Tuesday, March 21, 2006

kudos to rugrat, or I'm one proud mami

Last Friday. Rugrat and two friends, K. and A. are headed to a village a couple of train stops away, to hang with friends. They are supposed to take the 12:15 train home. I get a call about midnight.

Mami, can I take the 1:15 train instead?
Well...K is drunk and passed out, and we can't wake her up. Can I let her sleep an hour, then get her up?
What if you still can't wake her up in an hour? I want you on that train {it's the last train of the night}.
Oh, we'll get her up, if we have to get the guys to carry her.

The conversation continues. It seems that she considered trying to lie to me about what was going on, but in conversation over the phone with her boyfriend (official now), he told her to tell me the truth (yeah, he likes me, lol). Apparently, a lot of her stories over the past year or so have been to protect her friend K, who has a serious drinking problem. I told her I was glad of the truth, cause when she lies, even if it's to help a friend, it makes me trust her less. And that in the long run, she's really not helping that friend at all (which she figured out on her own, my girl did!).

So, I make her stay in touch by phone and let me know when they are on the train, and I'll pick them up at the station. She actually stays in touch this time -- nothing to lie about or avoid, now. Telling the truth is so much less stressful. I pick them up, and rugrat and her friend A. are stone-cold sober. K., however, is a different matter entirely. She is so fucking shitfaced I can see it on her little face. She's a tiny girl, and the booze goes right to her. According to rugrat, she was so bad coming out of the apartment where they were partying, she was literally crawling down the stairs.

So, they all hop into the car, rugrat in front, friends in back. About 30 seconds into the ride, I hear that familiar choking sound coming from the back seat. But the old reflexes are still there, as I hit the brakes and yell open the damned door NOW! She gets the door opened, but damned if she wasn't hanging so far out of the car that she would've fallen out if she hadn't been seatbelted in. We managed to avoid the worst, and wound up with a couple of droplets on the carpet mat. So needless to say, although she lived in our apartment complex, she went home first. And you can bloody well bet that I had her over the next afternoon, hangover and all, to scrub up those droplets. It was all over her, though, so I don't know how her parents could've missed it when they woke up in the morning. Kinda hard to miss the smell in these tiny apartments. But then, her parents have so many problems, they might not even notice this one.

After dropping off K., rugrat and A. and I had a little conversation on the way to take A. home. Yeah, K. has a very rough family history, mom in and out of rehab and losing custody on and off, dad leaving them home alone as preschoolers while he went to work, etc. And we talked about kids who had rough lives who abuse drugs and alcohol, and how it's easy to feel sorry for them, but they have to make, and be responsible for, their own choices. They can't blame others. I even used myself as an example -- I was an angry teen, and drank heavily. But it was my choice, and I can't blame anyone else for my choices. A good lesson, and they were engaged in the discussion, and had a lot of insight to share.

Rugrat has apparently reached her limit of patience with this friend. She said she stopped enabling (my word) K. by no longer covering for her, and she was very hard on her that night, along the lines of get up, we're going now, and if you don't get up, we're leaving you, your dad can come and deal with you, etc.

Then, we drop A. off at her house. Another sad case, her parents died when she was young, and she's been raised ever since by her rather cantankerous grandfather. I have a habit of waiting till kids actually get into the house when I drop them off, before I'll drive away. Keeps the kids honest (no sneaking out on my time), and I know they got home safely. Well, A.'s curfew was 1 AM, but since her granddad turns off his phone at night, she couldn't call him to tell him what happened. He also locked the door, and she doesn't have a key. Can you imagine, a kid not having a key to their own house? He's never given her one. And when she knocked, he actually hid from her and wouldn't open the door. What the hell did the guy expect her to do, sleep on the front porch all fucking night? It was about 10 fucking degrees outside. I just didn't get it. So, I motioned A. back to the car, and brought her home with us to spend the night.

And as we're driving home, I look over at rugrat sitting next to me, and whisper 'do you know how lucky you are to have me for a mom? 'Yeah, I know mami, I love you,' she said with a smile.

Apparently, her friend K. is now angry with her, for 'letting' her drink and not stopping her, and for being 'mean' to her when she was drunk. I thought that might bother rugrat in the light of day, but it seems she truly is fed up with K. Now, I know rugrat's not a saint, she has certainly been experimenting with pot (they call it 'weed' now), and has had a drink or two. But she seems to be making good choices and isn't going overboard or losing control with the pot or booze. The experimenting I can handle, experimenting is actually healthy. As long as it doesn't get out of control as with her friend K. And hell, how much could she have been doing all this time, while she was playing babysitter to keep her friend out of trouble.

What an amazing kid I have, you know?!

(I found this older photo of her at about age 3, in one of her traditional mexican costumes. Just thought I'd share it, in my proud mami moment.)


Deepblue said...

bambina bonita! Great kid... great mami too!!!

Curious_2b_sub said...

Wow... see this is the stuff I love reading over here.

You made me cry again...

damn you!

SwallowedAlive said...

I agree.

KneelingMN said...

That is one heck of a kid you have, and even more, you've done one hell of a job in raising her!

Anonymous said...

Don'tcha jus luv it when a plan comes together, at least once in a row :)- da boat guy

Spring said...

Thanks so much, everyone, for stopping and commenting, and sorry for taking so long to respond. I have to say I love these moments where it goes well with rugrat...makes up for all the times when it doesn't! :)

infinitesimal said...

You are a great Mom!

glad you are around and posting.

Spring said...

thanks much infinitesimal!!!