Thursday, June 28, 2012


Sometimes I get wrapped up in my own drama and forget to see what's going on around me. This easily happens in the summer when I am reading 4 books, working on crafts and thinking about making healthy lifestyle changes (exercising). It also happens during the school year when I am working away from the home and trying to run the home at the same time. I guess it is a continuous struggle for me.

Reading almost anything from Becky Bailey helps me to reground myself into the here, the now, the important.

Last week younger son was off at camp. This week the older son is off at camp. A battle happens in my head. I can really make headway on all the "things" I want to get done this summer or I can make meaningful connections with each son separately. Everyday I have these choices to make.

A couple of weeks ago my younger son and I were having a "moment" and not a good one. He looked at me, very calmly, and stated "Aren't you supposed to see the best in me? You are the mom. Aren't you supposed to see the best in others?" {Has he actually been listening to me when I talk to my husband about my thoughts after reading Becky Bailey?}

I said, "Yes, I try to see the best in you and others."

He said, "Ok, what is it? What do you see in me?"

Me, "I'm thinking about it. I will have to get back to you."

Thirty minutes later (I was completely on to something else), he said, "Have you thought about it yet?"

Me, "What?"

Him, "The best in me."

Me, "Yes." But I did not tell him what it was. He went back to his book and hasn't brought it up again.


With this (and other conversations) in mind I decided to be "with" him yesterday. All by ourselves. Originally we were going to go see a baseball game, but with 106 degrees I talked him into waiting until later in the summer. We did get a bottle of water and headed out to the big city with Goodwills and Targets. Our two favorite store respectively.

He came with me while I shopped at Goodwill, Old Navy, Eddie Bauer and I went with him to Target. We both had opportunities to practice patience. He actually had money to spend, since he had a mini garage sale and did some cat sitting this summer. He hung out in the Lego aisle. I tried to be patient. My goal was to give him all the time he needed to choose something. When the 30 minute mark came and went I was getting restless. I gave myself a pep talk and waited some more.

Then he looked for laptops. And DVDs. And back to the Legos. Once I suggested putting the item he was considering into the cart and walking around a bit to think about it. "No, I'm already thinking about it."

Finally he said, I think I will save my money. And we walked away. We grabbed the few things on the rest of the list and checked out. As we headed for the Starbucks to get a drink he said that he was hungry and maybe we could go to Freddy's Frozen Custard to eat supper. Perfect, another opportunity to process what just happened.

While the food was cooking I asked if he felt rushed at Target, because my intention was to not rush him and give him all the time he needed. He felt rushed with my suggestion of putting the item in the cart. WOW, what I say and what he hears are so different. Neither is bad, but to be aware of this is HUGE.

As we were almost home, at a certain spot in town, he mentioned an incident from the day before. When I said I was going to get him. I was clearly (in my mind) teasing him the day before, but when he brought it up, I didn't get the feeling that he knew I was teasing and it had not felt like teasing to him.

Great, now I've scared my child.

Some of this I talked with my husband about after we got home. Later in the evening, the 3 of us talked about it. "Yes (with tears in his eye), I get scared when you say 'I'm going to get you'."

I apologize. He is quiet. I apologize again. Still quiet. Then with twinkling eyes, "Yes, I'll forgive you if you give me $100." I sure hope he's teasing.


Have I (re)learned a lot this summer. My younger son is tender hearted (I already knew that), and I really have to be thoughtful of what I say to him. My older son is entering a busy, emotional time in his life and I want to be available to him (not just when it's convenient for me). Saying yes to my family is way more fun than saying no (I already knew that also, but need to remind myself of that).

Connection is what this is all about. But I do not like that word; it triggers weird thoughts.  I like Bridge better.

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  1. Wow. Deep thoughts. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Very heartfelt! It is sometimes a little scary how we say something almost flippantly, only to realize later how it has affected someone. Thanks for opening your heart.


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