Depression and the Mama Bear

As a life-long sufferer of this disease, I get extremely worried when I see signs of it in my boys. My teen is going through a very rough patch right now (that I won't detail here because he has asked that I not blog about him) and has legit reasons to be depressed. It's hard with teens. You never know if how they feel is just regular hormonal teen "stuff" or if it's more. My middle schooler is showing signs of this hormonal teen stuff too.

I got a text from the Dad earlier today. He took our tween on a fun outing and instead of fun, he contended with sulky and grumpy. I mean, really. How can you sulk during Pikachu Day at Target?! Even the name of the event made me smile. So my mind started racing, as it does.

Why is Max moody today?

After shuffling through the usual suspects (hunger, fight with brother, tired, Dad is really the one who is moody and grumpy and the lad is just feeding off it...) I came to the conclusion that it's con blues. Kinda. Plus, we sent the Dad to take a nap. Just in case.

First, what is con blues, you ask?  In a nut shell, for those of us who LOVE going to fan conventions, it's that let-down you feel after you have to return to "real" life. The humdrum day-to-day crap that isn't days filled with celebrities, cosplay, scheduled fun activities non-stop...you get the picture. It sucks.

Max just got home last night from a 2 day camping adventure with his 6th grade class. They went boating, did archery, rock climbing, zip-lining, hiking, campfire sing-alongs, and slept in neat cabin bunks with friends and sleeping bags.  This was Max's first real camping trip and he had a BLAST.

And then he came home. Even I feel the level of extreme suckage in that previous sentence. My boy has con blues! Or camp blues? Regardless, he went from non-stop fun to, ugh, boring old home. No wonder he's moody today.

Once I had my child figured out (mostly) my mind continued to wander. He is really very lucky. I missed out on a lot of adventures like this when I was a kid. I was sick. A lot. Often when I actually succeeded in leaving on an adventure, I'd get sick during it and my parents would have to come get me.

*cough* Girl Scout camp out. *cough cough* Suspected pneumonia.

With the drama leading up to Max's super fun camping trip, I'm just happy my boy had such a great time. What drama, you ask? Oh, did I forget to mention that? Yeah. When the list of cabin assignments came out, my sweet tween came home crying. They put him in a cabin with 2 bullies. Max has been bullied by way too many kids at that school, but this was 2 of the worst. Naturally, I assumed someone was doing it deliberately just to mess with my kid. (See, we had to fight to get Max on this trip. They had kicked him off the trip for too many absences. But we had doctor's notes and documented all but 2 of his days out and won that fight.)

I mean, school admin knew about those boys! If you are going to kick kids off of field trips, why not punish the kids who torture their fellow classmates?! Not the ones who had a rough winter full of illness after illness! 

I went full on Mama Bear and sent a heat filled email to the school superintendent, principal, and the teacher organizing the trip. The last one I included just as a courtesy because this is the first year Max has her, so I wasn't completely sure she would know about the history with those boys. Plus Max told me the principal had a hand in putting the cabin assignments together. Oh, I was livid. On the brink of litigious. No one messes with my kids!

But, it turns out no one was. After a heated email exchange, turns out it was just an idiotic mistake. I don't blame the nice teacher who works hard, year after year, putting these trips together. Admin knew about Max's history. She should have been informed at the start of the damn year when we were fighting to get Max in a class that didn't include most of those tragically delinquent boys. I never wanted my kids to experience the kind of daily torture I went through in Middle School. Their poor dad too. We are VERY anti-bully.

At any rate, I feel bad for including Max's teacher in my Mama Bear meltdown. But not school admin. They really drop the ball WAY too many times. I mean, can you blame me for feeling like this cabin assignment was deliberate? To mess with my kid? Granted, I gave them too much credit. No one could be stupid enough to put a kid in harm's way accidentally. Right? Wrong. I must assume stupid going forward. Stupid, thoughtless, negligent, asses!

Wow. I think I'm still a bit angry!  It all went ok in the end. The one or two boys Max liked in his cabin group made sure he was ok and it all worked out fine.

Max is a super resilient kid and much better at making the best of things than his poor old Mom can. Plus he has lots of friends who look out for each other. And special thanks to our neighbor friend, Chris, who was one of the parent chaperones on this trip. He took that special boating pic up there, in this post. Chris knew I was freaking out and posted that to my Facebook wall during the trip just to reassure me. Yep. Made me cry. I'm extremely grateful to all our parent friends who take photos during school events and trips. I used to be the mom who volunteered and took photos at EVERYTHING. Long time readers may remember that I am a shutterbug. But declining health has kept me from participating for a number of years now. I really hate missing out but am super thankful for friends who are there to capture these memories for me. Photo credit below goes to my mom friend Erica. She bravely volunteered to chaperone too and spent the night in a cabin full of middle school girls. I should bring her a bottle of wine...

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