So I wrote a long email to my son today, as yet, unsent. He broke his new phone yesterday...I truly don't think he threw it or anything, but he called all upset and in a state, as always when something goes wrong. Today we replaced the phone...again. In the conversation, he told me he also sold his brand-new-in-August laptop, that we assisted him in getting. (Basically he did 1/3 ofthe work of our second job and we gave him all the money for a month.) So today I set down and wrote this. I shared it with a friend and was surprised by her response. She doesn't have kids and said, basically, that we are the reason he does what he does, because we give in and these "chances" won't do a thing. I acknowlege that we've given more than we should...but I would be interested in your take on it. I probably won't ever send it...but it made me feel better to vent, even if it was just to myself. The more I read it, the less I like it. So like I said in the FB message, I'll get on line today and replace your phone. It will be exactly like before. You'll get it in the mail in a few days - because of the holidays it might take a bit longer - and you'll have to mail the old one back to them. We understand <SON>, that you didn't intend to break your phone and it was an accident. But you have to understand we can't keep doing this. Take better care of your phone. Don't leave it sitting on your bed and keep the case on it! The cases are designed to stop shock if they get dropped and likely if you'd had a case on it the phone would still be working. Please understand, this is the LAST phone we will replace. At this point we're out $300 in just a couple of months! I know it was unintentional - but be more careful. Now. On to even less pleasant subjects. Your dad has suspected the laptop was gone since Sept. I, as usual, trusted you and was just sure you wouldn't lie to us anymore. Obviously, I was mistaken. I can't begin to tell you how disappointed I am about that. I'm very, very unhappy and disappointed that you did that. Not only lie about it...that's just the icing on the cake, but sell it in the first place. You couldn't live on $25 a week? Well bull. You have EVERYTHING necessary for LIFE provided for you! You have shelter, utilities, and yes, FOOD. I don't give two craps anymore that you don't like the food there. It isn't inedible. It isn't poison. There are people in this town - and that one - who would LOVE to have free food, who actually go to bed hungry at night. You could live just fine picking out only the stuff you do find palatable. You don't need gas. You could walk your happy butt to school...although apparently you weren't going often enough for that to matter. So if you didn't waste money on food and gas you'd have had $25 a week for cigarettes and that's more than five packs a week. So don't tell me you needed money for necessities. You did not. Let me guess, the TV I spent $50 faxing documents around for and which is part of the almost $700 per month we're spending on your room and board, is gone too? <SON>, you've been given every advantage we could give you. Every. One. You have parents who love you and never really asked for much. You grew up in a nice house and we bought what you liked for food, even if it was stuff we wouldn't normally eat ourselves. You didnt want to cut your hair? Fine. You wanted to dress in all black? Fine. Express yourself, we thought. Dont fight over little things, we thought. Let him be an individual, we thought. Pretty much every darn thing you ever wanted, you got. But nothing we've done has EVER been enough for you. We give you an allowance and it wasn't enough. We buy you things. Not enough. We let you have what we consider a lot of freedom, reasonable curfews, very few chores. You complain about what little we want you to do and think we're too restrictive. We tell you, when you are 16 get a job and pay your insurance and you get access to the car. You don't and we let you drive it anyway. We say get a job and pay your own gas and insurance and we'll give you the car when your 18. You don't. You don't like college? That's okay. Youre failing? We offer to let you change schools. We even offer a 4 year college, twice the cost. Even after you stole from us and lied to us and treated us with complete disrespect, we let you keep using the car and sending you money - but even the $50 a week wasn't enough for you; you always wanted more. You have this wonderful plan to move to the closest pot-legal state and we STILL agree to support you and let you keep the car until you go. You apparently cant live with free rent, free utilities, free food, free car, no insurance, maintenance, taxes, license expenses AND an allowance. How exactly do you think youll be able to live when all of that is on you? You said Kelly wont even let you crash in his room occasionally. You really think youll be able to LIVE in an RV with this man? What do you want from us? Seriously, WHAT? What more could we possibly do? Sorry kiddo, but its time grow up and GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR BUTT! You have three choices. Go through with your plans and more power to you. Maybe you can live with him. Maybe itll all work out like you want. Maybe it wont and we send you a bus ticket home. (See option 3.) Its your life. Give it a try if you want. But you best be working and saving before you go. Stay in school and actually attempt to pass and get an education. Come home, get a job, and save up until you can live on your own. Option 3 comes with rules and responsibilities. I have an entire LIST of rules youll be expected to abide by. One is get a job. And I dont want to hear you cant find work and youve tried so hard to. Until youve literally put in applications everywhere in town, every store, factory, restaurant, and temp agency; until youve gone in decent clothing, shaved and with your hair neat, and not smelling of cigarettes, you havent tried as hard as you could. Another is no drugs. No pot, pipes or other paraphernalia will be in our home. Period. There are plenty more rules too, but nothing we dont set for ourselves. Weve never expected more from you than we expect from ourselves. I know, you dont want option 3. But its there and its open. We love you. We want you to succeed in life. You dont have to be like us. You dont have to go to church and work for the government. You dont have to share our beliefs or, no matter how much we wish you did, our morals. But you cant skate through life either. Being an adult means working. Its that simple. You take care of business first, be it work or school, and then you play when those things are done. Youve heard me talk about college. I partied my butt off in college. I hit the bars three times a week. But I also pulled a 3.7 GPA because I came home and studied and did my work before I went out. I went to class. Even if I hated it, hated my teacher, hated the subject, I went. I went on two hours sleep. I went when I was sick. I went hung-over. And I did the same thing before you were born <SON>. I once went to court with a fever of 102 and started crying in the Prosecuting Attorneys office because I was so sick. I went to work when all I wanted to do was sleep - because business comes first. You look at us and think were boring and our lives are so dull and you dont want to be like us. Well of COURSE Im boring Im 50 freaking years old! You know what? I wasnt boring before you came along and I had responsibility to someone other than myself. But I was also an ADULT. I earned my own way and paid my own bills and Ive HAD to do it all by myself since my mom DIED when I was 23! You have NO IDEA what its like to have NO choices! ALL YOU HAVE IS CHOICES! AND you have parents willing to catch you if you make the wrong ones and things fall through! So right now, all I can say is make your choices and live with the consequences. Youre only 18. You have an entire life ahead of you and you will make good choices and bad ones and you will succeed at some things and fail at others. But man up and take responsibility for yourself and your choices. If you spend money on CDs or pot or fast food, dont complain about not having money for cigarettes. YOU made those choices. If you dont go to class because you dont like it, because you dont like the teachers, because you think you already know it all, dont be upset that you failed, because YOU caused that to happen. If you spend all your time contemplating how awful your life is and how you dont have things you want, instead of being grateful for what you do have, youll be miserable. And if, when something goes wrong, if plans get changed, if something breaks, dont shout and curse and act like a child. If my car broke down tomorrow and I didnt have money to get it fixed, Id figure out another way to get to work until I did. But I wouldnt throw a tantrum like a 3 year old. What good does that do? Yes, Id be upset. I might even take five minutes to scream and cry and probably be in a bad mood for a while, but then you carry on. What good came from the way you reacted to your phone being broken? Did it get you a new one a minute faster? Did it magically repair itself because you cursed your life and how bad youve got it? Did ANYTHING change? NO. All you did was upset us and yourself for nothing. When you could have simply taken a breath, given yourself some time to pull yourself together and handle the situation maturely. Im probably wasting my breath, figuratively speaking. Everything in here is nothing you havent heard and youve never listened before. But you want your life to be better? You want your life the change? Then you have to make that happen and in large part you have to change your attitude. If you dont know how to do that, thats what the free counseling service is for you know, the one you dont think will do any good. Youre partially right. It wont help you at all if you arent willing to let it. Well at this point Im tired of typing. If youve actually read all of this, please make some attempt to understand it, instead of just dwelling on the parts that tick you off or make you feel bad. We love you. We love you with every fiber of our beings <SON>. But we cant make you happy. We cant make your life different. I dont expect you to shave your head and join the army. I dont even expect you to stay in school and make straight As. But I expect more from you than being irresponsible and dishonest. I think thats a pretty low bar.