Monday, April 14, 2014


My son puts a hole in the wall...

"Why don't you put him in a home?"

My son bloodies his head...

"Do you think you'll put him in a home someday?"

My son attacks me...

"He's out of control. He's going to end up in a home."

My son is in a home. My home. Our home.

Do you think making the decision to have your child live somewhere apart from you is one that comes easy? You might as well take my brain and ask me to think. Or take my lungs and ask me to breathe. Or take my heart and ask me to live.

My son and my daughter are a part of me. They are as vital to me as any vital organ in my body.

My son was hospitalized twice in a psychiatric wing of a children's hospital. I did it when he first exhibited aggressive behavior, on the advice of a medical professional. The first time I dropped him off I went to the parking garage and wept fiercely. I felt like the worst parent in the world because I couldn't solve his problem so I was dumping off the responsibility on someone else. The second verse was as same as the first. Neither hospital stay did a thing for him, and it is not something that I will do again.

We have had Children's Services involved in our lives. Two years ago when we were robbed, the policeman taking our report turned around and called Children's Services on us. They came to our house three days later and accused us of neglect because our house was messy. No amount of conversation would convince this woman that we do take care of our kids, it's just that life is hard and sometimes they mess the place up faster than we can clean it. She gave us two days to clean the place before she came back.

You had better believe that we busted our asses cleaning that place. My wife was worried that they would take our kids away. Me? Not so much. I had a contingency plan that involved me taking the kids and hitting the road. If they wanted to try to take my kids they would have a fight on their hands. It was not going to happen. Would I really have gone on the lam with my children? You bet your sweet bippy I would have.

The advice flows freely from the lips of those who don't have to make the decision. But the decision to place a child in a group home is not one that comes as easily as what to watch on TV or how many anchovies to put on the pizza. (Hawaii Five-O, and double.)

An adult child? Different story altogether. It can be a good thing, when a child reaches adulthood, for them to learn independent living skills and develop social relationships outside the home. But even in that case, it is still up to the parents and no one else.

"Shouldn't you put him in a home?"

He is in a home. My home. Our home. Matthew, Rebecca, Laura and myself. And as long as we are alive and capable of doing so, my son and my daughter will have a guaranteed place in my home. If I am changing diapers when my kids are 20, I might not like it, but I will do it. My commitment to my children is that strong, that deep, never to be questioned.


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