“And just like that the chapter of middle school ends,” the Teen Mom OG star, 31, proudly wrote via Instagram on Thursday, May 18, alongside a photo of her eldest son, who looked dapper in a blue suit while posing with his family. “So proud of you Benny, your next chapter is going to be amazing … find joy in the journey! 😎💙#bennybaby #thingsthatmatter #8thgradegraduation.”
In the sweet image, Bentley stood in between his mom and his stepdad, Taylor McKinney, as he smiled for the camera while holding up his diploma. The teen looked too cool for school with his mullet and oversized sunglasses. Bentley’s half-siblings Jayde, 7, and Maverick, 6, stood in front of their dad as they smiled for the family photo. Bookout and McKinney, 34, also grinned broadly while posing with their kids.
Bentley’s middle school graduation comes less than one month after Edwards, 35, was sentenced to 11 months and 29 days in jail after pleading guilty to harassing estranged wife Mackenzie Edwards. (Mackenzie, 26, filed for divorce from the Tennessee native in February after Ryan’s first arrest of the year, during which he was booked for harassment, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance, after violating an Order of Protection sought by Mackenzie.)
Ryan — who was arrested again in March for stalking and violating an Order of Protection, and again in April for possession of a controlled substance and a DUI after being found “unconscious and unresponsive” in his vehicle — has long had a rocky relationship with his eldest son, whom he and Bookout welcomed in October 2008. (The former mechanic is also father of son Jagger, 4, and daughter Stella, 3, whom he shares with Mackenzie.)
“To be quite honest, Ryan doesn’t show up to any baseball games or anything like that. It’s not shocking that he doesn’t see him that much,” Bookout exclusively told Us in September 2021 about her eldest child’s relationship with his father, adding that Bentley wasn’t “necessarily comfortable” talking to Ryan unless the former MTV personality — who was fired from Teen Mom OG that March — attended therapy with him.
One year later, Bookout exclusively told Us that Ryan and Bentley “don’t have a relationship at all.”
Ahead of his jail sentencing, Ryan — who has been candid about his substance abuse issues over the years — cried about his lack of relationship with Bentley on a reunion episode of Teen Mom Family Reunion that aired in February. In an ideal world, Ryan said at the time, he would like for the Bulletproof author “to be OK with just being able to see [Bentley],” adding, “Hell, I haven’t got to spend any time with him just me in a long time.” Bookout, who sat at the other end of the couch from her ex, also got emotional with Ryan’s plea.
Days after Ryan’s DUI arrest over Easter weekend, the Things That Matter cofounder shared a selfie with Bentley along with telling lyrics from Pink’s “All I Know So Far.”
“I wish someone would have told me that this darkness comes and goes,” Bookout quoted in the caption. “People will pretend but my boy, nobody knows / And even I can’t teach you how to fly / But I can show you how to live like your life is on the line” 🎶.”