither him or Kait liked it.

“I don’t know why you like it,” he continued. “I mean you do know what it’s about.”

I looked at him in surprise. I had read the lyrics and definitely knew what the song was about.

“Umm, it’s about a couple that broke up,” I explained. He shook his head sadly and gave me a patronizing look. My fingers clenched.

“That might be what you think but it’s about abuse,” he said earnestly. “He even talks about the scar he left and the sunglasses she needs to cover it.”

I stared at him blankly. There wasn’t anything like that in the whole song. I said as much then pulled up the lyrics, reading them aloud to him.

“There’s more to the song than what you read,” he said, eyeing me skeptically.

I nodded absentmindedly as I scrolled through them. “Yes, there is,” I agreed. “But the song repeats a lot, I’ve read everything original.

“Can I listen to the song?” he asked. I nodded then opened the Pentatonix version as it was slightly easier to hear.

To be fair, I hadn’t understood anything the artist said when I first heard the song. I’d been googling “lights down low” to try and find it. Meanwhile those words weren’t in the song at all. It was entirely within the realms of possibility that he’d misheard something.

He sat and listened to the song intently then shook his head. “Maybe they took that verse out when they sang it,” he said.

I looked at him then sighed and opened the original. He said ‘maybe’ but that wasn’t what he meant. His face clearly said he thought they had taken it out.

This was a song I liked and I enjoyed both versions. I had no real problem listening to it again.

We sat together and listened through. At the end he sighed.

“The problem is this isn’t the official version,” he said. He scowled at our computer like it personally offended him.

“It is the official version,” I pointed out. “It was posted by Gotye and is listed as official.”

His scowl deepened then he rolled his eyes. “Mom, you don’t know anything about YouTube. If it was official, it would be on Vevo.”

I knew enough about YouTube to know this wasn’t always the case but I kept my mouth shut. He searched the song through Vevo and glowered when he came up with the exact same version I’d found. His expression grew darker as we watched yet another version with on screen lyrics then went back to the first set of lyrics I’d found and read through them again.

“There’s only one explanation,” he said as he stood up. “Obviously that guy bribed people to hide those lyrics.”

I stared at him dumbfounded as he walked away, finding my voice as he entered the hall.

“You really think he bribed everyone?” I asked. “Is it really that hard to admit you’re wrong?”

He wheeled around and came back in.

“What year was the song written?” he snapped. I called it up and showed him the date. He immediately went to a video called Musical Autopsy and started playing.

Song after awful song played in snippets, while the reviewer cut them to shreds. I started to wonder what the guy would say about the song I liked.

Suddenly Colin turned to me. “Mom? What’s the name of that song again?”

“Somebody That I used to Know,” I replied as Buckley slagged a well played song from last year. Just then the lyrics about sunglasses and a girl with a scar played, much to Buckley’s obvious disgust.

“I was thinking of the wrong song,” Colin admitted ruefully. His lips quirked into a half grin. At this point we’d been reviewing and replaying the song for a half hour. At least he knew he was mistaken.

Of course, in order to buy the song and listen to it while exercising, I needed to have my MP3 player… which Colin had borrowed.

“Colin? Where did you put my MP3 player?”

He rolled his eyes. “I gave it back to you Mom. I put it on top of the fridge.”

Note, those two sentences are diametrically opposed. I’m almost a foot shorter than he is. I can’t even see the top of the fridge. And, of course, the player wasn’t there.

“And my headphones?” I asked wearily. He insisted they’d been given back by being placed on the desk. They weren’t there either.

Thankfully the headphones were found on the back of the TV. Right beside his ipod docking station. Obviously he’d been mistaken again. And, while my tiny MP3 player is still missing, I found an ipod shuffle on sale. It’s now charged and loaded with my playlist.

I asked Colin which version of the song I should buy. I wasn’t surprised when he told me Pentatonix. I think I’ll buy both versions though. It’s the least I can do.