Last week my son tweeted “Deuces B-town, #vegasbaby” to his several hundred followers and it made me LAUGH OUT LOUD.
About a year and a half ago my husband and I tricked him. He thought he was flying to Las Vegas to see family but ultimately he ended up in Utah at Liahona Academy; a military style therapeutic boarding school. We had lost control of him to drugs and alcohol. It was sad, and hopefully the most heartache I will ever face as a parent. As we were secretly preparing to get him there I asked him not to tell anyone he was visiting his family and certainly not to tweet anything: So when he tweeted “Deuces B-town, #vegasbaby” the first time I was FURIOUS.
He attended Liahona Academy for 11 months. The school and staff there are amazing and Jack did the hard work necessary to take advantage of the opportunity to change his life. It was an emotional roller coaster of a journey while he was gone. We missed him terribly and couldn’t shake the feeling of failure that we basically had to “outsource” the parenting of our child. He did all the work, changed his entire life and graduated from their program in September of 2013.
At graduation, each student has the opportunity to give a graduation speech. The theme of his talk to his fellow students was not to think of Liahona as a punishment, but as a way to change their life. Each parent also gets a chance to speak and I used the “Deuces” tweet as an example of how proud I was of him. I had dropped off a boy who outright lied to me and in return I welcomed home a smart, strong and highly principled young man.
So last week when he returned to Liahona as a “white shirt” or a staff member for a short visit and tweeted: “Deuces B-town, #vegasbaby” I knew it was meant for me. And this time I was filled with love and pride. Way to go, Jack. Well done.