John turned 18 last Thursday. He celebrated this by launching a covert attempt to move out of the house. (Why it was covert is beyond me. He has every legal right to live where he wants; whether he was ready to do so, or whether this was in his best interests, is an entirely different question.) We did allow him to stay with his sister in Brockton for the past week, partly because we believed a break would do us all good.
Yesterday we phoned John at his sister’s house. We’ve talked to Felicia a number of times this week, but this is the first time we called to speak to John. We wanted to find out what sort of John would be returning today. We were hoping to see reflection and perhaps even repentance. Instead John told us he would be returning today to get the rest of his things. (This was one of the possibilities we were prepared for.)
When we asked where he was going, he wouldn’t tell us. He said he’d tell us eventually.
We told the kids. David cried for a long time. He is so loyal and so loving.
From last fall to late winter, John was all that we’d hoped he would become. His grades were quite good; he was clearly working hard in school, and had a part-time job in an accounting office. His attitude was excellent. He was helpful at home, and even managed to get along well with Isaac and David. For the first time in years, he behaved like one of the family, and it really felt that he was finally “home.” It was absolutely wonderful! I was so proud of him, and relished being able to brag about his achievements. We don’t know what precipitated the change, but all that disappeared, to our sorrow, by the early spring. Of late, especially the past few weeks, he has intentionally (as he admitted to our assistant pastor) been attempting to foment strife at home in the hope he could use that as an excuse to leave, not generating the level of discord he sought, but making life less-than-pleasant for all of us.
It appears John plans to live in Brockton, paying some rent, with someone he knows; perhaps a [biological] family member. He said “might have a job,” and that he intends to attend a vocational school in the fall.
I truly hope he succeeds.