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Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes January 28, 2009

Posted by Toy Lady in Family, Home, random stuff.

A lot of big stuff going on around the Fridge lately.  Wow.  😯

It all started last week.

OK, not all, exactly.  🙄

It all started 25-ish years ago, actually.  Back when I was the defiant, surly, willful teenager who made my parents’ lives a living hell.

Then my mother went and did it.

The Curse.

Some day, you’re going to have a child just like you.

What did she know?  After all, everything was her fault anyway, right?   It’s always the mother.

As an aside, I seem to have picked up a disturbing habit of blaming my mother for stuff.  I wonder how long I’ve been doing that.  Huh.

Anyway.  I did what a typical surly, angry, not-quite-as-smart-as-they-think-they-are teenager would do and left home far too young, vowing (1) never to come back, and (2) never to be the horrid parent that both of mine were.  🙄

Yep.  I sure knew what I was doing back then, didn’t I?  I got married at 18, fully intending to “show them” and live happily ever after.  And I Did It My Way.  So there.

So.  Fast forward a few years.  I’m a divorced mom rearing a young  just-entering-adolescence son by myself.    Who saw that coming?  🙄

Without going into too many gory details, I’ll just say . . . Surly Boy did, in fact, earn his name.  He worked very hard at it, in fact.  His teenage years went from hideous to . . . what’s worse than hideous?  😯

One time I was in the County Clerk’s office and saw a young mom having trouble with her toddler.  I am not proud of the fact that I mentioned to her that my kid was a teenager, and those “terrible 2’s” were now, in our house, referred to as “the good old days.”  😳

It was bad.  Very very bad.

And as a side note, this was the situation that Peeps walked into, and he has still stuck around.  Lucky for me.  🙂

Finally, a couple of years ago, enough was enough, and Surly Boy turned 18 and left home, vowing (1) never to return, and (2) never to become the horrid parent that I was.  🙄

Yeah, well, some day he’s going to have a kid just like him. 

What followed was, essentially, a year of silence from him.  Basically, the only time we either saw or heard from Surly Boy was when he wanted to show us how much greater life was without US there to screw it up for him, I think.  🙄

Life went on.

Relations thawed a bit between us.

It was quiet around the old homestead. . . too quiet.  😉

So we expanded our little family.

And I kept my mouth shut about. . . well, about a lot of things.  And gradually, bit by bit, my “original” baby came to realize that I’m not quite the horror of a human being he’s always assumed I was.  The new, fuzzy baby already knew that.  😀

And Surly Boy started talking to me.  Not a lot, and not anything terribly earth-shattering.  Just talking.  And listening.  You know, like people do.  😮

And I learned.  I learned that he’s not a child any more.  That his thoughts and feelings and opinions and decisions are just as valid as mine – and just as worthy of respecting, whether I agree with them or not.

Of course, I also learned that my little boy has ghastly taste in friends – particularly of the female persuasion.  😯

But I try to keep that to myself.    😉

So.  Amidst all this “talking” and “listening” and “bonding” that’s been going on, I sensed that The Boy was desperately unhappy with his girlfriend.  Actually, “unhappy” is probably a bit of an understatement.  Try “miserable.”

A couple of months ago, I subtly reminded him that he always had a home to come back to – that he does have options.

He thanked me and all, but, uh, he hadn’t quite “hit rock bottom” yet.  His words, not mine.

Hey, thanks, kid.  Why not tell me what you really think of me, you know?  🙄

Then there was last week.

Evidently, he actually did “hit rock bottom” – he had nowhere to go.  The girl had thrown him out, and he evidently didn’t have a single friend in the world who could spare a bed or even a couch.

It nearly broke my heart to see my son so. . . defeated.  😥

So he came home.  We all have concerns, to be sure.  None of us wants to go back to the horror show that we were living two years ago, that’s for damn certain.  And we won’t.  Now we all have choices – and we’re well aware of them.  We don’t have to live that way – and he doesn’t have to stay here.  He’s 20 years old – an adult.  He’s spent 2 years learning that the world doesn’t revolve around him.

And I’ve learned, too.  The world won’t explode if everything isn’t just exactly the way I think it should be.  I hope not, anyway.  Though you may want to step lightly for a while just in case.  😉

The past week, with Surly Boy back home, has actually been pleasant.  Or at least I think it has.  😉

He’s helpful and polite and seems appreciative.  He’s talking and just spending time with us.  And that feeling of “waiting for the other shoe to drop” is starting to lift.

I’m sure this honeymoon period won’t last forever, but just maybe the experience he’s gained while being on his own for a couple of years, along with the, dare I say it, wisdom I’ve accumulated in trying to figure out where I went wrong  – not to mention the patience I’ve learned while trying to train a headstrong, oversized puppy – hopefully it will all work together to give Surly Boy a second chance to get his life in order.

I think the most important thing I’ve come to realize is that maybe I haven’t been a complete and utter failure as a parent.  Sure, there were several really horrid years a couple of rough patches.  I think, very much like his mother, there were some things that Surly Boy just needed to learn for himself.  And I don’t think that’s poor parenting so much as genetics.

And that is probably my mother’s fault.  😆



1. Bratnilla - January 30, 2009

I’m so happy to read this! I hope the honeymoon faze never goes away. Maybe he is finally an “aldult” (almost adult). Maybe steering him towards some good decisions will be a little easier to do! WooHOO! I’m very happy for you. I’m a Mom; I get it.

2. Toy Lady - January 30, 2009

Thanks, Brat!

Sheesh. . . I keep meaning to email you and, well, you know how it goes. 🙄

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