Friday, October 30, 2009

Parenthood: What a long strange trip...

This parenting gig is worse than a roller coaster. I mean, yesterday, when asking my oldest about school, I also suggested that since the kids had the day off (today too) perhaps he'd like to call a buddy and have him come over. W. looked at me patiently and with pity in his voice, "Mom, I don't have any friends at school." I'm honestly not certain if the pity was for himself being friendless or for me because I'm so damned clueless about the state of his (non)social life. Don't you know that this long-suffering and yet somehow matter-of-fact admission just about stabbed me in the heart?

I mean, sure, he can be a colossal pain in the ass but for the most part this child of mine is the kindest, most loving, thoughtful and loyal kid around. He's even generally nice to his younger sister and brother (not that he doesn't have his moments). And somehow the other little shits at his middle school haven't cottoned on to what a wonderful friend he can be. I know W. has struggled for years with the social thing. He's never been completely at home in his own skin since we moved away from Ohio when he was going into 3rd grade. And that makes me sad because he's great. Really and truly great and not just because I'm his mom either.

Last year adjusting to being here was a struggle and he had some issues with behaviour at school. And now I wonder if he'll ever be able to overcome the fact that he cried in class. The teachers last year warned him he'd be ostracized if he kept it up but the fact that he was being ostracized before it happened seems to have passed everyone by except for overly sensitive mom. And given the fact that I burst into tears when I am angry or frustrated or upset too, no one tends to take me terribly seriously either. I wish I didn't do it and I sure as shootin' wish that W. hadn't inherited the low frustration threshold and the overactive tear ducts from me. At least his friendlessness put his younger brother's poor test results in perspective a bit.

And then today, while I have been moping around wondering how on earth I can fix life for the 7th grader (I know. I know. I can't.), the second grader asked if we could go shopping. Now I'm not big on shopping but I thought getting out of the house and out of my own head would be good. So T. and the $3 he had burning a hole in his wallet since that delinquent tooth fairy finally showed up and forked over cash for his grungy teeth and I went shopping. And I bit my tongue as he spent every last penny he had to his name on whoopie cushions. He even had to borrow some change from his sister to pay for tax. So I got to listen to wild farting and giggles and blame flying back and forth all the way home from Target. And I suspect the joke won't wear off any time soon either. Might be the best $2.99 anyone in this family has ever spent.

Sometimes kids break your heart and sometimes they make your belly hurt from laughing so much. I guess you can't have the one without the other but man the latter is way more fun.


  1. I agree- parenting is a rollercoaster! When we moved to our new city 3 years ago, my son had anger issues at school and it made it very hard for him to adjust. We finally have him adjusted, and we're looking at moving again! It's crazy :( Hang in there!

  2. My wonderful son has no friends in the neighborhood. The one with lots of kids. He hasn't made any friends in his new class yet, but he's buddies with some of the kids in his brother's room. Socially immature much?

    I agree with you on the heart break and the belly laughs.

  3. That would break my heart right in half. I'm not looking forward to that age at all, or any age where I don't have as much influence as I do now, really. The whoppee cusion- I admit, I'm tempted to buy the Pirate one now.

  4. W. is not even my son and it breaks my heart to hear what he's been going through. Middle school just sucks; there's not better word for it. Tell him to hang in there; high school will be better. New kids to get to know, some people are starting to become better people, and there are so many groups and clubs to become a part of. Make sure when he gets there that he joins some of them; it's the best way to meet new people and to have people get to know you in a different setting.

    Talk to the counselor at his school; ask if there might be a group he/she could introduce your son to. The counselor might know of some other kids that also might be feeling left out.

  5. I too have over active tear ducts, very embarassing state of affairs. And, yes, parenting breaks your heart. I've been doing it for 23 years and all I can say to you is, this too shall pass, remember that. It really will get better or easier of whatever. I had a child similar through school who is a happy well adjusted adult. It will be ok in the end.


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