...but for good reason. McWeedy has been clean for three weeks now because he has his court date next week, and is hoping to get diversion (he needs to drop clean during his drug screening). I don't even recognize the kid any more. The first week was awful, but since then the zombie that was infesting his body seems to have gone into hiatus. My son is back (for a little while, at least). No, he's not perfect. Yes, I know that this is probably temporary, but I'm enjoying it while I can, and encouraging him to take stock of what his life is like <u>right now</u>, so that if he slips back into herbal ecstasy then he'll have something to remember. He's laughing again. He's playing guitar again, reading again, and actually acting like a member of the family. He plays with his brother and sister, seems to actually enjoy occasional conversations and outings with the 'rents, and even shows appreciation for the things we're doing to keep him on the straight and narrow. He helps take care of our new dog (some other time I'll introduce y'all to "Max the Sobriety Puppy" as he's known around here). He even went out last night with his one "real" friend that hasn't abandoned him since he became a stoner, even though McWeedy did everything he could to run the poor guy off. I don't think it's an act. I DO think it's a contrived situation, i.e not one of his choosing, but one he's forced to accept. It's also one we (wife and I) could never force on him, and is better than the only option we were left with (giving him a suitcase and a clear path to the front door). He seems happier, and we as a family are happier. The only person who ISN'T happier is Weedette, his girlfriend. He's started to assert some independence from her, and she doesn't like it one bit. Rumor has it she even started partaking of the herb, and now has nobody to smoke with. And she REALLY doesn't like having her compliant little boy-toy suddenly sober, engaged, and not quite so compliant. I'm not happy they're having problems, but at the same time I don't think she has his best interest at heart; after all, he was a "much better" boyfriend for her when he was stoned all the time (better for her, at least...) But he's not acting like that person any more, and has even started taking an interest in his own life again. wife and I are even starting to wonder if he didn't WANT to get caught, and be forced into changing (since he was obviously too scared or indoctrinated to do it himself). I mean, really, he parks his car across the street because the SRO says that everything and everyone on campus is subject to search, but leaves beer and pot in plain site in the car? And on top of that, he brings rolling papers and a pot pipe (complete with resin residue) to school in his pocket - repeatedly - until he's caught? Anywho, regardless of the reasons, he seems to be taking advantage of the "opportunity". Yes, he sees this as an opportunity, and has even accepted that not all good decisions are ones you like. He's even dropped the talk of suing the PD, and has started going to the "last hope" alternative ed program to get his degree. And most surprising of all: when wife asked him to enroll at the local JUCO in the spring, she suggested photography, art, or some such "easy" class that would help him get into the college mindset. Instead, he blew her out of the water by saying "Nah, I think I'm going to go ahead and get my Math requirements out of the way". by the way: he got a 23 on his "official" ACT, and that's after getting an 8 on the science portion because he stopped answering questions. So, where's my kid? Not that I necessarily want him back, but this has been a pretty drastic (and dramatic) change for him. And if the courts have their way, it'll be a change he has to live with for at least a year, maybe more (if he agrees to our "funding compromise"). Oh, and a second asthma attack last month seems to have had an effect as well. This time, the doctors ordered a CAT scan after seeing pneumonia and "other items of concern" on his X-Ray. Funny enough, the CAT scan was a good news/bad news thing. Good news in that his lungs have never been "cleaner" in the three years his doctor has been treating him. Good also in the fact that he doesn't sound like he's going to cough himself to death from Black Lung disease any more (doesn't cough at all, actually). Bad news, though, in that they saw early stage lung damage that could lead to emphasyma if he doesn't stay away from all things that smoke (and most other lung irritants). Otherwise, the doctor said that he'd be pushing an oxygen bottle around everywhere he went by the time he was 35, and wouldn't live to see 50. That seemed to hit pretty hard, too. So after all that - and with court coming up - we're hoping that a year or two of relatively clean living will give him some perspective on the life he could have if he makes the most of this chance - even if it's enforced from without instead of coming from within. And that he compares it to the life he would have had if things hadn't gone down the way they did. But, he's a drug addict. My Bro is living proof that unless the change comes from within, it won't stick. However, our hope and prayer is that seeing the good things that come to him over the next year or two will give him a reason to change that comes from within. If not, then at least he had the chance to see both sides, and make his choice. In AA they have a saying - "Act as if...", meaning "If you can't be sober, act as if you are sober, and develop the habits, friends, and lifestyle of a sober person. One day, you may find that it's easier to actually become (and stay) sober than it is to give everything up and go back to being a drunk". In my own way, I'm hoping that the next two years give McWeedy the chance to "act as if", and I hope that when it ends he has the fortitude to make a good choice to keep on the better path. But for now, I'll simply thank God that I have a chance to be with my real son again, and take it one day at a time. wife and I needed this to happen. We needed to know that Aaron wasn't completely gone. We needed some reason to have hope, to not give up, and keep trying even when it seemed hopeless. It may, in fact, be hopeless, but getting a breather like this - no matter how long it lasts - is a welcome break from the chaos and frenzy of the last few years. Mikey PS: For the time being, I'm going to have to come up with a new moniker, since "McWeedy", "Weedwhacker", "Sir Pots-a-Lot", and the other funny but true nicknames aren't currently relevant. Ideas, anyone?