Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Big Mistake

Yesterday I proudly tweeted:

 Lillian Carilo 

 I was braver and bolder than yesterday. Asked: "Are you "with us" or without?"

Whisper of response to my question was a barely audible "With you."  All right, then.

Today, I discovered how terribly wrong I've gone about EVERYTHING.

I have a clue.  I've made a mistake.  A big, BIG mistake. I've made so many mistakes!  And, it's too late to try to fix.  Damage done.  AND... it's all my fault.  All of it.  I've known all along.  And, I guess I just thought being a pushover would do more good than actually getting pushed around.  Oh my God.  I hate how strong this emotional blow feels.

How could he possibly think our boy wasn't interested in college!  How could he be so wrong?  Why didn't I bother him with all the details while he was away.  I should have said, "NO," that January when that job offer finally came.  He was offered a job which required him to work on project out of the country.  But he "had" to take it - our health insurance was about to cease.  We needed to keep my illness managed.  We needed to keep his health managed.  We needed to do everything possible to restore our situation after he had been laid off from his VP job.  He should not have left us, because the inevitable - what we are going through now -could not be avoided.  I KNOW THAT NOW.  What happened after Texas lay-off should have been proof enough!

I didn't think - really, really THINK.  How could I have been so thoughtless.  It pains me so badly that, today, he is of the assumption that our beautiful, boy would not have dreamed of going to college?  After all, we - my boy and I - worked so hard to keep his spirits up, to not let him become discouraged by his self imposed burden of being "the man of the house" while dad was away.  He was just a boy.  A boy who needed his dad home to teach him to drive, to share yard work, to shovel snow, to help keep us all safe from harm, especially the girls.  He needed dad to protect him from fear of everything a kid faces as he nears young adulthood.

But dad had to leave.  And we only saw him about 100 days over three years.  And, although there were nightly telephone calls to check in, they were minimal.  He'd call each of us on our cell phones, I don't know what was shared.  Now I wish I did.  I wish I could have sat by and listened to the kids as they said good night.  I wish I would have thought to bother him with the mundane.  Our boy was struggling; depression was overtaking his ability to manage studies.  I was doing the best I could while being scared everyday.

But, that was what the university and film school t-shirts were all about... lifting his spirits, planting the seed of possibility in his head.  He wore his NYU t-shirt while studying for SATs.  He shared photo of himself wearing UCLA Film School logo in front of dvd collection to be shown during his EDCSD cyber-school graduation bio presentation.  He worked so hard to turn his grades around... make us proud.  Of course, he wanted to go to college.  I'm sure still does; still wants to study film.  He does study film.  We don't sit here for hours talking about the movie we just watched; he's hashing it out, he's researched it.  He knows the director's work. From production, to marketing, to box-office, critique... He does a complete study of the film.  That's why I always have a headache after we've viewed a movie together; for the most part, we've discussed it from it's inception to the very end - whether why it became an award-nominated film or never had stood a chance.  Hit or miss, it's a new lesson in movie-making each time.

Of course, he wanted to go to college.  But he wasn't going to insist we make it happen for him, especially the way his grades were suffering.  Especially since the school let him down so tragically when they ignored his calling to attention the cheating problem he discovered among his peers.  He was let down when teachers, counselors and administrators turned on him, made him seem the one doing all the wrong.  I'm getting sick just going over it in my head as I type.  We let him down.  All of us.  He was supposed to go to college.  But, instead, he's feeding us.  Working his job at the bookstore; bringing home pay to put food on the table.

His sister was not the only who received onslaught of constant mailings from colleges and universities during junior and senior year, our boy did too.  But I guess Dad missed it all while he was away.


Our boy:

I'm sorry we forgot.  Dad forgot how important it was to teach you how to drive.  Did we forget about that letter to Disney Adventures magazine you had me write to tell them that you wanted to work for Disney after watching The Lion King... you were just a tiny boy then.  I've never forgotten. I should have told your sisters everyday, how lucky we were to have you here at home, protecting us everyday that dad was away.  I wish I could have been stronger. But mostly,  I regret the "I give up." example I've set.   Sorry about all the mistakes I've made.  So, so sorry; so very, very sorry.

Please, please, please know... I WILL ALWAYS BE WITH YOU.  I'm so proud to be your mom.

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