I went to the crossroad and fell down on my knees.
Asked the lord above for mercy, save poor Bob if you please.
- Robert Johnson
The chief complaint was "Here for drug test." He was 17 years old, accompanied by his mother.
"What can I do for y'all tonight?" I asked.
"I want him tested for drugs. I've had enough of his nonsense. He goes out drinking and smoking pot on schoolnights, and I'm not going to deal with it anymore. I've warned him over and over again, and he just won't listen. This is it."
I looked at him. "Is that true?"
He nodded. "I don't have to listen to her. She can't tell me what to do. If I want to party, I'm gonna f_____g party."
He was a senior in high school with only three months left until his 18th birthday. Graduation was coming up, and he was at least barely passing all of his classes. He'd never worked in his life, but he already had a few minor arrests on his record (drugs, alcohol, and theft according to his mother). He didn't want to talk about it.
"What are your plans after high school?" I asked.
"I dunno. I might try to go to community college, I guess."
"Where are you going to live? How are you going to pay for it?"
Guess what? He was still planning on living at home with Mom. He might try to get a part-time job, he didn't know. It seemed like he really just wanted school to be done with so he could kick back and get stoned all day.
"Did you know that once you turn 18 your mother can kick you out of her house and put you out on the street? If you're going to live in her house, you have to abide by her rules. She's given you multiple chances and you keep disrespecting her over and over again. You are going to end up living under a bridge or in a homeless shelter somewhere. Your friends might let you stay a week or two, but they would kick you out eventually. If you get arrested again, who do you think is going to bail you out? There is nobody on this earth who will EVER care about you half as much as your mother does, but she has run out of patience with you. It looks like she's about to drop you out of the nest.
You are at the crossroads of your life right now, and it's up to you to decide which way you are going to go. How the rest of your life turns out may depend on the road you choose now."
I asked one of the local police officers who was doing security for us to come in and talk to him so that what I said might sink in a little more. And to let his mother know what her options were.
We never did the drug test. She really just wanted some emergency parenting assistance.