I’m a list maker. I make so many lists that I think there should be a support group for people like us, but we would just sit around making lists of locations to conduct our meetings, who to invite, and what snacks to serve so it really wouldn’t serve much purpose other than to enable our problem. Then we could list all of our problems.

I learned list making from my mother … just like I learned how to be sad, how to be a worrier, and how to broadcast all of my problems to the world like it was some sick contest where you won a trophy for having the most things to bitch about. And then you make a list about them.

Anywho …

I told my daughter the other day that there is a constant list in mine and Big D’s heads of our children … the worry list. With five of them, it’s a constant shuffle as to who we worry about the most. Older boy child was running the streets with some … well let’s just say they weren’t working to cure world hunger or cancer. So he was at the top of the list for a long time. Then he got arrested and we knew where he was and that he was being fed and that he was (mostly) safe so he moved down a few notches. Then he was sent to rehab where we REALLY knew where he was and that he was being fed and that he was (more mostly) safe so he moved down to the very bottom of the list … where he stayed for several months … until last week.

We got word that he was in trouble there for doing stupid shit, oh how I wish I could say that it surprised us. Then we got word that he was begging people to “get him out of there”, which isn’t even an option. Then we got the phone call last Thursday.

I knew from the tone of Derek’s voice what had happened and the tears started as soon as he said the words. “He’s being kicked out.”

I didn’t even ask why. I didn’t matter. Derek started the nearly three hour trip to get him while I made calls to the jail, the sheriff and the judge to find out what we were supposed to do with him once we “got him.”

I had to leave the office and go cry in my car. Anger was the first emotion … followed by a sadness that has followed me for years while trying to parent this child … then came the worry. Worry that he will NEVER get his life straight. Worry that he will always be like this. Worry that he will end up in prison or dead. There he was – firmly at the top of the worry list all over again.

I was just leaving the line of a fast food restaurant when Derek called my cell phone.

“They are letting him stay.”

I cried so hard I couldn’t catch my breath. Relief washed over me. I had to pull over because the tears wouldn’t stop.

For now, he’s still at the top of the worry list, but there’s always hope that he will move down a notch or two.

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