Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Silent Treatment

The drive down the mountain was agony for Stevie. Shawna slouched against the passenger door, sullen, brooding, and arms were folded tightly across her chest. Her self-imposed isolation could not have been more obvious with a neon Keep Out sign flashing in front of her. Stevie struggled over how to break through Shawna's defenses and get to the root of her misbehavior. The struggle was becoming commonplace for Stevie as Shawna tested the outer barriers of parental control.

Her headstrong daughter would probably raise a big stink over being grounded. Shawna was getting to be an expert at displaying her displeasure. Stevie would be loving but firm with her daughter, a resolve she had made after Dougie's death. Had she insisted that she and Jon deal more firmly with Dougie, things might have been different. Stevie would not allow her daughter to fall into the abyss that had swallowed her older son. It just was not going to happen again.

"Is there anything you want to say about what happened last night?" Shawna answered quickly, "Nope." Her tone conveyed a message Stevie was hearing more often in her daughter's attitude: I could say a lot, but I'm not telling you anything.

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