Choosing My Family: Third Time’s a Charm


Dekeon Seley

Everybody expects changes during their teen years, but maybe not as drastic as moving from parent to parent, state to state, and having to go to a new school and start fresh. Well, that’s what has been happening to me for the past three years.

I used to live with my grandparents in Oregon. We went on vacations frequently, at least two to three times every year. I got to see quite a few places, but at the cost of having to go during the school year. It put a lot of pressure on me because I had to bring my work with me. I went to just about every major theme park in Florida, but without really getting to enjoy the vacation. When we were home it was fairly, with us being surrounded by a desert. There were nice summers and cold winters. There were many Chinese food places around.

Finally, I decided that I needed a break from it all, and just wanted to stay in one place and do the same thing for a while, so I moved to my mom’s in Washington state. I liked the change in climate, the sushi places, and the change in culture. It felt great, and I was finally able to stay put in one place, but what I got was not what I’d expected.

But here I was grounded for months at a time with nothing to do other than to read and sit around the house. The reason most of the time was because I had a bad grade in one class, even though I was passing the rest with A’s and B’s.

So I’d be grounded without anything that I enjoyed to do. At that point, it seemed pretty pointless to do anything. I finally caught up and was passing in my classes again, I got un-grounded and finally thought I had a little bit of time to relax. That lasted a week. I forgot to do the dishes because I was exhausted and — here I was again — grounded. Grounded again, and the cycle repeated over and over for two years.

I couldn’t do it anymore. We were on our way to a parent-teacher conference, talking about my grade in math (I had gotten a D). My mom told me that I was grounded for two months, and I finally had what it took to tell her no. “Four months,” she told me. So I got out of the car and ran away.

After a few hours, I settled on an old dried up drainage pipe. My mom called the rest of my family to have them see if they could figure out where I’m at, and she found me hiding there. She finally asked the question, “Do you want to move to your dad’s?”

So in the summer of 2019 I moved to Santa Fe to live with my dad.

There hasn’t been a single day that I’ve been grounded while living here. I can go out wherever, hang out with my friends for however long I want, stay up as late as I want, play whichever video games I choose, and watch any movie I feel like. The only bad things about being here are how high up it is, and my dad’s cooking.

And now I’m here in school. Time is going by really quickly. It feels like it was just yesterday that I moved here. My weekends seem to last only a few hours compared to them feeling like a week.

I can tell this is where it ends — I’m finally in that spot in my life without any fear of having to switch parents again, and everything is as perfect as it can get.