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...getting teen lessons in

By CarmenJimersonCross-SafieddinePublished 2 months ago 5 min read
Photo by Patrick Perkins on Unsplash

I HAD TO LEAVE FOR TRAINING. It was our weekend and either it had to be a double day and one night away from home; or a double drive both ways from the apartment on campus to the military base... what normally consisted of only a one and one half hour drive. For me, it was always well over two and one half hours. I was ever mindful of the painful vehicle injury I had recently sustained in a military convoy. I took the "other than express" routes there and back. At times I tended to misplace the front entry gate to the military base... if I entered the area from the wrong direction. It was all a daze but necessary to fulfill my "obligation." Many times I dripped into the golf course entry gate from the Clinton River boat launch and fishery section of town. It took me a long time to make the trip. I decided to trust my teenage son with the task of "holding down the house" while I was off to work. After reassuring his food rations for three days, and his security links to emergency contacts off campus and the phone number to reach me in an emergency, I left for the miltary base up north.

When I arrived, there was nearly half an hour before formation. I called home and called to my mother to check our situation. Both reassured me all was well. Mom lived in a different state but was the base source of comfort for any negative development even in our distant location away from my hometown. She had been alerted of my absence and asked to place a call or two over the days I would be away and her grandson home alone. She agreed and we settled with that. The alternate control source wee the campus police which was only a stone's throw across the courtyard from our apartment. On a clear day they could see our balcony and front window. From the Campus Police Department, they could see shadows moving in the living room ... if they tried. It was semi safe. The first half of the day went smoothly... the usual engineering plans repreoduced, measurements made for repairs to the airstrip and notation taken for enlargements to a few office buidings on base kept me and the other crewmembers busy. A new blueprint machine had to be sought down through various catalogs and sourcing contacts. Reference drawings for state and local engineered plans connected to the military base had to be consulted for alteration or updating. By the day's end I was tired and a drive home seemed impractical. Other members of our military unit... NCO's and officers headed for off base restaurants or home. Some took off for the Officer's club, Officer's billeting or NCO's headed for the NCO Club. I headed for the barracks trying to decide whether to trust my son to endure the night on campus alone. There was no one slated to visit. My husband was overseas in Dubai on a sales run from his business shop in Beirut. Earlier, he'd been in Egypt... according to the stamp pages of his passport. There was no need to imagine him returning before the weekend was up. I decided to stay overnight in the barracks. Returning to my car, I picked up both my military engineering text books and my study books for courses being studied at college that year. Because I had exams coming up, I decided to get a leg up on reading the material to be tested on in Transportation Planning... textbook from SEMCOG. The instructor... Edwele Ngwanko, was looking forward to exceptional test results from his efforts at "pouring his heart" into teaching the subject matter. I studied late into the night until I fell asleep and was up to start the routine again the next morning. I called agin to check on my son back on campus. He had a complaint. The complaint that our cousins had barged in... pushed their way into the door after he gave the message that his mom said, "NO VISITORS." The troupe of her six offspring were escorted into my tiny two bedroom campus apartment despite my son's insistent refusal and determination to follow orders of "no company... no visitors." At forty eight years of age, she was assaulting my household. I was awestruck at the news of her behavior. I phoned my mother to relay the situation, then phoned campus police to inform them of the situation as well. Only because my son did not say the police came to our apartment, do I not have a concluding status of that event. He did tell me that her son... much larger in girth and about the same age, was also argumentative and intrusive to our home. My son left the apartment and left them inside. He left to a neighbor's apartment until the cousins departed. The police inquired as to the complaint and as to whether the situation needed to be written up as criminal assault and intrusion. We did not press charges. She and her brood were more than 300 miles from their own home in Hazelcrest, Illinois.

It may be odd to say that even the intrusion of family members can be something of conflagration disruptive to progress, but that is a very real summarization of that instance. I was proud of my son in his response to intruders. He had done as he was asked to do. The queer issue was that of my 48 year old cousin who lived in a five bedroom home not far from a second four bedroom home owned by her and her husband Neil. I could have wondered if it were a "family trial" run for a family teen flexing his own sources of reliability... after all she had teens of her own that she would need to trust or rely upon. They would not impose a real assault upon us... or would they?


About the Creator


A widow, sharing experiences. SHARING LIFE LIVED, things seen, lessons learned & spreading peace where I can.

Call me "Gina" ( pronounced "jeena" ) short for REGINA

more at my original page

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