So, today’s episode is going to be a little bit different. Typically we talk about special needs parenting, but in this episode, I am going to be more focused on the topic of parenting teenagers. If you follow me on social media at all, then you probably have seen the post that has been shared by everybody about my son who went missing. I will be explaining the story and opening up the conversation about parenting teenagers, the things they go through, and where I am currently at with all of it. 

What Happened With Our Son Was…

 On Friday, Zach and I went away to downtown Sacramento for our anniversary. Typically, we will go away for our anniversary and leave town for a week or so, but this year we decided to just do an overnight thing close by. We had our nanny stay with the girls and my mother-in-law was there too. On Friday, we got a text message from our nanny and she said that Tyson never came home from school. It was five or six, so I was just thinking he went somewhere after school. But then it turned into nine o’clock..and then ten o’clock and no Tyson. He doesn’t have a phone right now, so there was no way for us to call him or track him down. We just had to wait. 

Around eleven, there was still no phone call. I figured that he must’ve just wanted to go to his friend’s house, but there was another side of me that thought, I don’t know that for sure. So, I decided to call the police, and I told them that Tyson was missing. They filed a missing person report but basically said that because they don’t have a lot of information, there was nothing we could do but wait and see what happens. I stayed up all night because I was trying to figure out what the next step was. I was thinking and hoping he would come home in the middle of the night. However, the next day he still wasn’t home, so I called the police again to see if there were any updates. They still didn’t have any more information. 

Why I Went Public With My Son

I decided to do something VERY bold and make a post for social media. I kind of held my breath, and I thought about this, but I knew what kind of response this would get and decided to move forward. I was in a situation of desperation and I wanted to find him and make sure he was okay. My feeling was that Tyson was just at someone’s house, but if something really did happen, the more time that passes the less likely you can do anything to help. I went the route of social media and at that moment I felt really grateful that we live in the age that we do because when I made the post with Tyson’s photo, it went viral. It’s not the kind of post you want to go viral, but it got in the hands of the people that actually knew what was happening with Tyson. I received about 1800 text messages and DMs from people showing their support. I also started getting messages from people at Tyson’s school, trying to help with any information about where they last saw Tyson after school. 

What The Reaction Was 

In this episode, I read some messages that I got from a couple of high school students who shared with me their perspective on Tyson’s situation and what they thought was going on in his mind and why he was acting this way. I was very impressed by the messages that they sent me and very thankful for them. One young highschooler is very articulate in how she speaks and was able to give very keen insight and advice into what she thought might be influencing Tyson’s behavior. 

A lot of times people look down on teenagers and think they are just dumb kids who don’t know what they are talking about and that makes me sad. What I have seen in the past couple days from all of the DMs people have been sending me, is that there are some pretty incredible kids out there that I am very very impressed by.

How We Found My Son 

Tyson is okay. He showed up at a Taco Bell and a few people saw him and called the Sheriff to let him know. He was safe and not in any danger. He just wanted to hang out with his friends and didn’t want me to say no. I talk a little bit about how it was almost identical to a situation that happened when I was fourteen and tell a story about when I did a similar thing that my son did. I realize that it is definitely karma coming back around! 

A Little About Tyson

I am thankful that Tyson is okay. He is such a good kid and I wish that I could talk about my boys more because they are the loves of my life. Tyson has a heart that is just so kind and loving. I don’t know how I got so lucky to raise someone as amazing as Tyson and I would do anything for him. I would do everything again. I hope that he knows the world is a better place because he is here. I am honored that I get to be his mom and I am so thankful that I have this opportunity to watch him grow. I can’t wait to see what he will do with his life because it’s been quite a spectacular journey being his mom. 

A Thank You to Everyone 

I want to tell everybody who was praying for us and our family, THANK YOU for your prayers and your text messages and words of support. Most of the messages I got were from parents saying that they’ve been there, that everything will be okay, and that it happens to the best of us. I can’t tell you how much love and support has come our way. 

Everyone is fine and home safe, life will move on, and we will get back to talking about special needs parenting. Thank you for paying attention, sharing the message about Tyson, and for showing how much love you have for him. It’s beautiful. 

Important Takeaways

  1. If you have teenage kids and a child that has autism, epilepsy or special needs, make sure to carve out time for your other kids. We have to be really conscious of making sure that each kid gets love and attention. 
  2. There are so many amazing teenagers. I know that they often get labeled “dumb” and thought of as irresponsible, but I have met some amazing kids through this experience and I have seen how many of them are mature, articulate, and growing up to be amazing adults. Thank you to everyone who messaged me and was brave enough to speak to me about helping. understand this situation with Tyson. I am amazed by you and grateful for you. 
  3. There is a book called “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman and it talks about the different ways that everyone gives and receives love. It has been really helpful for people in learning how to better communicate and love their children. 
  4. THANK YOU to everybody who reached out to me with their love, prayers, and support. It has meant the world to me, and I cannot say enough how grateful I am for the love you have shown to Tyson. 

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