Alright, so maybe that title is a bit of an exaggeration. “The Boy”, as we call him around here, given that there IS only one, is actually a fantastic kid, who is turning out to be fairly sane despite growing up in Crazy Town! However, he is also our first born child & our only son. A double whammy in the “screwed up” department. And much like his father, the poor kid doesn’t have a hope in hell, or a leg to stand on, living with 4 very strong female personalities, leaving him to wallow at the bottom of the command chain with Dad! I’m also quite certain that the worst is yet to come here in Crazy Town. As Mayor, part of my 5 year development strategy for future Urban Growth is to set up a D.A.R.T team (Disastrous Adolescents Response Team!) that will be called in to clean up the mess whenever those testosterone or estrogen spills flood the streets of my town! I can already sense the stirrings of rebellion…trouble brewing on the horizon…
Though I always get yelled at by other males for using this particular word in describing my son, he IS a beautiful boy, 11 ½ years old, with blonde hair & gorgeous blue eyes. Of course I think he’s beautiful, he’s my son, my baby boy, my very first miracle child I’d been told I would never have. And therein lies my first mistake as a parent! I babied him mercilessly…maybe still do at times. It’s the rule of thumb with your first child, I think…but as I added more & more children to my household, all of them girls, I began to see the error of those ways. I also began to see a bit of a Mamma’s boy in the making & realized I really needed to back off this poor child! It’s unfortunate that we make the majority of our parenting mistakes with that first one, when my first one turned out to be my only boy. By the time my 3rd child came along, I had really learned to let them go, be their own person, choose my battles carefully in conjunction with each of their particular personalities. But by then, whether by nature or nurture I will never know for certain, his path was set.
My son is a quiet, sweet, empathetic child, who rarely expresses range of emotion. This makes him seem rather serious, though it’s actually a shy thing I think. Easy going, & good natured, he prefers, outside of Crazy Town, to stay in the background, not draw attention to himself, & keep the peace at all costs. He will always do exactly what he’s told, at home, school, & everywhere in between, so as to not cause any problems. He’s an excellent student who dreams of traveling the world, especially Japan, a fairly avid reader, & very responsible & trustworthy. Rarely, if ever, has he been in any real trouble. He falls somewhere in the middle on the popularity scale at school, which we are both content with. Some of those “popular” kids are just a little too ahead of themselves for 10 & 11 year olds, & he has a great circle of friends he’s known his whole life. But don’t get me wrong, having said all of that, he is most definitely a boy! He has played hockey almost since he could walk, & earned himself Assistant Captain this season. He also played soccer for many years, including 2 Rep seasons. As far as video games, he can whoop just about anyone at Halo & other first person shooter games, as well as Guitar Hero (Hyper Speed baby!) & has earned the respect of gamers much older than him on X-Box Live. The boy loves nothing more than to transfer those skills to the paintball field & shoot people, often talking about a military career someday. And most of those books he can’t seem to put down are Japanese anime graphic novels that the child actually reads back to front & right to left. So no, he is not the stereotypical loud, messy, obnoxious, rough & tumble boy I expected a son to be, (unless he’s beating on & harassing his sisters), but neither is he the personification of a nerd/geek/dufus…whichever you prefer! What I can say for certain is that there lurks a very “old soul” just beneath the surface. I am truly blessed by the gift of my son, for he has taught me more about love, kindness, empathy, & patience in his 11 short years than I had ever learned in all my years prior.
Now, with the faint stirrings of that aforementioned testosterone rearing its pain-in-the ass head…seriously, no pun intended there!!!…I’m beginning to think I just may need a bigger trophy case. My son has changed quite a bit over the last year! Granted, I actually appreciate most of those changes. As strong personality types, both Dad & I would often be frustrated at having such a quiet son, who refused to speak up, or stand up, for himself, in any situation. Having his “Mommy” do it for him was starting to be far worse than him not doing it for himself. And that Rep soccer I mentioned? After 2 seasons, he got cut, not because he didn’t have the skills, but for not being “aggressive or competitive” enough. He actually DID just play for fun! Who DOES that??!! I said WIN DAMMIT!! But with the impending arrival of puberty, he’s actually put down the purse & grown a set, in more ways than one….including literal, since he underwent surgery a few years ago to fix an un-descended testicle, thus making him the unfortunate victim of many such jokes within the family (thank goodness for that good nature of his!). But beyond the literal sense, he’s suddenly come into his own as a standout hockey player as well. No longer content to keep his head down & be a team player, our boy plays to WIN! Yeah baby! He’s developed a new confidence & is more outgoing than ever before. I’m also finding that I greatly enjoy his company & relate to him on more of a “buddy” level rather than just “Mom”, as he has developed more “adult” tastes & interests, along with a fantastic quick wit that cracks me up! (Yes, I realize it’s a fine line a parent must walk very carefully, but no worries here, as Mayor, I’m well aware that if I lose the fear, I lose the power!) He’s also managed to find his voice, at least at home…though this is what’s going to earn him a spot in the Mayor’s trophy case! Hope he doesn’t get too attached to that new set of his, because if he keeps it up, he will lose them….
It’s never easy, letting go of your first born, turning around one day to find they suddenly don‘t need you anymore, that your baby has grown up. That first time they pull away from your hug…do they even know the pain they cause us??!! Like a knife through a mother’s heart! Sigh…there really are days that I miss that sweet, quiet, perfectly behaved little boy that was happiest snuggled in his Mommy’s lap & holding her hand in public, & I wish desperately that I could hang on to that precious first baby of mine, just a little bit longer….but I respect the “man” he’s becoming, I love everything he is, & I’m confident that, despite our parenting screw ups, he’s going to be just fine, even without Mommy holding his hand.
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