Space

23 Jan

Look at that HUGE smile on Brandon’s face! Wow, he’s really happy today. It must be relief that he’s finally taller than me.

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I grew up in a family of 4 sisters and it seemed that for most of my childhood, I was surrounded by girls. To his credit, my Dad never balked at having all daughters and seemed to think that girls were the way to go.  When I found out during my first pregnancy that I was having a boy, I was elated. I also braced myself for all of the stereo-typical boy things like: loudness, rowdiness, sports, agression, messes, and lack of communication. I expected that teenage boys would eat me out of house and home, and be full of agression. Nobody prepared me for the real truth.

The truth is that my boys as little ones were SO cuddly and sweet. They were affectionate and loving. Active? Yes. Loud? Often. But these boys come with a sense of kindness, justice and gentleness. Having a teenage boy has been a surprise. It turns out there’s not so much aggression as I thought, and he doesn’t eat me out of house and home,  he just eats me out of junk food. And an occasional bacon-burger elevates my cool-parent status faster than anything.

This phase of parenthood is teaching me a lot about how I want to control the world, a lot about giving my teenager enough space to be as he is and try to balance that with some guidance. I’m learning not to be offended by one word answers and the classic response of “OK” or “I know” when I tell him I love him. I’m learning that being with him, even if he doesn’t talk and has his ear buds in is often enough. And mostly, I’m learning to be in the moment, THE MOMENT – when he does get the bug to really talk. I’m constantly amazed at how Brandon views the world, how mature some of his viewpoints are and how well he can articulate himself in written form. I’m amazed at how good he is at doing chores without complaint and I love the way he finds friends that are just good kids.

I am also learning that letting go is an important part of my kids’ growing up, and that letting go means not trying to shape every viewpoint and decision that he makes. It seems that sometimes letting go is just too much to ask of myself, but letting life and my teenager be as they are is quite peaceful. Accepting change is very humbling for me.

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Check out Bran – he’s really doing a great job of tolerating me. I’ve put “give mom a hug” on his daily list of chores so that I get a tiny bit of love every day.  I really appreciate his little one-armed, half-assed hugs that I get every day, even if it means he just wants to finish his chore list and get on to his gaming. I think I see a tiny bit of relief from him, like – yea, my mom still loves me. I really like this teenage phase. If you have any extra teenagers driving you nuts, send them my way.

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6 Responses to “Space”

  1. Lisa Gray January 23, 2009 at 6:46 am #

    awwww, he’s such a sweetie!! And you’re a great mom, so no wonder!!

  2. Anonymous January 23, 2009 at 9:14 am #

    Great post. My little boy makes me want to have 5 more of him. My girls want me to have 3 less. Kieran left his jacket at my house!

    • barefootbhakti January 23, 2009 at 10:09 am #

      I’m sitting here laughing, anonymous – because I know exactly who you are by your comment! I agree – your son is very sweet. Now that you mention it, what is it about boys and forgetting everything?

  3. Katie January 24, 2009 at 3:59 am #

    Those pictures are so sweet! Reading this post made my heart happy. 🙂

  4. Kelly January 26, 2009 at 5:55 am #

    Great post about boys. The cuddly sweetness as little guys was kind of unexpected for me too. And down the line, I hope I have your good sense and perspective to raise my boys through the teen years.

  5. Michael Tim March 1, 2009 at 12:15 am #

    I love your site!

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