He turned 14.
I must say that it affected me a bit. I can’t really put my feelings into words without sounding completely ridiculous. I am also having a fair amount of vulnerability issues which doesn’t help matters at all.
On the one hand I am enjoying him more than I have ever enjoyed him, and on the other hand he is driving me completely and utterly NUTS! I suppose that’s the story of all relationships, yes? Anyway. He’s postponed his birthday party. It’s happening in December during the last week of school. We still need to finalise the details but it will either be a swimming party like last year OR a surfing party – I checked and there are some cool party packages at the Surf Schools in Muizenberg that include a lesson and a wet suit and the use of a board and hot showers. No food included, but this is no big deal. They can just get fish & chips or something afterwards. Is it just me or are boy parties like the easiest thing EVER??
On Tuesday evening they had their Science Expo at school. We’ve been putting in A LOT of hours these past few days to get this thing sorted. I took a step back, even though it was REALLY hard for me. HE is just NOT as perfectionist as I am when it comes to presentation of work. I am working hard at accepting him 100% for who he is. His work (as far as I’m concerned) looked fairly untidy, but I do realise that my standards are sometimes impossibly high and I am trying to relax them a bit. It was his own attempt though and his very best – I am proud of his effort, even though his approach was/is generally VERY different to mine. And oh my goodness. I watched him from a distance, engaging with people walking past his display. Answering their questions. Talking animatedly and excitedly about his process and his findings. He didn’t even consult his notes! He is SUCH a natural and I was VERY proud of him. What was the last thing that your child did that made you SUPER PROUD??
Son1 is having a lot of fun at school which does actually make me very happy. I was thinking about Grade 10 and subject choices this past week. I know, right? This is one of the reasons that I am contemplating the shutting down of this blog. I have a kid who is nearly choosing subjects! Most people in the blogosphere are worried about their children’s bowel movements and how much (or how little) sleep they are getting. I just can’t relate anymore and in all fairness, I can’t expect anyone to relate to me. Anyway. I decided that he can do whatever subjects he feels like doing. School is hard enough and we may as well do subjects that interest us, yes? My only condition is that Maths is not negotiable. I feel comfortable with this. I am also phoning around and googling some kind of vocational testing for him – I hope to repeat this annually throughout high school.
He had his first shave over the weekend. Our agreement is that if I EVER need to tell him to shave, then THAT will be the day that I take him for a wax. He was sooooo excited. I took him along to buy what he needed and his Dad helped him. I wanted to photograph it. My DH said NO, because not EVERY SINGLE THING needs documenting. Sometimes the memory in your mind needs to be enough. It was a private moment between a Dad and his Son. And it was a bittersweet one for me. He came to show me when he was done and was thrilled! No cuts or anything. I just couldn’t stop staring at him and I had flashbacks of when I first met and fell deeply and madly in love with him. Sjoe. We have come SUCH A long way and I kind of feel like we grew up together.
So yes. LOTS going on in his life. And deep down I am kind of enjoying this journey with him. Of course it’s a fairly challenging journey. I am forced to change. I am forced to parent differently. There is more coaching and A LOT of letting go. A lot of fret. A fair amount of anxiety. But. So far, we are coping. Seriously. If you think that Junior School is hard, then wait until your kids get to High School. And if you think that the sleepless nights and tantrums and body fluids are terrible to deal with, then wait until you hit the teenage years. It’s like NOTHING you have ever experienced before and there is just no preparation. Except your own experiences as a teenager.
So. How are you? What are you HATING about parenting right now?