As I have mentioned in past blogs, Jack takes to heart the number 18. Jack turns 18 in August of this year. The age 18 to him means freedom. To us, we’re not really sure what that age will mean. Will he be in a group home, will he be better, calmer? It is really hard to say. To Jack, turning 18 means he will be able to stay at home all by himself, no caretaker needed & he makes the rules. Jack essentially makes the rules as it is, which is sad. If he were typical, that never would of happened. I would say we are strict-ish parents with Coleman & Ava. Everything had to change when Jack became violent at such a young age. We had to learn how to parent him differently than what we were used to doing. Although unfair for Coleman & Ava, it was the only thing we could do to ensure our safety. Our reactions to things changed. As Jack has aged & entered the teenage years combined with teenage attitude, he has become increasingly difficult to deal with by not understanding the complexity of his disorder & the life-threatening possibility of Dravet. If we ask him to turn down his music or game, he tells us no & sometimes makes it louder. As we try to explain about internet safety & stranger danger, he says he’ll be 18 soon, we don’t need to worry about it. He keeps bringing up he’s going to be 18 soon. So much rides on turning 18 for “normal” teens. Typically, this allows more freedom from parents, no curfews or extended curfews, they are grown & no longer need to listen to Mama & Daddy. I think this is where Jack’s mind is going with this. Y’all that keep up with my blogs know that Jack can not be left alone. He does crazy things like calling a taxi to take him to Ellerbe’s finest mall-the Dollar General, he’s incapable of heating up microwaveable food-Jack will put a metal fork in with his food in a heartbeat, & if he ever does decide to get out of the bed & pour himself a drink which is only a few times a year (PTL, praise the Lord), he leaves a trail from one room to another. Let me tell you a little story about the time Jack nearly burned down our house while we were all home, this is a key reason why he can’t be trusted to stay home alone & neither can we apparently.
I am a sports nut. I love to play ball (yes, even at the age of 43). During the kickoff game for the 2016 volleyball season, I went down hard, resulting in an absolutely horrific sprained ankle. The pain was worse than having three kids, naturally I may add. It was the month of November & to try to get into the holiday spirit, I lit a Christmas candle with the hopes of the smell forcing me to find something to be happy about. While in recovery after my season-ending sprain, I was laid up enjoying my guilty pleasure of Real Housewives in our bedroom & inhaling the fumes of Christmas, I left Lee in charge of the house. Reasonable request, right? It was only 8:30pm. Here’s how this holiday poem goes:
”Twas the night of Real Housewives & all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The candle was lit in the hall with care (so I thought), in hope that Amy’s ankle swelling would soon disappear. The children were nestled all snug in their beds (so I thought), in hopes that Mama’s ankle would soon heal because they were tired of helping out. I in my bedroom, Lee in his recliner had just settled in for a short winters nap. When from the hallway there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter. Away to the kitchen, I flew like a flash, hollered at Lee, there’s a fire, there’s a fire. I tore open the sash (really the door). The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow (that was fire extinguisher foam) gave a luster on our black 33 gallon trash bag. When what to my wondering eyes did a appear, were tears of depression & a burned up old trashcan. With Lee Berry so lively & quick, I knew in a moment it couldn’t be St. Nick (it was just November). More rapid than eagles, his coursers they came (that was the kids), and he whistled & he shouted & called them by name. “Now, Coleman, now, Jack, now, Ava, & Amy, (and a few other choice words)! Get off the deck, get back in the house, now dash away all, dash away, dash away all!”
To summarize what happened after our investigation was complete, it was discovered that Jack took a papertowel, stuck it in the candle & it caught on fire of course. He then wet it to try to extinguish the fire, then placed the smoldering papertowel inside the big kitchen trashcan where it proceeded to engulf in flames, set off the fire alarms, cover our house in soot & ashes in every square inch-upstairs included, & me with an incapacitated foot. Everything in our home had to be washed-walls, windows, curtains, bedspreads, everything! This was truly one of most depressing phases of my life. I am somewhat neat & hate chaos, so this was overboard central right here. We were able to hire some friends to come help with the cleanup, PTL! I was so depressed about my ankle sprain, the house nearly burning down, & issues with Jack, that I nearly ordered a $1600 ring from QVC!
As Ronnie Milsap sang “she keeps the home fires burning”, there need to be one small change in the pronoun of this song, it needs to say “he keeps the home fires burning”. By that he, I mean Jack. He keeps them burning both literally & figuratively. The moral of this story is, Jack is no where near capable of taking care of himself. He sees no dangers, knows no stranger, & calls taxis! There are so many stories to share with y’all!
Below are a series of texts Jack sent to my Mama about the fire, he was talking about me being mad. I think it is so funny (now). *Note, bad mode is bad mood.