Monday, October 1, 2012

Old Words from an Old Voice

Old words from an old voice. 

The old words themselves don't matter, and really neither does the old voice. The only important thing you need to understand is that when old words are spoken from an old voice, sometimes they evoke old emotions. You tell me enough times that I'm a turtle, and by God I'm a mother effing turtle in my mind. 

But tonight it was different. I heard the old words from the old voice, and it set off something. I was ready to piss fire and drink blood. I don't even really know what that means, but it sounds like something Chuck Norris would do, so I went with it.

Whatever you do, do NOT question my intentions or abilities as a parent. I'm not saying I'm perfect. The fact my sons picked out a "This Beer Is Making Me Awesome" t-shirt for me speaks for itself.  But when the "fit hits the shan," I'm there for my sons. It's why I'm here. And by here I mean the tundra. Please review the name of this blog at this time. Prisoner = held against my will. Tundra = Minnesota. Do the math. Unless you're my freshman in high school, in which case you'll say you did the math, when you really didn't, and then I'll get yelled at for it somehow.

And then I'll get yelled at for suggesting I didn't agree that said son needs to be on anti-depressants because of his recent behavior. He's in 9th grade. Going to be 15 in less than 6 months.  I've talked to countless parents who went through this same stage with their sons. I bring this up, and I'm told I'm wrong. I'm just trying to deny that our son needs medication.

I'm not going to wave a white flag on this issue. This boy is an amazingly smart and sensitive lad. I suspect that the sensitive is overruling the smart at the moment. Here's a kid who not only dealt with his parents divorcing, but then dealt later with his mom moving in with her boyfriend, which brought a second family into the mix. During puberty. While changing school districts. This doesn't excuse his behavior. But it starts to explain it.

Assuming he needs meds is the equivalent of saying "I can't swim, so I want him to wear a lifejacket."

Tonight, this kid sat and finished every last bit of outstanding homework he had. He didn't do it because I yelled and threatened him. He didn't do it because I told him he needed to go on meds if he didn't finish it. He finished it because I told him that was the requirement. And he knows that means it's not an option.

And he did it without me hovering over him. Because one thing I've learned in my life is this: if you need to have someone hover over you to get the job done, you aren't going far.

I'm not the perfect dad. But tonight, I'm going to chalk up a victory for me. He did what he should have done weeks ago. But he did it. Without a word. 

So regardless of what the peanut gallery has to say, I'm victorious tonight. Over a 14 year old. who moved in with his mom's boyfriend, changed school districts, started puberty, and well, at this point we might as well predict he will survive armageddon.

Hey old voices, with old words. I don't much care for you. I think it's time you just take leave now. If only it were that easy.


Anonymous said...

Kids at that age up till 18 or so have a difficult time . These days it's a little more difficult then when we were yound. Too many people want to put these kids on Med.'s instead of letting them vent or outgrow it. So keep being there for him and this stage will pass just like the cold weather.

Miclaundry said...

You are doing a good job, Steve. No joke. This from a man with no kids and from thousands of miles away, so for what it's worth... But you seem to be present for your sons, and care what they do. They'll appreciate that. Eventually. They're going to rebel, and actually, that's healthy, too. There has to be deviation from "normal" in order to be progress (I'm paraphrasing Frank Zappa there). There are a lot of dynamic forces at play at this stage of their lives, and communication with parents is not only difficult, but kinda low on their priority list (at least that's how I've observed it with nieces and nephews). Kudos to you for giving yourself a goldstar happy face on this one, but know that you don't get to spike the ball and get carried off the field. This contest continues. Play on, brother.

Anonymous said...

Steve, divorce is hard on every one. You get reminded of it over and over. It will never go away.

Kids react differently. One of my kids was super angry, and finds relationships hard. The other is a caregiver and wants to help everyone. Teenagers are hard NO matter if they have one great parent, two great parents or a parent and a step parent. They want you to care enough to be there when they need them, and far enough a way to be cool. It's a battle. Once and a while my kids would write out their thoughts. In the long run they will come out just fine. Set the rules. If they don't do the rules, ground them. (That's the hard part because usually you are grounding yourself as well.) :) Remember all the things you did at that age.. and last but not least which has nothing to do with kids but divorce. Karma comes back around. It takes a bit, but it will. So keep your karma good in the meantime. ;) Everything will work it's self out.