Thursday, April 17, 2014

Treading water

Once upon a time I had this parenting thing down.  I had children who listened.  I had children who took orders and fell in line.  I had children who looked at me with adoring eyes. Children who believed everything I said.  I still have one child like that.  The other one became a teenager.

Tomorrow is my oldest son's birthday and he will be 13.  Technically it's just a number because the past year has basically paved the way for my downfall as the mom who had it all down.  He started having opinions of his own, he started letting other people influence his opinions and we started butting heads.....hard.  Think of two rhinos, charging each other, battling, stabbing each other with their sharp horns.  That basically sums it up.  I can see it in his eyes. I am an idiot.   The boy who looked at me like I could do no wrong now gives me a look, the one that makes me sit on my hands because I want to knock it off his face. He refuses to cut his hair shorter.  He is nasty to his brother. He is mouthy to me, and in front of people. He has said some of the most purposefully hateful things he can think of to me.  I have knocked him on his butt more than once.  His latest act of defiance is church. He is refusing to go.  He knows this is the one thing that rips my heart out the most so he is standing firm, heels dug in.  I know that he will relent eventually so I am not getting as worked up as I first was.  His brother and I still ask him to pray every night but he won't join us.  I still write Bible verses all over the house.  We still talk about God freely and sometimes just to annoy him, loudly.  Last night I was reading John 17 and 18 to his brother and we were talking about Jesus being arrested and he was sitting outside the bedroom listening.  I know I can't push because if I do it will just create more tension but it's honestly killing me.

We don't agree on some of his friends.  I don't approve at all.  And because I don't let them come over or him associate with them, I am the control freak where his dad allows it so that makes me the evil one.  I am the mean one.  I am the ruler of this totalitarian society where what I say goes.
I am fine with this.  I told him more than once he can hate me until he is 18 but it will be over my dead body that he acts like or associates with creeps, delinquents, etc.

That is just one side  to this boy.  He is beautiful, and funny and sweet, and so smart.  He is kind and he loves babies and little ones.  He is helpful, he is wise beyond his years.  Tonight I have been looking at years of pictures, tears running down my cheeks because  I just want that baby boy back.  Some of you parents reading this, those who have danced this dance are just nodding your heads or even slightly chuckling at my torment.  I know....this too shall pass, but I assure this last year has been an eternity, and if I make it through without Xanax or having a stroke I will be amazed.

Yesterday we had a sort of breakthrough.  I stood firm on something, I explained why and we started talking about tons of things.  I told him some of the stupid things I did when I was his age and older.  How I got suspended not once but twice.  I told him I don't expect him to be perfect,  He is going to do stupid ridiculous things. Irresponsible things.  My deep fear is that he will somehow get swept up in something bad, or something that he can't work his way out of.  That he will pull away from me completely, want to live with his dad which to me is the worst possible thing. ( Overdramatic maybe)
We talked and laughed for over two hours.  It was incredible.  I felt like I had that boy back.

 I am doing everything in my power to keep that boy, and to grow him into a wonderful, responsible, respectful man.