Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Winter Haven

Can someone explain to me the fickleness of teenage boys? I know that girls are bad, but I had no idea the boys could be so awful. Molly has been seeing a boy named Shawn for a few weeks. He pursued her, going rollerblading, going to visit her at her dad's house and here. After a week or so, he asked her to the prom. This was a huge deal because he's a junior and that means she can't just get a $50 dress. It's also a big deal because I had told her that she could either go to prom or cheerleading camp this summer because I couldn't afford to pay for both. At the time, she didn't have a boyfriend, so I wrote out the big check for camp and sent it to school. Then came Shawn.

Molly thoroughly impressed me in trying to pay for her own prom. She immediately called all of her grandparents asking what kind of work they had for her to do. (She also sweet talked her father into paying for part of the dress, and I agreed to buy the shoes) She babysat, raked my dad's lawn, and spring cleaned her great-grandmother's house in anticipation of her coming home from the nursing home. She managed to rake in enough money that she decided to buy the tickets for the dance because Shawn was a little low on cash. She even agreed to go without a corsage since he couldn't afford that. Molly walked around the house with a spring in her step and sparkle in her eye, and Shawn came over to hang out almost nightly.

Then came last Friday. Shawn asked Molly to go to an event of his stepmom's in Appleton. This was an issue for two reasons: 1) Molly's technically not old enough to date yet, and this definitely qualified 2) I'm not comfortable with the two of them riding in a vehicle alone, and this is an hour trip each way. Lucky for Molly, she talked to Jesse before she talked to me, and he said yes. I put in an addendum: she could only go if I talked to Shawn's dad to make sure that everything was on the level. Molly agreed happily, Shawn not so much. The only phone number he would give Molly for me to call was a work number, and when I tried to call it, it didn't work. His dad refused to give out his cell or home phone, so I said, fine, call me then. But his dad wouldn't. I don't know exactly what the problem was, but in the end, I didn't let Molly go.

Needless to say, Molly was very hurt and upset with Shawn's father. Shawn didn't see her point of view. After avoiding her all weekend, on Monday he dumped her. They're still going to the prom, as friends, but it's not the same experience, and I know that Molly wouldn't have spent all of the money for a night out with a friend. I guess I'm glad it happened now rather than later when they were more attached, but I just don't understand the actions of either guy in this situation. And yes, I did get Molly's permission to write this. She's pretty angry herself.

Winter Haven by Athol Dickson is the suspenseful tale of a woman on a mysterious isolated island off the coast of Maine. Vera Gamble has traveled to Winter Haven to retrieve the body of her brother Siggy, who disappeared 13 years ago. But from the moment she sets foot on the island, everything seems strange: Siggy hasn't aged at all, black stones rain down from the sky, a strange hissing creature follows her, and tree limbs bleed red. Vera, a CPA, has retreated from the world and shelters herself from it by clinging to numbers and facts. Her faith in God is a fragile one. After losing every member of her family tragically, she's too afraid to trust Him, and she's terrified if she questions Him, her life will be shattered even further. Dickson packs a lot of wallop into this thin book: romance, mystery, suspense, even horror, all tied with faith. Vera's narration is surreal and hesitant, as if she's not even sure of herself, and there's no one else she can trust on this island. I was deeply moved by her realization that by refusing to trust God, she didn't trust anyone else in her life, and once she allowed herself to love God, love for others and from others flowed easily. This dark, suspenseful book gave me the shivers!

Good news! Tricia was released from the hospital yesterday. Praise God! Mia finally made it to 30 nights out of our bed (her new Build A Bear, a pink leopard named Pixie, was the reward), and she didn't come in last night either. I hope this becomes a habit!