Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Gold At The End of The Rainbow

I'm loving the time I get with Grace every morning for 10 minutes as I drive her to school. Yesterday was an insightful day. The conversation began like this: "Dad, I want to build a trap to catch a Leprechaun." "Really?," I ask inquisitively. "My kindergarten teacher last year told me she caught one." I was wondering what was coming next. Then she said "Do you think Leprechauns are real or not, kinda like Santa Claus?" I said, "What do you mean ?" "Well, you can believe in him or not believe in him. Some kids think Santa is just their parents." "Do you believe in Santa Clause?" I asked. "Oh yes! What made me believe in Santa for sure was the wii."
"How so?" I asked. "Well I knew it was from Santa because it costs like $1000 and I know you wouldn't spend that much on Christmas."
So she and I may go in search of the gold at the end of the rainbow.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My Little Man - Help Me Please!

I've been in bed all day feeling lousy. Never a good time for me mentally, not to mention physically. But it is time to think and now I'm writing to help me gather some thoughts about a problem I'm having.
The problem is My Little Man. That's the thing I call him as a term of endearment. Ashley is "The girl I always wanted." Grace is "My special girl." Jordan is "My little man." And I so desire for him to be a man instead of the stage he is in right now. It's this place of being 13 in a body that's more like 11 and a mindset that goes from 7 to 13 to 10 to 12 to 9 all within the course of a day.
Jordan has always been able to make us laugh. He's always been funny. He's always been silly. He's always been a goof. If he harnesses those qualities he will be a fine comedic actor. Right now they seem to be used too often at the wrong times.
Jordan has also been our most sensitive child. And I worry that I have mis-parented the sensitivity right out of him. But I won't use this blog to bash myself too much.
At 13 we are really struggling with his lack of responsibility and his poor choices. He seems to be processing things so literally that it makes me crazy. Here is one example: After church I told him to stop running and jumping in the church. Moments later I watched him jump off the platform stairs. I called him over and said "What did I just tell you to do?" "Stop running and jumping." "What were you just doing?" "Jumping." "Why did you do that when I told you to stop?" "You said to stop running and jumping. I was just jumping." UUUUUUUUUUUGGGGHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So often we give him instructions that aren't followed. So often we ask him to do things only to find out that he didn't do them.
Before I get you thinking too poorly of him I am SO proud of how he has improved his studies this year. Every year we have struggled with school and homework. This year he is finally doing well and getting his homework done and turned in. Jordan is creative. He loves to draw and continues to get better at it. He has the musical genes. He is going to All State Honor Choir next weekend and has auditioned for the Wizard of Oz at his school. He's interested in how things work and interesting facts about people, places and things.
We have him playing Recreational Basketball, which he seems to like. Outside of that and school he doesn't really interact with kids his age. I worry about My little man, who would rather play with his 7 year old sister and cousin than with the older kids.
So, if you can give me any encouragement I'm open. I really lost it with him tonight. I just couldn't take his arguing, excuses, lack of responsibility and attitude that I worry I have fostered. Again, I'm not blogging about my lacking parenting skills right now.
Thanks for your help and prayers and empathy and encouragement.