Shortly before our son, Addison, turned 13, our normally peaceful, joyful home got upended. We wondered, “What happened to our sweet boy?” In place of kind and easy-going Addison we saw a shockingly disrespectful kid who angrily responded to simple commands with stubborn argumentativeness. After “discussions” where only the parental side was allowed to speak, Addison insisted on having the last word.
On vacation this past summer, it all came to a head. We scored the perfect Asheville Airbnb and prepped for a day of mountain biking adventures. Unexpectedly, a new fight broke out between us and Addison. As these things so often go, I cannot remember what precipitated it. We could not see eye to eye. Our son’s disrespect seemed off the charts, but he refused to bend. Meanwhile, our daughter Adrienne looked positively ill in the volatile atmosphere. The dynamics at play that awful morning reminded me, for the first time ever, of my own family of origin. I hated myself for it. This was the final straw.