Laura has not been the subject of many posts this last year or more. She’s still here, of course, and an interesting young person to know. A year from now she is a citizen and a year and a half from now, out of school and launchable to the world.
It has not been an easy year, this third year of high school. Perhaps you recall the year began with Laura applying to spend this year abroad, being accepted, and her abrupt change of mind. She withheld the reasons for some six months, and when revealed, were not good. Suffice it to say they basically involved a swirl of dishonesty that I probably have not untangled to its end yet. I probably do not want to.
I was absent a lot of this summer, breaking bones, but Laura camped out with family and friends. School began again. The tight circle of girlfriends that began in ninth grade was breaking apart, and that concerned me. Laura was still was stabilizing from ending eighth grade in a bad mental state. However, I thought it something we could get through. Actually, we have.
Laura became more withdrawn and uncommunicative this year. We had the pot smoking incident, and I am not naïve enough to think it her first. However, with the unannounced blood test still hanging fire, and it will be there until sometime next February, I hope it is the last. There was another major incident of dishonesty that I won’t get into. I was becoming quite tired of being the parent in loco.
Spread this out over the background noise of Laura’s mother, my daughter, berating me about stealing her children, saying how everyone hated me because I was so mean, so on and so forth. I did not recognize sides had been drawn, and Laura had chosen. Against me. And so I realize, the joke is on me.
Over these several years, I have never “ratted Jan out”, as my sister would say. It actually was Janice who told my daughter to quit berating me for “taking the children”, as it had been hers and Tom’s idea.
Furthermore, I told Shelly, since the subject was back on the table, I never wanted to take the children. Both times they lived with us, I lost the vote, 2 to 1. I would have preferred seeing them among Shelly's ex-husband’s family. There were about eight siblings there to select among.
I told Laura I had taken on a responsibility I intended to see to the end. The responsibility had been to deliver the three of them to a safe place when high school ended.
I delivered Hamilton to his father. Ham now has a responsible managerial position with Chipotle, and goes to Cleveland State.
I delivered Blake to Hiram. I cannot speak to status; I do know he has the support of all the family.
But Laura is frustrating beyond words. Now is the time to be applying to colleges, and little Miss Physics, Trig, Calculus, Logic certainly is college material. And she will not answer me.
The other night I caught her completely off guard with my question, and she began answering in a lie that got worse and worse and worse. Eventually I grounded her, probably for the rest of her life, and in a day or so she volunteered the truth.
She wants to be a Hollywood makeup artist. OK.
She must be trained in California. Snort, snort. There are schools all over the country, including Ohio.
Google is in California. Go directly to the next paragraph.
She will move to Cleveland and live with Blake. I told her she should give serious thought to rooming with the sister who harassed her into a nervous breakdown only three years ago. That statement really set her back! However, my daughters, one of whom is her mother, became thick as thieves for a time, as adults.
On the other hand, Blake’s intention is to get to Google.
So, that is pretty much the state of affairs on Laura’s seventeenth birthday. I am pleased she’s giving thought to her future. Her mother’s was no less shallow at seventeen. However, this week her mother is taking another final exam against her Master’s in Nursing.
Another year and my job here is done.
And of the girlfriend circle, the first one remains. I suppose I could think of it as Laura and Lexi sorting out the rest.
I guess I lost the picture of Laura standing here with her birthday cake.