Midweek woes for the Cuevas
Julio came home Tuesday evening to his younger siblings playing outside on the street. He's unfazed by it—it's a common sight in the favelas—but today Julio wanted none of it. He went straight into the house and into his room, out of sight.
Isabelle had spent the better part of her evening cleaning her bathroom. Won't Cheryl be a good kid and watch a movie with her? No boys, no Julio, not even her hubby; just mother and daughter watching a chicken comedy.
Cheryl brought Tina Traveller home from school, but she seemed more interested in playing cops and robbers with Garrett than watching a silly movie.
On the other side of the street, Evan and Gallagher Newson had a one-on-one water balloon fight with each other. Waiting for a parent to say it's not safe... but life in the favelas was never safe, was it? The Cuevas parents are used to all of those dangers. And the Newson clan have enough on their hands already.
Julio bought dinner at work, but he's still feeling a bit peckish. Rather than reaching for a plate of his mother's leftovers, he grabs a protein shake from the fridge and downs the chocolate-flavoured, sugar-free drink with great gusto.
Julio's a bit tired and cranky.
Julio, I know you didn't have the best of days today, but that doesn't mean you can just go and yell at your mother while she's cooking—even if you're not going to eat it.
"What do YOU know of anything?! Do YOU know how I feel?! You're just living up there, watching us from above, and you don't even come down here to walk on this world on our level! You wouldn't be saying all of that if you have ever walked in MY shoes!!"
Julio, I know you're pissed at your parents for making you leave your friends behind. I'm not saying that is necessarily a good thing, but you can't just keep being so bitter about this forever.
"Yeah, that's easy for YOU to say!! I bet you've never had to move and leave your friends behind against your will!! Do you even HAVE a will?! Hmm?!? Why don't you play me with free will on?!?"
The dining table was quiet today. Thomas is tired after a long day at work and isn't really in the mood to talk. Isabelle, Garrett, Cheryl, and Evan don't have much to say. And of course, Julio's absent, but he wouldn't have talked at all at the table if he somehow was there.
At Garrett's insistence, the three kids clear the table and wash the dishes.
Thomas quietly brushes his teeth and gets ready for bed.
Julio once again didn't show up for dinner. I think he is still angry at us for moving... as usual. I am surprised that he has allowed his anger to hold onto him for so long.
I really do hope that things will change, that Julio will learn to forgive us and know that we didn't mean to separate him from his friends. We know how close Julio was to the people in the favela, and we really liked them too. I hope that someday we'll be able to get together the money to go back and visit them. I wish Julio would stop and listen long enough for us to tell him that we really do love him and we really do want to see him with his old friends again.
Alas, I have been writing down these hopes for many, many pages now. I have been praying for the same things over and over again, but nothing has turned up. I feel tempted to give up, give up and abandon God like He seemed to have abandoned me. But I cannot abandon my son.
"Did you guys hear Julio yelling at mom in the kitchen? Why do you think he's still angry after all these months?"
"It seems really strange that he's still mad at mom and dad after all this time. I think maybe we should just give him some money and let him go back."
"I can't speak for dad, but I don't think mom has given up on him yet. I think the best thing we can do is to be patient and not be cold to him. Julio's still part of this family, after all. He's still our eldest brother."