Friday, June 11, 2010

The (new) Plan for Summer

Well, before this past week, I had a very different plan for this summer. The previous plan was to do as little as possible, excepting a few home improvement projects and lots of time at the beach. Leigh and I had a short "meeting" tonight. In it we established that if she does not go to jail Tuesday she will be very lucky. And that what we've been doing clearly has not been working, so we're trying something new. Given that Leigh has officially admitted that she might have a (gigantic) problem with chemical entertainment, we are instituting a sort of home-grown intervention. First, since I will be spending a lot of time monitoring Leigh and her new summer reading list (which I am busily compiling tonight), I'm going to take the plunge and start, one class at a time, my doctorate. I'm starting with Human Growth and Development this summer, July 1 to be exact. It's the start of an Ed.S. in school counseling, leading to a doctorate in counseling psychology. But I figure that it's all information I can use to attempt to help my own kids fix themselves. Leigh's summer reading list will be a combination of fiction and non, focused on teens who screwed up and fixed it (Speak, by Lori Anderson) and those who just flat screwed it up (Go Ask Alice, Anonymous.) We're also going to AA. There aren't any groups locally that I can find that that address what I'm calling "global" addicitions, so we're going with AA. She told me she'd just go to sleep. And I told her that was fine. They had a meeting going on every hour within a 30 minute radius of where we lived, and eventually she'd have to learn something through osmosis. I know that AA by force sort of defeats the purpose, but I need for her to see that there are TONS of people out there working hard every day to beat the problems they have. I need her to see that yes, it sucks to have to work at something other people find easy. But that it can be done, and it can have positive results. I'm also going to take her to random activities to help her find something that interests her. She's got to find something to give a damn about... something to connect with. We start tomorrow exploring salt marshes and sea critters. I should say "she starts" because I'm not going. I'm dropping her off at the program and will pick her up when its over. My theory is that she needs to start meeting "normal" people. She goes to a school for "special" people, and the only people she meets there are either autisitic or criminal or crazy. Autistic, not so bad, but we have enough crazy and criminal going on. Her chances of meeting people without issues, or even spending time around them has decreased remarkably over the years. Given that, I told her that this summer, if I said she had 20 minutes to be ready, she had to be in the car ready to go in 20 minutes, ready for action. I want her to get practice interacting with people who are passionate about something other than drugs, alcohol, and sex, or aren't so lost in mental illness that they can't function. So, we're hitting the book store before we go to the marshes tomorrow. Here's my list so far:
  • Go Ask Alice, Anonymous
  • Chinese Handcuffs, Chris Crutcher
  • Notes for Another Life, Suellen Bridgers
  • Wesley the Owl, by Stacey O'Brien

Any ideas for more or better ones? Activities that won't break the bank? Margarita fixin's? (No, the AA is not secretly for me. I just love margaritas in the summer time... cool, refreshing and relaxing.....)

And I think I'm going need all three. (And maybe some guidance or ideas or feedback on this plan 'o mine...)


  1. Hole in My Life by Jack Gantos would be a great one. It's autobiographical and Gantos (after being on drugs and in jail) goes on to become a successful writer.

  2. Oops, wrong copy/paste...
    Here's the link to the book


If you are an adoptive parent or have one in your family somewhere, talk to me. I could use some insanity that does NOT call me mom!!