The adult who hurt my son will not be charged. I’m a lawyer. I get it. There are no witnesses, no physical evidence, and Jax …well, Jax isn’t the best witness.
At 13, Jax still believes that Noelle the Naughty Elf stole my car keys and tried to take my SUV for a spin. He tells the same joke over and over (and over), processes every single thought he has out loud, and is lost in most conversations that aren’t about airplanes. He doesn’t understand nuance, social cues, or consequences.
Jax is a child. Jax will always be a child. This makes him sweet and vulnerable and eighty pounds of that very rare quality of “what you see is what you get.”
But it also makes him a really shitty witness.
I’ve watched Jax spiral for the last few months. Night terrors have interrupted his sleep and, for the first time since he came home ten years ago, he is scared of the dark. He sits outside my closed bedroom door while I shower, hugging his knees to his chest, scared to have me out of sight for even a few minutes. He texts me at work to make sure I’m alive. His health has declined, his moods have gone dark, his fears have grown huge. I know my son was hurt.
I know it, and yet, a part of me is relieved that this ends here. This whole thing needs to be over. It was reported and we did our parts. We showed up when we were told to show up, we answered questions, we allowed Jax to be interviewed. The best thing for Jax now is to move on. It is time for this to be done – and now, on the eve of Christmas, it is.
My son is not the best witness. This feels like a kick in my gut, but maybe, maybe, it’s a Christmas present.
Rebecca Masterson is a writer, speaker, and an advocate for children. For more from Rebecca, follow her on Instagram. Or sign up for her newsletter.