So we’re back home again.
And we’re not happy about it.
You know how sometimes it feels good to be home after vacation?
This time? Not so much.
First of all, we had the long drive back through Kansas.
And when we finally made it to the other end, we were knocked over by the heat and humidity! Can three days of Colorado really spoil us that much?
Yes. It. Can.
Our 15 year old son is feeling the effects the most.
While in Colorado, he was happy! He smiled often! He talked with excitement! He climbed out of bed at a decent hour! He wanted to go outside and do things!
We hadn’t been home a full hour before he began getting irritable and frustrated. When I asked him what was wrong, he shrugged his shoulders and claimed: “It’s too hot here. You can’t even step outside without breaking a sweat!”
It’s true. We usually do have very warm summers with high humidity in the St. Louis area, but this summer has been record-breakingly hot! Our relief comes in the form of upper 90’s, and the occasional cloud cover.
It’s not just the heat that bothers him, however.
It’s the fact that he feels stuck here in this little town, and the fact that his interests are far more extensive than 4-wheeling, hunting, beer-drinking (yes, even at his age….), and sports.
There are only a handful of boys in our county that don’t enjoy those activities, and 2 of them are his brothers.
Hubby and I are definitely feeling some guilt about raising the kids in this quaint little town of 600 that he, himself, grew up in.
But heck, when we were young and starting our family, we felt this place was the best! After all, it has a great school with small classrooms. It’s safe enough that we rarely lock our cars, let alone our houses. Everyone knows each other, and they’re all very involved with the school and the community.
And with me constantly moving and changing schools as a child, the idea of raising my family in one home, near grandparents, was very appealing.
Now we realize, all of this is not necessarily a good thing.
Our boys especially, have suffered because of it. They love to read, write, draw, and play music….
They love to play video games and create their own games and characters.
We bought them incense and paper lanterns for their rooms. We gave them bamboo plants and Asian scrolls to decorate with. They’re into calligraphy and mask making.
All very cool interests, but no one to share them with.
This combination makes them feel like the weird ones. It makes them feel isolated.
It makes us feel sad.
We hoped high school would offer more friendship opportunities, and it has, but not to the extent that he feels a strong connection with any of them. Besides, living 20 minutes from the high school’s town, doesn’t lend itself easily to going over to your friend’s house. It takes planning, and drives and trying to kill 2 birds with one stone. “if we’re going there anyway…”
And although we’ve told him many times we’re willing to work it out, he’s too polite and considerate to bother us.
And the school itself, doesn’t offer a wide variety of opportunities.
So what we’re witnessing is an extremely intelligent, artistic kid, who’s being stifled in a field of corn, surrounded by people who are content to never leave the boundaries of their town.
We’re seeing a lack of focus, a lack of interest in school, and slight signs of depression.
This is a kid who scores 100s on standardized tests, who’s IQ is well above the norm, who researches science, and space, and history topics on his own. He reads to learn, and not necessarily for entertainment…
He should be at the top of his class, yet his grades are only average.
By taking him to Colorado like he asked, we were hoping he would be able to be his own person,
that he would be in his element,
that he would see that there are people and areas out there where he does fit in and feel at home.
And it was a success in that respect.
But we had to return, and the change in him was almost immediate.
My hope is that he can make it through the next few years of high school, with little pushes and encouragement from us, and then escape to a place where he can be himself.
At this point, it may very well be Colorado.