Posts Tagged ‘parenting’
This child. Is not a child any longer. Shh… don’t tell his mother.
This child is driving me crazy. By all accounts, anyone as disorganized as he is should be failing out of college. A point I make. Often. He is excelling, which is annoying. And who does that? Succeeds at Calculus and Physics straight out of the gate? Annoying.
But it all came to a head on Monday morning. 1:30 AM to be exact. After a long weekend, he was “working” on a calculus problem he said was “due” the next day. Um, that he “forgot” about until he “remembered” at 12:45.
I stood in his pitiful room. Looked at all the mounds of clothes and papers and cat hair covered things and my head exploded. Read the rest of this entry »
After the ridiculousness of last week, I started to password protect this post. But then decided, it’s my truth. As Ann Lamott has so eloquently said, “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”
When our son was born, I filled out the birth certificate paperwork very carefully. His father had taken my maiden name in hyphenate form years before. On our honeymoon, in fact… in what was a romantic gesture (if a bit short-sighted) he opted to add my name to his.
Today, it might seem obvious. But at the time, it caused a stir. I had already angered his family by keeping my maiden name as a middle name. I tried to explain, “I plan to take IZ’s name in my personal life. But in my professional life, I want both. Unhyphenated, but both.”
My father-in-law supported my decision. My mother-in-law was incensed. It would be five years before she would address anything to us in our new combined name. Insisting instead to address everything, “Mr. and Mrs. J.A. Larsen.”
Probably not the best move on her part. Her obstinateness on the subject just sealed my resolve. OMG… I’m as oppositional as my child. Figures.
But I never had any expectation that IZ would follow suit. And I certainly didn’t expect my child to keep my maiden name. So, when it came time to fill out his birth certificate paper work I was careful. I gave him five names. No hyphens. One last name.
And I fully expected our son to drop the OATES portion of our name once he flew the coop. Baby chicks do that, think for themselves. I should know. However, Geo has been feeling the itch for the past several years. And we’ve always said to him, “Sweetie, if you want to be called ‘Stardust Revived’, we’ll call you that. It your name.”
I’ve always told him I would not, could not be upset with any choice he made. Though, I prefer he kept his given first name, the rest was up for grabs.
He has opted, for example, to Americanize his first name for strangers. He still spells his name as it appears on his birth certificate, but the French pronunciation is confusing for most people, so he has stopped insisting that his name be said correctly. He’s adopted a pseudonym for all his programming online—a name, that tellingly includes Larsen as a last name. And he, quietly, wonders what the future will look like when he is simply, Geo Larsen.
But as of late, I have sensed a hesitation from him. His desire to walk away from my past is palpable. He no longer considers my family of birth his family. He’s had enough (who can blame him?). However, he feels conflicted. “Giving up ‘Oates’ feels like I’m disrespecting you!”
Have I told you how much I love that kid? Like his father, he is compelled by his love for me. And with that comes a huge responsibility to not abuse their loyalty!
So, I’ve sat with it. Our son’s desire to embrace the family that loves him, the heritage he understands, the people who have loved him without criticism or judgment. Those same people have not always afforded me the same grace. But they have, without doubt, embraced my child. And through the years, attempted to embrace me as well.
No easy task, as I’ve been labeled difficult since birth!
The more I sat with the idea, the more I realized that for Geo to move forward it would require that I move forward as well. So, last year I floated the idea to IZ, “He wants to be a Larsen. Which, he IS. I think he needs us to be Larsens, too. Just Larsens.”
I was prepared for this moment. I’ve long anticipated the change, if only because hyphenated names are common and what do you do when you fall in love and marry another hyphenate? FOUR names strung together? I don’t think so. Even three gets complicated. YES, he could marry some girl willing to take his name. But, Geo is his father’s child. You know he’d be trying to find a way to include his beloved, like his father did before him! So, dropping the “Oates” part of his name is inevitable.
What I could not have predicted is my desire to do the same. I could not have imagined that at 41, I would not only be considering a name change for my child, but I would be considering it for ME as well. It’s amazing where our children lead us.
The Brawny Guy says, “Have an Extra Strong Halloween.”
This is his last year trick-or-treating. He’s only going because one of his best buddies is a bit younger and wants to uphold their long standing tradition. But, you know it’s time to stop* when you’re bumming your dad’s footwear for your costume. Happy Halloween, everyone. Stay Safe. See you soon.
*or when your mother says, “let’s take some photos” and you just give her that teenager angst look. Yeah, time for YOU to stay home and hand out candy. Good thing you’re living out of a hotel right now, buster!
Day One: My peonies bloomed today. Summer is off to a vibrant start!
For those of you who were praying with us today, THANK YOU. It’s never easy for anyone to discover a mass or lump, but I think it’s especially scary when you’re 14. IZ and I are so grateful for your prayers—more than we can express. ~~Wende
Observing today: Mothering seems to be a “two steps forward, one step back” proposition. It’s important to keep that in mind, I think, especially as you parent into the teen years. Sometimes, your child isn’t ready to be as independent as they claim. And in our case, I feel like it’s time for a remedial course on time management.
It’s too easy to say, it’s a phase or “welcome to teenagers.” It’s also too restrictive to expect adult behaviour, when so many adults don’t seem to get it either! I’m certainly not the paragon of organization. So, we’re taking a step back together. Because parenting is also a collaborative endeavor. We don’t teach lessons to blank slates; our children have moods and personalities and wills and minds of their own! We learn, or don’t learn, together. Give and take, whether we like it or not!
And so we’re learning that actions do have consequences. Which means he’s grounded. Which means I’m grounded. And we start over. Begin again. Me, more present. Him, less free. Eventually, he’ll get it. And then I’ll have to learn the only solo lesson that parenthood has to offer. . . the lesson of letting go.
Until then, we’re in this together, kid.
Note: I read an amazing post on mothering this morning: if you don’t read Dropped Stitches, you really should!
Management has declared a moratorium on face shots.
Gah. It’s a Monday. Witness:
- After prematurely weighing in last night and getting all giddy about a 3lb weight loss, I discovered that the scale wasn’t set properly. Hello 1 lb loss this morning. I’m not complaining… exactly. But that’s 1 lb in a MONTH. Â Which has me seriously considering a legal name change to “Tortoise.”
- My child. Oh… my child. My facebook status this morning read: “Monday Mothering is always such drama.” I’m underplaying that, folks. Homeschooling is like regular schooling when it comes to Monday. You spend all day undoing the nasty habits built up over a weekend. In terms of schooling, Monday tends to be a net loss for the week.
Usually I save the punch line for last. You know, drag you through a few 1200 words to deliver the goods or at least something that will explain the title.
Yeah, not today.
I watchedÂ the season premier ofÂ “Sister Wives” tonightÂ and I had an epiphany. I think I might be a blogging polygamist. Why have two blogs when you can have three? I mean, plural works for Kody Brown. It might work for me too.Â I opened up Evidently and began writing.Â You can blame the fundamentalist Mormons for what follows.
The time offÂ from this blog was therapeutic. Despite the fact I started another blog within days of turning this one off; my reasons for taking a break stand. I felt a bit hemmed in here. Trapped by my own voice, or lack of it.
Understanding that requires a bit of history. Ok, a lot of history. Iâ€™m making up for lost ground after all.