I’ve been worried about Merlin lately, his antisocial behavior has been escalating and I consider, more and more, the negative impact my single parenthood may have had. When our little family first disintegrated I had a male roommate on hand, who is much like family to me, and who I asked to step in as a big brother of sorts for baby Merlin. Sure, there were some baseball games here and there, a few Sunday evenings of board games, but the contact wasn’t really maintained once Merlin and I moved into our first apartment. He was simply abandoned, again.
Once on our own, in a downtown area in the city, things became very dicey at first for the two of us. I am not proud of the mothering I did during this time. Chaos was the normality and it wasn’t long before there were phone calls from the school about Merlin smoking in the bathrooms between classes and rumors in our apartment building that he may or may not have been a small time pot peddler, even in the fifth grade. I was boozing most of the time and any role models he may have had were merely ships passing in the night.
Needless to say, by the time the big PGH move was in the works I was sure, just sure, that living in a better neighborhood with my parents would do Merlin a world of good. That it would undoubtedly be no time before he adjusted to the stability of our new lives together and assimilated to school with the nice straight-laced suburbanites of our neighborhood. I had my degree now, I had a job, I could be a good mother again!
Alas, in my observations of late I have noticed abhorrent behavior. Whilst a visiting cat was eating beside him he chased her off and screamed at her. Not only did he verbally attack her but he refused to let her eat her own food untill he was finished. Not even with the intention of also eating her food, just for the sheer sake of making her wait. The chauvanism! Even his canine roommates, Merlin attempts to terrorize with his hissing trash talk and scratches. We’re all aware that a certain adjustment period should be granted for an adolescent who has experienced so much change, but after two months of this I wonder if the damage has been done. Oh! The regrets in meowmy’s heart!
I miss the innocence of when I first brought him home and his future seemed so limitless and bright!…