Spent a gut-wrenching 2 hours discussing grief, anger and conflict with the Teen, Savageman, and the Therapist tonight.
And then we left - Savageman in his car and the Teen and me in mine.
My car headed for Panera, where we ate big salads and made small talk: he told me funny stories from school.
By mid-salad, the conversation had gone a level deeper: he was annoyed that his English teacher spent much of class today talking about feelings and teen suicide. He said he had tuned her out in protest. He didn't think English class was the time or place to discuss it, although he did acknowledge that, although it wasn't helpful for him at that time, maybe another student in the class could have benefited from it. The fact that the teachers are encouraging discussion might help students know they have more than just their parents or the guidance counselor to go to if they need to talk. And the more resources available, and the more caring adults involved, the better for everyone. He did seem to understand that.
By the time we were mopping up the remaining dressing with our remaining baguette, the conversation had taken an unexpected turn in the direction of our session and his relationship with Savageman - this time, with none of the anger and sarcasm he had shown in the office. Instead, he was curious and introspective. His questions were along the lines of: What makes me the way I am? What makes Dad the way he is? Why do we keep our guard up with each other? Then this: "I think I do try to pick fights with him - because the times we're fighting are the times when I feel most connected to him. Does that make sense?"
I hardly knew what to say other than to point out how insightful the observation was. We didn't try to problem-solve; that will be a conversation for another day. But it moves me to know how much he really thinks about this. And to know he does love his Dad and wants that connection with him.
We get in the car to go home and he plugs in his iPod. I brace myself for the Screamo music he's always trying to get me to listen to. Which I hate with a passion.
Instead, John Mayer comes on. It seems that the last time he did a sync, my library had somehow gotten copied into his and he's been listening to some of my stuff.
Why, Georgia, Why?
I breathe a sigh of relief and start singing. He cranks it up and joins in. We're driving on 81 in the dark, singing our hearts out to this melancholy song which fits our mood perfectly.
It was a Moment.
One I'll hang on to.
Despite the fact that a few minutes later, he was picking out the perfect Screamo song to play for me.
It struck me as the perfect metaphor for life with the Teen - and maybe all teens, in one way or another. They do their best to drive you crazy, to fight with you just to keep you close to them -
- and occasionally, just for a Moment, you connect in a beautiful and unexpected way.
And you cling to it, because these Moments are few and far between.
But they sustain us like nothing else can.