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That’s the kind of man you’ll be

Last night was a fairly common night around the mythankfulboy household, with the exception that I took time to sit on the couch and watch two episodes of NCIS rather than doing things that needed doing.  But, alas, I then got up and put laundry in and took B to Crossfit, etc.  When I finally fell into bed, B came and sat in my desk chair and did the chalice lighting with me.

Me:  What are you thankful for tonight?

B:  Oh, the usual.  My batting cage, and you for taking me to Crossfit and all the other stuff you do for me.  What are you thankful for?

M:  A short week of work, and being able to count on you to do a list of things I leave for you on days you’re home when I’m not.  I really appreciate that.

B:  Momma, do you remember when I was little and I used to sit on the toilet and yell “Momma! Wipe!”

This was a bit of a surprising turn in the topic, and I laughed.  I said “I do remember that.  I’m surprised you remember that!”   “I do,” he said.  “I can’t believe you did that for me.”  “Well Honey, of course I did that for you!  You were my baby and you needed help!”

Then he said, “I’m glad I won’t have to do that.”

Then I said, “Um, excuse me?”

Then he said, “Well, I just mean, I mean, you know, I mean that, well, I will have different responsibilities.”

At least he had the good sense to stammer over that unenlightened reply.

I said, “Honey, you will have the same responsibilities as your partner.  You may divide some things up around the house, but when it comes to your kids, the responsibilities will be the same.  You will wipe tushies and clean up vomit and stay up nights when they won’t sleep.  It’s just part of it.  And if I do my job well, you won’t think twice about it, because you will love them so much, and you will honor your partner so much, that you wouldn’t think of passing off such important responsibilities to someone else.”

Quiet.  Then, “Well, Dad didn’t change my diaper did he?”

I said, a little more gently, “Yes, your dad did.  And he did all the other stuff, too.  Because he loves you.”

“But he didn’t do as much as you, did he?”

I admitted, “Well, you got me there, but he did do it, and you will, too.”

“Ok, momma.  I will.”

I said, “I know you will, Darlin.  That’s the kind of man you will be.”

B is very aware of what needs to be done and how hard I work.  I don’t think it’s because I hit him over the head with it; I think it’s because it’s just the two of us and so he sees it all, and he sees when it doesn’t get done, too.  He recently commented that, now that he was older, he was more help than a burden.  I never, ever want him to feel like a burden.  I do, though, want to directly teach that there is work to be done in a household, in a relationship, in a community, and the work is shared.  That he has a responsibility to participate and to leave things better than he found them, and that that responsibility extends to people.  I know it’s my job, and it’s part of my living faith, to teach him these things.  Thank goodness he’s listening.

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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The price for patience

It has been kindofa stinky weekend.  I have worked on a document for the office for just about every waking hour, with the exception of the times I was driving or directly tending mythankfulboy or myhounddog.  B has been so patient.  Just now, at the chalice lighting, I asked him for what he was thankful.  He said “That your report is done, that you let me have A over and took us midnight bowling” (buying myself more time to work) “and for food.”  I said I was thankful for the people who groom the hound dog, because he’s too strong for me to do it and they are so nice about his howling, for B’s patience with me this weekend, and that the report is done.  He replied “Hey – I can be patient if it means I get more attention later!”

Uh-oh.

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Nothing I wouldn’t do

This afternoon, after school there was a bomb threat found at mythankfulboy’s school.  I spent the evening talking to other parents and my teacher friends to try to decide what to do tomorrow, which yielded a range of advice.  There are several things bothering me, besides the obvious fear for my boy.  There’s a pep rally tomorrow, and a social at the school tomorrow night (i.e., chaos).  I work more than an hour away.  AND I HAVE NO CONTROL OVER THIS.

After a recent mythankfulboy entry, a friend of mine (who knew the answer all too well) asked “Who knew it took so much faith to be a parent?”  It’s hard enough to let go and have faith in my kid – it’s really hard to trust everyone else, and really, really hard when I have to trust them to keep my boy safe under a threat.

I think that B wanted to skip the chalice, proper, tonight.  Instead, he approached me at my computer and asked me for what I was thankful.  I said I was thankful for my new sassy haircut.  He skipped over my attempt at levity and said he was thankful I would be willing to keep him home from school tomorrow to keep him safe.  I told him I couldn’t think of anything I wouldn’t do to keep him safe.

As of tonight, I am inclined to have him stay home tomorrow, and he is inclined to go to school.  The world can be a confusing and scary place.  I rely on our UU faith to remind us of the great good that exists.

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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There’s you, and you, and you….

Let’s see.  The YMCA (writing for work for momma), home, dinner, fire, Crossfit (writing for work for momma), home (writing for work for momma).  After his shower, at bedtime, B hopped up on my bed next to my desk and asked for what I was thankful.  I finished typing a sentence, sat back in my swivel chair, crossed my arms, and thought.  While I did that, he said he was thankful for the gym.  I said I was thankful for all the friends we wanted to try to see in the upcoming holidays.  He said, “Yeah!  Like….” and proceeded to name 10 or more folks.

When B was little, we used to name off all the people who loved him, and we’d make a big deal about getting too tired to finish.  That’s how I feel tonight; held by so many that I can just drift off to sleep in my gratitude and not even try to name you all.

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Big Hero 6 – bring on the love

A free night!  Mythankfulboy has been dying to see Big Hero 6, so we did it ($2 popcorn on Tuesdays!).  Great movie – we both thoroughly enjoyed it.  Stopped by Aeropostale for a few sale items for the boy, then home to the dog and the fire.  When B headed off to bed he said he was thankful tonight for shopping, and his new hoodie, particularly since his other two hoodies are both in his locker (lecture ensued).  Then I said I was thankful for getting to go to a movie on a school night.  He agreed, and we decided we were both thankful for Big Hero 6, with its good message and characters that bucked the Hollywood and Disney norm – the white guys were the bad guys and the folks of color were the kick-butt heroes for once!  It’s nice, though, that I had to point that out to B, because he had no expectations one way or the other.  I hope it’s a sign of more loving times.

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Momma’s growing pains

Another night of baseball crossfit.  Tonight, instead of sitting in the car for the hour, I decided to sit in Subway just up the street.  Mythankfulboy asked if he could walk up to Subway after his class to meet me.  The momma in my head said it will be dark and late and there are at least 2 whole blocks to cover, and why on earth would I allow that?!  The momma living in the real world calmly said, “Yes. Keep your eyes open for people and avoid them, and for ice, because the temperature will have dropped below freezing by then.”  He said, “Okay!”

So, the class was over at 8:30.  I tried not to watch the clock, but at 8:45 I got up and looked down the block and didn’t see him.   I was not yet to a heart pounding condition – I took my time packing up my things, bought him a cookie, refilled my drink.  The kid working behind the counter said, “I’m sure he’ll be here any minute”.  Then, just as I was about to walk out the door, in he ran, out of breath.  “They kept us late – I’m so sorry!”  I nonchalantly said, “I figured. Here, I bought you a cookie.”  I don’t think Baxter did, but the kid behind the counter knew better!

We came home and lit a fire.  B had to have a complicated arrangement with the side table that is usually on the left of the chair moved to the right because the dog was in his lap and he couldn’t play on the computer, since he’s right handed, unless it was moved.  They were so cute I got up and moved it for him (but I grumbled).  We hung out by the fire until it got late.  He was stuck in his game and not getting ready for bed, as I had commanded, so I began singing loudly to move the process along.  I was through Tis A Gift To Be Simple, The Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy, and Thank God I’m a Country Boy before he asked “Are you trying to annoy me into bed?”  “Yep” I answered, as I started on You Fill Up My Senses (it was a John Denver kind of night).  In the end, it was his battery running out that did it, not my singing.  Before we moved from the fire-as-chalice, I asked for what he was thankful.  He pointed to the fire and then to me.  I squealed “My singing?!  I knew it!”   He backpeddled – not my singing, just me.  I said I was thankful that I could trust him to come straight to Subway when he said he would.

We watched the fire burn down, and then I asked him if he thought I should call his dad and tell him that the wood I stole from his woodpile and burned tonight didn’t burn very well.  He laughed and advised against it.

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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1024

This is my favorite time of year to work in the yard.  The air is crisp and clear, and there’s not a chance of getting hot.  Mythankfulboy and I spent the day, yesterday, working on the shed and chopping fire wood.  I love, love, love that kind of day.

When dark fell, there were still hours of time for other things (another winter work bonus).  We had dinner, then split up and each did some work (him homework, me office work).  Then, while I was getting things ready for today, he lost in an epic battle (apparently) in Terraria, his video game of late.  He came running to look for me to tell me that 3 days’ worth of work went down the tubes!  He knew it wasn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but he was still bummed, and he asked if we could curl up together for a little while.  I played it cool and said “Sure!”

So, we lit the chalice, and did something we’ve never done before.  We sat side-by-side and played the same video game on different devices – not multiplayer, just parallel play.  We checked in on one another’s progress (we were playing 1024), B pointed out multiple mistakes I made, and we chilled.  After a while, games still going, I asked him for what he was thankful.  He said “McDonalds”, then laughed (a reference to his offering from the night before).  Then he said “I’m thankful for 1024, because we both like it and we both play it.”  I said, “Me, too”, but what I was thinking was that I was thankful to be sitting there, cozy, with him.

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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