My son did not, did not, did not want to go to school today. This is a new behavior since high school, and surprising because generally, he seems to be doing okay there. It's hard to tell whether his resistance is because he didn't feel good (though no cough, snot, or fever apparent), because he didn't get enough sleep (took a long nap yesterday, though), because he just wanted to lie in bed and look at Miranda Cosgrove pictures on his iPod (always a possibility), or because something is going on at school that he's afraid of.
I tend to leap to that last likelihood, only because he's never been one to want to stay home. But of course, once I try to ask him questions about what's bothering him, it's impossible not to ask leading questions, and then impossible to know whether the answers are for real, or just to get me to let him stay home, or maybe something he's fixated on from a TV show. Since he couldn't give me a good explanation (and couldn't give one to his invisible friend, either, as far as I could eavesdrop), I did make him go, but I felt like a parent in one of those young adult novels. You know, where the child is in danger of bullying or other terrible consequences, and begs to stay home, and the parent blithely sends him into danger, while the reader goes, "No, listen to your child! Don't make him go where he doesn't want to be!" Well, I yell that while I'm reading those books, anyway. But I still sent my kid to school.
I did chat with his aide a bit about the problem, and asked her to keep an extra eye out. I put in a call to the gym teacher regarding any locker-room problems (since that's one place the aide can't be). I got a call from his case manager, so apparently the word's gotten around that I'm worried. She's going to talk to him tomorrow, and I wish I could believe that will solve something, but past history with my daughter suggests that this level of adult involvement only tends to make things worse.
And in the back of my mind through all this is that gossip item about one of his old friends being in a gang. Would this friend involve him in gang business? Or hurt him as a gang thing? I'd like to believe not; the kid I know wouldn't. But he wouldn't be in a gang, either.