Captain, May I?

I am watching my boys this morning, as they gather about their dad, playing Star Wars Battlefront.  They love it.  I don’t understand it.  I have watched them many times before and found myself lost in thought.  There are times that I truly have no clue how they came to do some of the actions they do.

Most of the time I am shocked by my youngest.  I can be sitting somewhere in the house and he will find me, and invariably the beverage or snack option I have next to me.  Without a word of permission, he helps himself and then asks if it is ok.  Sometimes I am irked by the lack of respect he shows to simply grab and dash.  Other times, I know it is coming and silently smile to myself.  Most of the time, I am shocked.  I never would have pulled such a stunt when I was growing up-never!  Never were any of us allowed or motivated to drink out our parents’ beverages, much less share in the food on their plate.  That was unheard of!  I cannot think of a single time as I grew up that I would have felt comfortable walking into the kitchen to help myself to something in the fridge….I did a bit as I grew older, but never at the young ages my children represent.  I was also allergic to most items….sugar, milk, citrus, most spices…I took care of that when I went sneaking cookies or candy and hid them in my bedroom.  I paid for it later in a sick stomach, but in that moment, PURE bliss.  I watched my oldest walk into the kitchen the other night, get himself a glass, and fill it with juice from the fridge.  I stood amazed; partially due to the fact that I was not asked to help him, but that he had the identity to do so on his own.  I would never have done that.  I still ask at my parents’ house, or my mother-in-law’s if I can help myself to something.  hhhhmmm

I think about it when I am sitting anywhere in my house, and instantly one or two children and the dog pile into my lap and proceed to use me as their personal jungle  gym or pillow.  It shocks me.  What are they doing?  Why are they doing this?  Is this disrespect or the manifestation of a way to love their mama?  I don’t honestly know.  I would never have behaved in such a manner with my parents.  My children have their tv shows on in the livingroom most of the time.  There were times we watched specific programs..but never did we have the kind of say-so that my children have.  I wonder….I wonder a lot.

The kids joke with me, giggle with me, talk to me.  I love that.  Most of the time, I unsettles me.  Am I doing the right thing as a parent?  It seems so contrary to what I experienced and I find myself in this odd tension of wanting to live in this harmony and feeling like I should be parenting differently.   AAAHHHH the struggle.  I recall the other day I was at a restaurant with my mother and the boys….giggling in the booth, turning around to check out the people behind them, more giggling….changing their order a hundred times…WHAT!!!!??? Never would we have behaved in such a manner!  My mother told me their behavior was normal, let it go…the mom-child in me still wrestles with that.  If what my boys were doing was so normal, what did that make my siblings and I as we grew up? 

I am sitting here, typing and one of my boys is playing Lego battle ships…and the other is climbing on the loveseat next to me.  He just asked for a Cuddle Uppet for his bday.  When I told him he was not going to have a bday this year, he looked at me and laughed.  “Oh, mom, you are joking.  I can see by your smile!”  Then he reached over and tweaked my nose!  What????  As he watched me type he announced that he had to go to the bathroom…He has reached the age where he is scared of dark corners and places…”Mom, I can’t go by myself, you know that I am scared.  You have to come with me.”  So hand-in-hand I walked him to the bathroom and waited until he was done.  It puzzles me.  Too accommodating?  Not harsh and hard enough?  I am not sure.  They certainly have a connection, I pray it remains.  I pray also, the constant second-guessing gives way to relief at some point.  Either that, or Iam completely insane.

Blessings to you all as we navigate toward tomorrow….

Shalom,

cahl

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Where do we go from here…….

Thank you Buffy the Vampire Slayer and their musical episode for supplying me with the title for today’s blog.

I am not really sure on what to write today.  Christmas is done, the wrapping paper carefully balled up and awaiting its next stop…the dump.  The presents gone through and the favorites rise to the top.  I look about my livingroom and survey the damage:  die-cast cars and monster trucks in one heap( i assume a demolition crash ensued), a stack of movies over there, numerous instructions on the latest Lego build over here and there, and look!!!! orange moon sand strewn all across the dining room floor!  Guess who is NOT going to pick that up today!

I wonder if they know….wonder if in spite of all the gifts and food and laughter, i wonder if they know what is most important?  At what age do we lose the magic of the mystery…the anticipation, the squeals of joy.  When do we lose that…should we cast it off in favor of something more mature?  I am not sure.

I always feel a bit of a let down after Christmas, no, it’s not the gifts.  Although I would be lying to say that I do not LOVE LOVE LOVE a gaily wrapped package with my name on it.  The days after leave me feeling –lonely.  All the hype, the build-up, the consumption–then silence.  (Wow, if I read that sentence out of context, there could be a couple of topics left to the imagination…)  How do we carry the anticipation of goodness and light to the other 364 days? 

Truth be told, I am peeved to walk out and see the moon sand all over the floor.  I am committing that I am not the one to clean it up, although we both know I will have a hand in it.  I am angered to see the cars and trucks littering the floor.  Is it kids claiming their spot, or an ingrained sense of entitlement and ungratefulness?  Have I fostered this?  Have I contributed to this?  What should be my response?  Where do I go from here?

Systems thinking would tell me that if I clean up the mess before they return home, they will not change the behavior.  “Oh look, we made a mess, mom cleaned it up!  Let’s do it again.”  Note pattern established….  Ah, to bust the mold from whence we act.  So, amid screaming and tantrum I will attempt to re-direct said response and allow them the honor of taking responsibility for their actions.  I am MOM, after all, I giveth and I can taketh away for a time-out.  (NOTE DS grounding in consideration. ) 

All this to say that I want something different this time…something worth holding for more than a season.  Something to tap into when the humdrum has me.  I can foster that and I can carry that to others.  The light, the joy, the compassion that exists no matter the situation.  May I understand what that means and may I apply it as a way of life…

For those singing the Buffy song, I have supplied the link…one of the best episodes I remember seeing…yes I cried. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=ac1xnq8UV1E

Shalom,

cahl

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