Which means that I have every reason to plan out my very own version of Shangri-La via roses, mimosa trees, and cup-and-saucer vines. However - there's always a serpent in every garden and unfortunately the one threatening mine is two-legged and carries an inordinate amount of emotional baggage within him. I wasn't the person who filed charges against him for criminal trespass, nor did I insert 4.5 ounces of methamphetamine in his front jeans pocket when he was arrested. I didn't call the sheriff on him when his choice of music disturbed the peace of the neighborhood at 1:30 in the morning. Since he violated his parole with such an infraction, he got to stay as a guest of the county correctional complex for an additional 18 months. However, I was there when he got out - a new neighbor who was law-abiding and politely informed his mother in her native tongue that drag-racing was frowned upon outside of the proper venue and would she please inform her son of such before someone else called the sheriff yet again? After which we sat down as all mothers do over good coffee and homemade kuchen to discuss children and such.
This fellow was not exactly happy with his mother's new found friend, neither was he happy that now there were two mothers with eyes and ears watching him and his behaviors. We encouraged him when he got a job driving a concrete truck; yes, it was hard work and long hours - but coming home to a cold beer and a hot dinner was the reward of such effort. The economy being still a bit jittery, when he was forced to take a week off he proceeded to return to his play mates, play grounds, and play things. While the sheriff didn't bust him with anything - they did find pockets full of no-no's on his buddies, and they went the way he had trail-blazed earlier.
To reward the people looking out for him, he jumped a fence and overturned three lawnmowers into the local wet weather creek shortly before the seasonal rains hit with the flash flooding that they are known to bless us with. This and other childish pranks of varying degrees of harassment are now his mark of frustration with being forced to behave like a grown-up. Both my new coffee friend and I see the handwriting on the wall, however - looking past the fact that we love our kids, we also see that sometimes no matter how much you love them, bad apples are inevitable.
If he survives to see 30, whether inside or outside of a jail cell, it will be a miracle.
However, I want my rose garden. I want to plant English roses, delphinium, geraniums and gladiolas to frame my beautiful over-arching mimosa trees and spiraling lavender crepe myrtles. I think I need a two-legged mongoose.