Had a meeting with J's deputy principal yesterday about his poor attendance in some subjects - was news to me when I got the phonecall last week. Apparently his attendance has dropped off this term, to the point where he is in danger of failing at least one subject, if not more. So incredibly frustrating, he has only about seven weeks of actual school left, prior to his Higher School Certificate exams in October, and then it's all over for him. I so don't want him to only get a partial HSC, because there will be no way in hell to get him to go back for one year, just for one subject. When I started to think about what could have gone wrong I realised that the start of Term 2 coincided with the sentencing trial of the main protagonist in J's friend's murder - suddenly it made more sense. Since T's body was found in 2003, and the subsequent charging of the two boys, J has had a number of 'moments' - acting out, aggressive behaviour, non-attendance at school. We did get him to see the school counsellor back in 2003, but he tends to be very solitary when dealing with problems. If he's feeling bad, upset, angry, he just wants to go off somewhere and be by himself. I guess this is what happened this term. I also realised that I had never mentioned any of this to anyone at J's new school, so I informed the deputy head yesterday of the whole issue - the disappearance and murder of T is a bit of a cause celebre here in our town so he knew of the case, just not of J's friendship with T, or subsequent difficulties dealing with the situation. He was very sympathetic, and asked me to ask J for his permission to inform J's teachers of the matter - not in an attempt to excuse his absences, but as a way of explaining them. J has made every effort in the last week to ensure he attends all his classes, so with so make-up assignments, everything was looking OK for him to be back on track. Of course today he came down with a raging dose of tonsilitis & URTI, so he has to have a couple of days off - at least he has a medical certificate to cover the days.
Mother-in-law update - an attempted break-in to her house last Friday (while she was in the house), now has her afraid to leave the house in case it happens again. Whilst I am pleased she wasn't injured, I'm worried how this will affect her in the long term - her reactions to so many situations at the moment are becoming more and more disturbing and erratic. Our concerns for her mental state are elevating exponentially.
At least I have the upcoming long weekend to look forward to, sort of, maybe - a weekend away from my problems, only to endure a weekend with my mother's problems. Yep, life is pretty damn good in the downunderdeb household right about now - thank God for beer (if anyone is concerned that I rely on beer too much, don't worry alcoholism is the least of my worries). Think I may go have an ale now, in fact.