Battling bros and jaywalking students

Joey Garcia

After two of my sons inherited a home, one son and his family moved into the property and paid rent (half the market rate) to my older son. My older son had difficulty keeping up with mortgage payments and a loan he took out on the property. He stopped making mortgage payments. When my younger son discovered this, he wanted to take over the loan completely. My older son does not want to release the property, because even though it has no equity now, he believes it will in the future. They both wanted me to intervene. I’ve explained that I don’t have control and refuse to speak ill of either son. They both stopped talking to me. Both sons have made serious threats against the other. I have sent birthday cards and checks, which go unacknowledged. Outside of contacting an attorney or mediator, what should I do to avoid having my family further torn apart?

Sift through memories of your sons as young boys. Uncover moments when they argued over belongings and learned to share. In the presence of financial gain, they have forgotten those early lessons in love, but that doesn’t mean you can’t remind them. It’s essential, though, that you remember your task is to prompt change. If you accept that you are only planting seeds, you won’t expect to harvest transformation. Only your sons can decide to act differently.

It’s interesting, isn’t it, that each son wants you to take his side. Is this a childhood pattern? Or an expectation birthed by desperation? If being sandwiched between your sons is a role you’ve played too often, consider this extreme (living out of the loop) as counterweight. Yes, that means don’t resist it, because it’s reality. Just continue to be the loving mom who sends birthday cards and checks. Don’t give more money than normal in the hope of prompting a grateful phone call from a son. Just give without desiring anything in return. If you can’t, then don’t send money or cards until you can give without strings attached.

I know that discord in a family can affect everyone. Your task is to not allow this situation to intrude on loving your life. Practice being fully present by enjoying the simple things: the song of the meadowlark, laughter of children, the wagging tail of a dog and cuddling with your sweetie. Savor every small joy. Doing so will allow you the freedom to experience what your sons cannot, at least, not yet.

What is it with Sacramento State students? They jaywalk across J Street sometimes while texting. When people honk to alert them that cars have the right of way, students flip the drivers off or yell at them. I have never seen cops ticketing students for jaywalking, either, and I live in the neighborhood. What is the problem with these kids?

Hmm. I think this is a dilemma common to many college and university campus neighborhoods, not just to Sacramento State. Given the radical cuts in law enforcement budgets, issuing tickets for jaywalking just isn’t a priority. I don’t think it has been for years.

The increase in jaywalking (in tandem with texting or not) is likely a symptom of entitlement. Some young adults (like their elders) behave like they have a right to special treatment, even if that means they’re scofflaws. They never really learned how to take care of themselves or to include the needs and rights of others in their choices. This kind of attitude and behavior may be getting worse, but doesn’t every generation engage in it? One antidote is to teach elementary-school children to be invested in community values and reinforce those values in junior high and high school. What solutions can you think of?

Meditation of the week
I hung out with Kings crew Fat Lever, Hassan Whiteside and his girl Alexis at Dave & Buster’s in Roseville. It was fun in the house of games until Fat and Hassan spied the four-lane baseball challenge. First Fat won by 20 points, then Hassan won by 20 points. Alexis beat both of them at least once. Then, we discovered one of the lanes was busted. How do you know you’re a winner?

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