Today is Emma's eighteenth birthday. Truth be told I've been waiting for this day for 90 weeks.... It was around that time that Emma became very difficult if not impossible to live with....someone with some legalease told us that she could do as she wanted basically but we were legally responsible for her actions until she was 18.
Today her birthday is bittersweet because 12 days ago Emma forced our hand and we took her into the shelter in the city to live. My only experience with shelters up to this point had been what i'd seen on t.v. ,......big huge rooms with cots set up.....this shelter is very different. It's run by Good Shepherd ministries....a local organization and it's specifically for youth. The building is a huge house and Emma must share a room with a couple of other girls. They provide food, laundry facilities, television and computers in a library. They even have a curfew.
In the last week that Emma lived with us, we had two meetings with the mental health clinician at the shelter...Emma included....in the meetings we agreed to give her a do over for her curfew...this clinician had two weeks previously set up a curfew schedule of 4 days at 8:30 pm, ( like the police had suggested after she had stayed out all night) and then the 5th night it would be 10 pm. In the following two weeks she never was able to accomplish that and many times she also came home reeking of cigarettes and pot. The day we all agreed to the do over Emma returned home at 11:45pm....obviously she had no intention of doing the do over. The week went downhill from there resulting with me packing her stuff and hubby taking her in to the shelter. Of course she was furious with us...but she went, refusing to speak. I don't think she really thot we'd actually go thru with it. Anyways, she's there....and as I said, it's bittersweet because this is her eighteenth...a birthday that all teens just wait for...( although in actuality I guess 19 might be more important in Ontario because that is the legal drinking age).....I feel somewhat sad this morning, thinking that we really can't have a proper birthday celebration.
Yesterday morning I called into the shelter to see how she was doing...I talked to a support worker and except for going AWOL two nights last week she's been coming in on time and no major behavior problems. Of course they're not aware that she's been stealing clothes from a local store like I know, or that she's been drinking and doing drugs....and 'having relations'......but I know, a mother finds out these things, a mother knows...I knew when my other kids were doing it and I know when Emma is.....I know. It saddens my heart to know that she is systematically destroying herself. The shelter is trying to get her into a youth home that is a little more like home...but they don't have a female spot yet.
The shelter people must have suggested that she call me....and surprise, surprise...she did...we spoke briefly, I asked if she had plans for her birthday. She said no...I asked if she'd like to go out for some supper...she said yes. I was surprised that she agreed....although the cynical side of me wonders if she'll stand me up...just to 'teach me a lesson'.....
I don't know how things are going to end up for Emma, I pray that she starts making some good choices...that she gets off this 'suicide' mission.
I pray that she has a Happy Birthday.
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