Sometime in the beginning of April, Chooch casually said that he needed a ride to the Northside.
“For sailing?” he said, like we are so fucking dumb for not knowing this.
Anyone who has ever dealt with a teenager in any capacity knows how hard it is to pull one concise strand of information from them. They like to give it in pieces. Over time. Cryptically. Usually omitting pertinent chunks because you’re expected to ‘use context clues’ to ‘fill in the blanks.’ Why should they have to do all of the work!? Relying information is HARD. Especially when it is PROBABLY IN PAPER-FORM HANDED TO THEM AT SCHOOL BY A TEACHER WITH THE ASSUMPTION THAT IT WILL MAKE ITS WAY TO THE PARENT/GUARDIAN.
OK, so anyway. All we knew was that some of Chooch’s friends had signed up for some sailing class thing and I guess Chooch decided to also go.
We asked questions like, “Where on the Northside is this?” “What time is it over?” “Does it cost anything?”
Of course, these queries were met with a snarly scoffed, “I don’t know.”
I thought it was like, a one-time thing? But he’s been going every Saturday and apparently, it’s some type of a certification program!?!? He came home from school one day and said that he had to take a swimming test for this…this…whatever this is. To which I said we’d have to talk to his doctor about first even though swimming would probably be ok with a knee injury (I don’t know!).
He goes, “Ok well, I already took it and passed, here sign this.”
Why do I even bother attempting to parent this person who evidently is an actual adult who doesn’t need any help and goes through his own alternative channels (forging our sigs when needed, obtaining them after-the-fact if possible).
Well, apparently the swimming test was so that he could participate in the CAPSIZING TEST which happened last Saturday. In the RIVER. IN THE RAIN. Ugh.
THEN! One day last week, he didn’t come home from school until around 6. No texts, nothing. Henry and I were like “????” when he strode through the door in a manner so relaxed he should have been also casually chewing on a piece of hay. He looked at us like we were the ones in the wrong, and goes, “I was at sailing?” like we were supposed to know this.
I asked how he got there, and he said, “Dr. K.”
WHO TF IS THAT?? Apparently, a teacher at his school. So now the pieces are starting to fall into place. Somehow his school is involved in this…
And I’m sure SOMEWHERE there are papers that he was probably supposed to give us to read. (Probably already “signed” by us though.)
At work, my friend Nate said, “It’s like National Treasure! You and Henry are racing to figure out the mystery of Chooch’s nautical activities.”
Yes, exactly! Racing to figure out the mystery of his life in general! He has always been like this, dropping crumbs for us and then leaving us to figure it out on our own, for as long as he’s been old enough to leave the house. So, basically since he started school.
I still don’t really know much about this, except that sometimes the location of the “classes” is the Carnegie Science Center, and that now he has a yellow rope which he sometimes absent-mindedly carries around with him, swinging it lazily.
SIDE NOTE: I don’t think I ever knew what Christopher Cross looked like!??