Characters: "Jake" and "Suki""Jake" comes to us from a nearby town. We've had him on respite a time or two before, and he seemed a decent kid at that time. He was actually the one I was with the single time I managed to get my new canoe out on the lake this summer. During that fishing trip and during his stay with us, he was extremely quiet, respectful, and VERY helpful. When you're trying to do hard work, a motivated teen guy looking for something to do is exactly what you want. He fit the bill for us admirably, on one or two occasions (we're constantly doing things around here that require physical work).
It was a little weird, actually, with his former "foster" family. I use scare quotes because I'm really not sure what his situation was. They seemed like a foster family, but they had rules and did stuff that seemed like they should be illegal or something. Isn't it unreasonable (in most cases) to restrict a 17-year-old to their room after 8:00pm unless they've done something to deserve it? They did...and no real explanation why other than that they "needed that time for family." Well, if you're not willing to include your foster kids in your family, doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose? Massively??!! I do this, to a major extent, the way my parents did it. These kids *ARE* a part of the family for as long as they live here, and for as long AFTER they live here as they treat us decently and want to continue to be associated with us. Or if they realize later that they *should* have treated us more decently and would LIKE to be associated with us.
We're not picky.
Another weird thing...we were told this kid has a history of "abusing" animals. I flat don't believe it. I've seen him with our animals when I know he didn't know I was there. I've seen him with our cats. We are confident enough in this that we've broken our own rule against foster kids bringing in their own pets because he has a cat he aquired somehow during his last foster placement, and she's BEAUTIFUL. It's white with grey face, paws and tail. It has blue eyes, and would be a siamese, except that I KNOW siamese, and she ain't it. For one thing, I kissed her on the lips and I still have my face. For another, she hasn't said a mew yet. Siamese cats ALWAYS announce themselves. Frequently. And their voice is very distinctive. Plus, they usually have "differences of opinion" with other pets, and she has fit in remarkably well. Yes, we're a 4-cat, 2-dog, 4-person household.
But back to "Jake". He's tall, lanky, and from what The Wife says, he should be good-looking to girls his age. I don't see it, but hey, I thought they SHOULD all fall in love with me in high school and college and that was a bust, so what do I know?
Apparently he *IS* good-looking to at least some girls, because he's already approached me all man-to-man, asking what sort of rules we had about dating. This is, of course, due to some sort of budding relationship he has going at school (already, after a week!) with a girl I'm sure he thinks I know nothing about. The Wife has already scouted this out, and she approves of a relationship between the two. 'Nuff said, IMHO. My job now is to encourage him to treat her like a lady, run interference with The Wife when she gets TOO harsh on him kissing her and so forth, and damned well getting our X-10 home security system back up to snuff before things get too far along. We wanna KNOW when things are happening.
Heh. I like this kid so far. He's respectful, he knows how to go along to get along and seems to have a good sense for how far he can push things, I think we can help him, he likes to fish and hunt, and it's a VERY WELCOME change of pace from the all-drama-all-the-time girls we've had to deal with mostly so far.