Friday, October 23, 2009

Progress

This may be quite short due to time constraints.

Sometimes, all the fog and mist and clouds of life part, just for a moment, and the sun shines brilliantly through. I need dramatic music here to cue the senses to just how amazing this feels. Like, an ascending chord progression or something. I know my blog probably could be playing this music, if it weren't for me being a bit technically challenged. I need a technical adviser, and a proofreader!

Anyhow, when the rays of light penetrate my consciousness ... first, I usually think, wow! What a lovely miracle! And usually right after that, I feel stupid that I didn't see the obvious.

So, today, this sort of happened, on a small scale, driving home with Andrew. (I think it was Andrew. Some grumpy kid who looked like him, anyhow.) Andrew is often so grumpy when I pick him up after tennis that I sometimes pretend to be Mimi, our chihuahua, who Andrew just adores. I actually hop around and pant and sort of jump on him -- from my seat inside the car (away from his friends), of course. If that sounds a bit desperate, it is. This usually gets him in a decent mood till we can get home, 'cause otherwise, it's a very long 15 minutes.

So, as we were driving, the clouds parted (there weren't any actual clouds today, but imagine there were and they did). The sun flooded my mind. And I had a revelation. Why are we holding Andrew back from the magnificent freedom to make decisions, good or bad? Why can't he use bad judgment and make mistakes just like everybody else does? He's special, but he's not that special. Wow, even God let people have free will -- and that's a fine mess we've gotten ourselves into, as a result! How can Dwaine and I try to do a better job with Austin and Andrew than even God did with his children? (Of course, some would argue that God really blew it, but that's another topic.)

So I told Andrew today that he is now officially free to drop out of any activity. I'm ready to put it in writing even. (We did write a contract about chores, bed, etc., that seemed to help.) The caveat is that Andrew has to tell the adult leader(s) of that activity that he is leaving it. (P.S. I need to explain why this is a brilliant idea to Dwaine. We really have discussed this at some length already. I'm sure he will understand, once I explain it.)

I'm not sure Andrew fully comprehended what I was saying because his blood sugar was quite low, and so he was more like a raving beast than my loving guy. He was doing some rant in response, and I told him he was making no sense, because he truly wasn't. But of course that didn't help any. Don't try telling that to someone when they are making no sense -- they will never believe you. The only thing that did help was for me to stop trying to talk to him at that moment.

After dinner, my sweet, loving child returned and hugged me long and hard and kissed me on the cheek and said he loved me before going on the Boy Scout campout to Calaveras Lake that we allegedly "forced" him into.

A basic fact of life with toddlers and teenagers is this: No food = bad results. In between those ages, it actually seems to be a little bit better for a while. They can go several hours without eating and be OK. It's a very consistent equation, but sometimes it is hard to see when you're all wrapped up in duking it out (verbally) with your rambunctious teen, and you think they're being ornery just because that's how they are.

Actually, I never outgrew that equation myself. My husband can attest to this fact. Feed within 30 minutes of waking, and every three hours throughout the day, for optimal results.

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