To say that my brother is taking things poorly is a bit of an understatement. Some days he seems fine, like his old self. And other days, he is just this seething mass of hormones and anger. I can’t really blame him, and other than getting him some counseling (already done), I don’t know what else to do. Most of his good moments are at home where I guess he feels safe and calm. At school, however, where he’s tasked with something that is overwhelming, or when the other kids start in on him, I guess he lashes out.
Today was one of those days. This time, however, he went after a teacher. Not physically, thank goodness. Something to do with him not finishing his homework. No idea why that deserved the response he gave, but I’m not him and I don’t know what goes on in his head.
What I know is that I got a call at work telling me that my brother is in the principal’s office and that I better come down and get him. He’s been suspended. I’m thinking the worst on the drive over: he was in some kind of fistfight with another student, somebody was going to press charges, we’d be out on the street…. Unfortunately, it is a long drive so I had a lot of time to stew things over. Man I wish they would have just told me over the phone what it was!
When I got there and she explained everything, I tried super hard not to look relieved. My brother just sat in the other chair with his head down. His backpack was next to him so they must have made him stop at his locker before I arrived. The principal already knew about “our situation” and asked me some questions about our home life and if we had any other relatives nearby. The first bit I kind of thought was none of her business and the second part seemed obvious: um, no, that’s why they are with me!
Anyway, I explained about the counseling and how we were going to sign him up for a sport so that he could have some other positive role models in his life while expending some of that physical energy. The principal seemed to think that everything I said sounded good. She kept nodding her head and saying, “I see.”
In the end, she decided to give him an in-school suspension – I didn’t even know they had that, it certainly beats me having to take time off from work to make sure there is an adult around to watch him.
My brother didn’t say anything to me the whole time we were in the office. Never came to his own defense, never tried to argue his case, nothing. I wasn’t expecting him to say anything when we got into the car, either. But then he said, “The teacher asked me why Mom didn’t just make me do my homework.”
Oooooh. So I told him that I was sorry that it happened but that his response was wrong. That I could have emailed the teacher and let her know what was going on, or had the principal fill her in. He nodded without looking at me and then asked me not to tell our sister about what happened. Since he already felt lousy enough, it seemed like reasonable request to me.
Oh well. Another day in the life, right?