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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Wow.  It has certainly been a long time since I've written anything.  It's not that I don't think about blog posts.  I have many good intentions; I have many ideas for posts and notes jotted down; however, I have moved my laptop from the couch to the table.  This is both good and bad.  It's good in that I'm less likely to get sucked into watching tv and hanging out online.  It's bad in that I don't hang out watching tv and hanging out online.  This change in location also means that I'm more apt to do "drive by updates" on facebook, but less likely to sit down long enough to compose something thoughtful.  I've read enough blogs to realize that the self-indulgent, thoughtless blogger is worse than no blogger.  Hence, my silence.

However, today was such a nice day that I'm compelled to share it with you.  Actually, the day had nothing to do with me.  It was a beautiful day for my youngest son, aka The Feral Third.

TFT has had a rough month or so.  You see, his soccer team merged with a team from another club and there will now be enough kids to have two teams.  Sadly, TFT did not make the A team.  Even sadder, all of his buddies did make the A team.  This has been very upsetting and devastating for him as you might imagine.  No matter what spin we put on it, he knows that he is going to be playing weaker teams, in a weaker division, not going to tournaments, and will not have the prestigious coach.  He also believes this marks the beginning of the end of his soccer career and he foresees playing JV in high school while his buddies all play varsity.  Yes, we adults know he's waaaaay over analyzing this all, but reality is that he is over analyzing this and this is his life right now.  He totally feels slighted, insulted, and demeaned.

Yes, we've all been there, done that and lived to tell the tale.  He just has a lot of emotional energy to put into this tale these days (weeks?  this has dragged on and on).

Anyway, to make what has been a miserable month shorter for the sake of the rest of you (no one else should have to live my misery and believe me, I've shared it enough already with others), he has felt overlooked by his friends who, being on the A team, do some sort of running club or something.  He was invited once and didn't go because we got off to a slow start (no pun intended) that morning, but he clearly feels that if he were wanted there, he'd have been in on it from the beginning and then he found out that they also play soccer afterward and, again, he wasn't "in on it".  He was an after thought.

Again, play me a violin....

So, that sets the stage.  Probably 99% of all of this angst is in his imagination, but he's been bringing that imagination to life in our family's daily life for a month now.

Last night, though, things began to look up.  Two of his mates spent the night and they never once talked about soccer.  Thank the stars.

It was a total flash back to 2005 or so, when my eldest ( I have a blog name for him?  I might, but thanks to chemo brain, I can't remember) and his mates would get together.  It was a mini-me of the current teenagers hanging out here at the same time.

On top of the emotional wanking that has been going on, we've also had lots of late nights and slow mornings for the past month.  I was out of town for about 10 days, and my husband is an early to bed kind of guy, which meant that the kids were very, very late to bed.  Those of you who still have enough control over your children to have bedtime, might be shocked to hear that an 11 year old was regularly going to bed at 2 a.m. or later and sleeping until noon, but that is a pattern we've fallen into.  Add in a visit from the cousins which makes for a week with looser rules than usual, and...chaos regarding sleep hygiene.

So last night, I agreed to these other two boys spending the night in part to keep the hormonal Feral Third happy but also because I saw it as an opportunity to enforce a bedtime without an argument.  Who wants to act like a toddler and throw a tantrum in front of their friends?  The deal was OK to the sleepover if they agreed to lights out and a movie turned low at midnight. 

It worked.  I removed all the video game controllers so that they weren't tempted to cheat, told them if they'd lay still, they'd be cooler, and they were out.

The Third Wave
This also meant then were awake fairly early this morning.  I was reading and came out of my room at 8:45 and found all three of them awake.  Awake and looking like the older boys they so admire.  I have since begun referring to them as The Third Wave.

Sorting Game Pieces

Now, back in the day, in 2005 or so, my eldest and his buddies would have some wild Risk games.  They'd combine games, boards, pieces, and rules and play for entire weekends.  There have also been many Risk games played at our home by many, many young boys in this town.  It is also a tradition to play Risk with the cousins when they come to visit each year.  It was very heart warming to see The Third Wave getting it on with World Domination with such glee.

Of course, you can't have boys in the house (even if they are on the patio) without feeding them.  I was flashing back to the days when I would regularly stock up on cheap frozen pizzas, frozen burritos, jarred spaghetti sauce, and other food items in mass quantities because I never knew when I'd be called upon to provide food for the hungry hoards.

It's been awhile.

So a trip to the grocery was called for. Hoping that this will not be the last time we have a hoard of hungry boys, I stocked up. 

Then I got to do what I love doing the most.  Providing food for people I love. 

And these people were very appreciative!

The day continued without a hitch.  It included a walk to Walgreen's, a game of volley ball and one of badminton.  They then went to one of the other boys' homes for dinner, returned here, were playing something that involved yelling and running in the dark, and at 10 p.m., more than 24 hours after it  started, the "sleep over" ended.

No fuss, no muss (they did have to be persuaded to clean up the family room, but they did a good job), no arguments, and only one injury (and that was in the last 15 minutes).

I know my member of the Third Wave was asleep early and easily tonight, and I hope he is feeling better about his predicament or at least had 24 hours of not stewing over how unfair life can be at times. 

Yes, it can be, son, but it is still a wild and wonderful place and you might as well ride it hard while you can.

And I'm glad there are Risk players back in the house.


PaperYarnGirl said...


Kirsty said...

That's awesome. And I'm really sorry he has felt overlooked. He is not alone in feeling that way even though he may be convinced that he is.

In my experience it is more traumatic for the mom than the kid as is any pain or sadness for one of our children. It's bad for them but it's even worse for us. My sympathies go out to you.

So happy for his good sleepover. Hope the boys can attempt a redo of the bike ride idea sometime soon.

dawn h-s said...

I lay awake last night hoping that I'd not offended anyone. I still hope that.

It is hard. It's especially hard for me on several fronts:
1) I have never dealt well with strong emotions in others and even less well since I don't get my own new brain;
2) It is a new experience for me to have the child who is not in "the group" and to have one whose friends' parents are friends of mine, but not people that I socialize with regularly, as my elder two were the exact opposite. My friends were their parents' friends and we did a lot as families, so when TFT hears that child X's family is hanging out with child Y's family, he immediately looks to me as "why aren't WE doing that" because in his past, that's how things are done.
3) He simply has no fall back friends. There are no kids in the neighborhood so to speak that he's comfortable playing with. There aren't many kids here to start with, but there is a HUGE difference between him and the one or two similarly aged boys.....and, I'm embarassed to say, he eschews the local girls for the most part.
4) I'm so tired of his disgruntled being. I've gone from being sympathetic, to supportive, to trying to help him fix it, to just being over it, to borderline angry when he starts.
5)and of course, I feel guilty that he has not gotten the best of my parenting like his brothers got.