I Love Fish
This is a beautiful tank!
Just feeling a little sad because I had to be a bad cop and put my son to bed semi-sternly. He had left the family room a mess when he went out skating and lately I've been asking him to please remember to turn off the TV and pick up his things when he leaves the room so Coco or I won't have to do it for him. It's gotten really extreme, to the point where he'll leave the TV in his room on, then go to the living room and leave that one on, then go to the den and have a snack and leave that one on too and then go to the library to visit the kittens and then turn that one on too. He had four TV's on the other day, all at blasting loud levels of sound and hadn't bothered to turn any of them off as he moved through the house.
Today is an especially hard day for Coco as she waits and waits for the phone to ring, praying her children won't be caught crossing the border, and that they will all finally be reunited. I was stressed scrambling around for the money to help her out, and hurting over my frigid, north-wind, of a not-divorced-from-yet ex. Tuesday is the day he may or may not decide to call my son and try to persuade him to do something with him. If something more exciting comes along he doesn't bother to call, he has the ever ready excuse that Beau doesn't really want to see him, as if Beau has slighted him rather than the other way around.
When Beau came home he didn't bother to say hello to me and went straight to the fargin TV, so that was one small slight I had to toss. Then he wasn't interested in going to therapy to work on his issues with his father. Then I came home hoping to be able to spend some time with him and he was out skating. I walked into the den and he had unplugged the phone from the wall, tossed it carelessly on the couch, left the TV blaring, with cheetos all over the coffee table, socks tossed around, papers on the floor and it just got to me. I was going to go out and bring him back from skating to make him clean up, and then thought it would be better to just wait until I calmed down and then simply remind him to please bla bla bla bla all over again. Which is what I did. Then he wanted to go have dinner with his girlfriend so he did, and came back on time, points for that, but then he just dropped his scooter and helmet right on the bottom stairs. When I noticed and asked him to pick it up he was upstairs using the bathroom, so I left assuming he would do it. Although of course when I got home from delivering little bouquets to my neighbors, he couldn't be bothered to answer the intercom and let us in, so we had to go around through the dog yard and then he couldn't hear me calling from downstairs and when I went into this room he had pillows over his lap as if I had walked in on him wanking. (he's ten in case you're interested, nothing against wanking at all, it's just that it's mildly disconcerting when you have to struggle over sharp metal objects and climb up the stairs to tell someone that they forgot to do something you just asked them to do not more than ten minutes ago and there they are pleasuring themselves instead). When I asked him what he thought I could be upset about he looked totally befuddled so I told him to walk downstairs and it would be pretty obvious what he had forgotten to do. I mean you can't get around this scooter skateboard thing without having to hop, it's not like it's easy to miss. The next thing I knew Coco was calling out to me and when I went to see what was wrong she told me Beau had come into the kitchen and taken her pot of boiling water and dumped it down the sink. This is what he had chosen to do rather than put the scooter away! When I asked him why he did that he said he was just playing and that sometimes she laughs when he does stuff like that. So then I had to tell her that if that's true it's partly her fault for giving him mixed signals. Then I had to tell him again to put the scooter thing away. Then I had to hustle him to bed, explain why I was upset and then give him a short hug and reassurances that I loved him. But when I closed the door I felt so badly for him. He had wanted me to cuddle but I felt I had to remain firm, limiting our goodnight to a brief hug. I honestly don't know if this was right or wrong. I'm seriously baffled.
I never envisioned myself being or wanted to be like this. I always thought I'd be Dolores Taylor, Mrs. Billy Jack, living in peace and equality with all living things. I thought, I'll be the one to get this parenting thing right. Well, sometimes I feel like such a screw up. I mean it was arrogant of me to think I could do any better than my parents in the first place. It seems to me that no matter how hard I try, I am always repeating patterns. I guess the universe really is all mathematical equations after all, and it is so hard to break out of these little grooves that were worn into the surface of this fabric long before I ever came along.
I hated the way my parents dealt with me. I hated that they would get mad at me for things and then punish me in these totally inconsistent ways. I remember thinking that telling me off and shaming me for something then putting me to bed harshly and letting me cry myself to sleep was so mean. I wondered how they could possibly love me. I thought they were stupid. After all I didn't mean to do whatever it was I did. All they needed to do was tell me and I would try not to do it again. Sometimes the things they got mad about seemed so unimportant and trivial, and gradually I began to feel so separated from them, so all alone. I don't think I ever learned anything positive by being punished. Mostly I learned that adults don't understand us, that rules are unfair, bizarre and arbitrary and that parents cannot be trusted with the truth. I learned to lie and lying separated us further.
You know the feeling you have when you first fall in love with someone? You know, that incredible feeling of union and closeness? When I fall in love with I can't imagine lying to them about anything, it would hurt me so much to lie to them. It would stand between us and feel awful. Then as the relationship wears on and things happen, hurts become wounds that fester and it's hard to let old things go. An occasional lie doesn't seem like such a big thing if it helps you survive. If it prevents the other person from being hurt. Well, I want to live in a place with everyone that is closer to the first stages of a love affair and nowhere near the end. But I'm not there yet, even though I try. I say this because in doing the same kinds of things to my son that my parents did to me, I am teaching him to distrust me and to see me as separate from him, and thus begins the erosion of what has been a really great relationship for so long.
I am just so confused, the line between allowing and limiting is so fine. Letting mundane things go by can often teach children that only they matter, that someone else can always pick up that shirt, that bag of cheetos, that skateboard and helmet dropped right at the foot of the stairs where everyone will risk tripping or be forced to pick it up. For so long I have been intent on treating him as an equal, but that just doesn't go far enough. I think I need to respect him as an equal but I have to parent as an adult to a child and that is so hard!!!
I think where I fail the most is in allowing the things he does or doesn't do to affect me emotionally to the point that he can see I am out of control. I am a highly sensitive being, it comes with the territory of being gifted, and isn't something that our society embraces. They like the art, the creativity and the giving, nurturing aspects of feelingfulness, but they don't have room for the vibrant sensitivity. Most people are numb. At least they seem that way to me. So for me to remain neutral in the face of childlike selfishness, insensitivity, hostility, anger, thoughtlessness, rudeness, cruelty, teasing and more is tantamount to asking a pan of oil not to sizzle when you pour water on it. But I know I need to remain blank, an Ommm-Mom, someone who can say, "That wasn't very nice, this is why, and these are the consequences, nightie night," and shut the door. But when he starts to cry, my mind reaches back to myself alone in my room with no one to hold or comfort me, and I get confused. I can't find the line between being a babbling explainamom, who he can simply put on ignore, and a quivering, punitive, mass of angry feeling. Oh, argh. And I still haven't written back to the ebayers, shit!
Here is the note I dropped off with bouquets of herbs at my neighbors houses tonight. It was fun, I'd set the bundle of herbs and the note on their front door mats, hit the bell and run. Of course the nuns don't have a doorbell, they have an intercom, and I didn't want to scare them so I said something like, "Herbal delivery mam," and they said, "Oh Jacqui, we'll be right down." Once a teacher always a teacher, I guess there's just no getting past them.
I might check in later, how about I give you guys a commitment, okay I commit to thirty minutes on the, grrr, treadmill, and opening my e-mail and responding to some of it.