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Lab puppies at a football game

Oh my goodness.  My boy and I did not get a chance to do a chalice lighting last night, but I got a rare chance to hang with him (or at least around him) on a daddy night.

At 13, Mythankfulboy is currently a heavenly, gangly, big-footed, hair-sprouting creature who reminds me frequently of a lab puppy.  He is handsome and happy, curious and kind, fervent and friendly.  I could just burst with pride if I spend too much thinking about it.   Last night he and four friends went to a high school football game with four of us parents in tow.  The spectacle of the evening was that one of the friends was attending the game with his new girlfriend, which wowed and weirded out his friends and tickled and mortified the rents.  Around the margins one or another of the older boys (the group being a mix of 8th and 6th graders with a few 8th grade additions acquired at the game) made passing physical contact with one girl or another (was pushed or pulled along by the arm, had his hat taken and had to retrieve it, you get the picture).  There was an accidental brush with a boob, which became an enormous joke for the evening, culminating in the boys lining up and, in a mock salute, each holding his left hand across the chest and over the left boob of the boy standing next to him (yes, we have pictures).  Our boys seemed not only to take in stride that their parents were there, but enjoyed it, and brought us in on their hilarity.

I had had a very long day, following a night-time sleep study that turned into an unexpected whole-day-after sleep study followed by a seeing a few clients at the office.  The decision to follow that by a 45-minute drive to a high school football game that I did not have to attend (it was neither “my night”, nor did the parents who were there need me) was made based on the opportunity to see my boy in a new, emerging world, and to soak up the experience.  Turns out that he wanted me there.  We gave the boys some rules about physical boundaries and some advice regarding social boundaries (don’t follow a crowd to see a fight, make sure your buddy doesn’t want your help if he seems ambivalent about a situation), and showed them that our boundaries were growing with them by showing them how hip we were with the whole girl-thing (despite the fact that one mom practically had her head between her knees to avoid throwing up from her realization of the way things were changing)…

Society tells us our teens won’t want us around.  The message is not to hover or to crowd them, and to expect rejection.  So far, mythankfulboy is quietly craving boundaries, and looks to me (and the other parents of his crew) for them. I won’t miss the opportunity to rise to this occasion.

After the game I dropped B off at his dad’s, and drove home with a big grin on my face.  Thankful thankful.  This parenting thing just keeps getting better.

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Have you been working out?

Tonight we were out of routine, and somehow we forgot the chalice-lighting.  I think it’s only happened once or twice before that we BOTH forgot.  Or maybe it’s because we had several hours together this evening painting a shed (still not done), and we covered a lot of conversational ground. One thing jumps out at me now that I settle down to have an individual moment of gratitude.  B happily told me the following story:

Early in the school year this year, a girl at school challenged him to an arm-wrestling match.  He accepted, and he lost.  (“She’s not just any girl mom – she’s, like, tall and muscular, and plays soccer!”)  He recounts this with great animation (while holding a paint brush), and I’m wondering where he’s going with it.  So he challenged her to a rematch this week, and he lost again, but she said she could tell he’d been working out!  Can’t you just imagine her batting her eyelashes and saying “Oh my!  Have you been working out?”  I asked him if he minded losing in front of his friends, and he said “No – it’s just for fun, and she could tell I’m getting stronger.  I think I’ll wait a week and challenge her again.”

God bless him – he may want to wear name brand clothes, and he has a strong tendency to do things other people tell him to do if he thinks they’re friends, but there are some ways he just doesn’t register or just doesn’t care what others think.  And he’s usually got that silver lining thing going on.  (Hey!  I taught him that!)

So, no chalice, but mythankful boy was grateful that a girl noticed he’s been working out.  I’m thankful he doesn’t care what others think, and that I still get to hear what he thinks.  Until some sweet-talking girl comes along.

 
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Posted by on October 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Aurora minute, this kid

A few nights ago, at our nightly chalice lighting, B commented that the way the candle shone on the ceiling reminded him of the Northern Lights. Now, we’ve never seen the Northern Lights – what we know we’ve gleaned from the Science Channel and the Brother Bear movies (B loved those when he was six or so). I told him I would really like, someday, to see the aurora borealis. He said that maybe, someday, he’d win a trip and he could take one person and he could choose where he wanted to go, and he would choose to take me to see the Northern Lights.

Unless his girlfriend wanted to go.

Well, a momma must know her place, and tonight I’m thankful for the thought. The first one.

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Aside

From December 14th, when mythankfulboy was not linking to Facebook….

There are things a momma just can’t fix.

B has had trouble from the beginning with his dad’s dating, and when his dad’s girlfriend and her son moved in, B was devastated.  If you’ve followed this blog, you know the story.  He didn’t want them there. He didn’t ask for them.  He didn’t like his routines interrupted, his room moved, people in the rooms he was used to having to himself, rules changing.  He didn’t like sharing his dad, and didn’t like having to go along to do things they wanted to do that he didn’t want to do, especially in the little bit of time he had with his dad, and when it meant not doing what they might usually do together.  He didn’t want to share his things, and didn’t want to have to be a big brother, putting up with the unsolicited attentions of a boy three years younger who thought the world of him.

It has been about six months since they moved in, and at least a year since they started talking about moving in, but his concerns have not eased in the least.  Counseling resulted in his being told that he couldn’t dictate what his dad did or didn’t do, so he laid low, remained quietly miserable, and has continued to make everyone else miserable.  Now, his father’s patience has thinned, and he is pushing for B to change his attitude.  Recently B’s dad mentioned to me, in exasperation, that he was getting pressure from his girlfriend about the way that B acts.

None of this makes me happy.  I have no investment in B’s dad’s happiness one way or the other except that I want B to have a relationship with his Dad.  I am, by nature, a mediator and a caretaker, and have to actively watch that I am not trying to fix everything.  As far as I can tell, the woman in B’s dad’s life and her son are good people, and are not deserving of B’s ugliness.  I especially dislike the way B is treating the little boy, who, I keep reminding B, didn’t ask for the situation either.  I rank sulking right up there with whining, and to put that in perspective, you should know that I had B pretty sure through his preschool years that I had an ejection button in the car for use if he was whining (keep them off-guard, I always say…).  But when he disolves into tears upon leaving his dad’s house, I am just heartbroken for him.

I have looked this thing up and down every way I can think of: developmentally, psychosocially, sensorilly, emotionally; from B’s viewpoint as well as his dad’s, his dad’s girlfriend’s, and his dad’s girlfriend’s son’s viewpoint.  Tonight I think I am deciding that they need to tackle this together, without me, but maybe with a counselor who has strategies to offer.  Maybe I can help find that person, if that wouldn’t be too much fixing?

Fixing

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Worrrrds

Last night, at our bedtime chalice lighting, B was thankful for muscles, initially. Then he suddenly exclaimed “No! No wait! Worrrrds. I’m thankful for words! Did you know there are more than 3000 words in a book?”

Me, ignoring the fact he hadn’t specified a particular book: “Are there? Total, or different words?”

Him: “Different.”

Me: “How do you know?”

Him: “There must be!”

When I kissed his cheek goodnight, I noticed, and commented, that his cheek was salty, assuming this was true from a sweaty baseball practice. He said “Yeah, I was crying.” He had cried at his dad’s house earlier when his dad told him that his dad’s girlfriend and her kids would move in this summer. B was sad and angry, but he wasn’t surprised; he knew it was going to happen, but the longer it had been discussed without happening, the less real it had seemed. B likes his dad’s girlfriend well enough, as do I, and her kids, but he doesn’t want to share his dad – his time, his physical space, or his love. I held B close and told him quietly that his dad’s love for his girlfriend wouldn’t take anything away from his love for B, because you can’t subtract from a parent’s love. He didn’t respond, so after a while I asked “Do you believe me?”. He answered a noncommittal “Okay”.

Oh, heavy heart, heavy heart. A good time to remember gratitude. As I blew out the chalice to send him off to sleep, I told him I was thankful for the words “I love you”.

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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