Thursday, November 22, 2007

I'm Only Human -- and So is Thomas

This post contains "light" religious content, a ghost (my mom) from my past, and a crazed woman, played by Frankie.

Oh, we had bad scene in Frankie's kitchen today.

After we had our Thanksgiving feast, Bob and I were doing dishes and putting food away. I asked Thomas to take Jerry potty. Thomas is 12. He's at that age where he's pushing boundaries. He's beginning to use his voice when he doesn't want to do something. He yelled at me that I was being mean. Then he just went off on a rant, yelling at me the whole time.

When this happened, I had taken a seat and watched him reacting. I nearly scared the Thanksgiving dinner right out of him. I jumped up out of that chair faster than you can say boo, was in his face, and, not yelling, but with a firm voice stated: Don't you DARE yell at me, young man. You do as you are told. You were asked to take the dog out, and I expect you to do it. You will never be allowed to yell at me. Okay, the firm voice is putting it mildly. It was a mad woman's voice. Not yelling, yet very scary.

The look on Thomas' face was complete horror. I glanced at Bob and his eyes were as big as saucers.

Not one of my best mom moments. Nope. I felt about two inches high. No, I felt lower than a pregnant ant. (My friends and I used to use that term in elementary school.)

Thomas started crying as he took Jerry potty. When he came in, he went straight to his room. Bob quietly took over clean up duties. I sat in the table with my head in my hands. I wasn't crying, but close.

You see, my mother, who has been gone for 13 years now, came to our Thanksgiving dinner today. That's the kind of crap (ohh, bad word there) that she used to pull on her kids. On me. I vowed I would never act that way.

I blew it big time. We teach our kids that we have to be able to trust them. We teach our children that when they screw up, it will take awhile to build trust up again. So play that in reverse. How on earth will Thomas be able to trust his mother when she rants like a crazed woman.

Apologies were said, hugs were given, but I have felt deflated the rest of the evening.

I have tried to make it all better in my mind. I don't hit my child, so I was thinking: well, at least you didn't physically hit him. I bet that a hit or slap would have been easier to handle than a mom losing it. Emotional harm is just as bad, if not worse, sometimes, than the physical stuff.

Rationalizing again, what I said wasn't that bad. True. He does not have permission to yell at me. He is not allowed to show such disrespect. Period. But --as Pee Wee Herman once said, there's always a big butt involved -- I did it in a very negative, scary, bad, meanie mom kinda-way.

He's over it. He sulked for awhile and then went on with his business. He's happily playing around in the basement, close to me, with a smile on my face. I need to get over it.

Thing is, I don't like acting like my mom. I did grow up in an emotionally abusive home. I have tried my hardest to overcome all of her responses. This was pure MY MOM all the way. It's not healthy for anyone.

The other thing is: Thomas is 12. He's going through one helluva time right now. Stretching those boundaries, becoming himself, finding himself, sharing his wants, needs, desires and frustrations in new ways. Whining. A lot. Enough that one night last week I told Bob that I cannot deal, please do something with Thomas for supper because I need peace. I need quiet. I need no whines.

At this point, my mother just appeared over my shoulder. She just whispered in my ear that you get what you give. And now I can hear her laughing hysterically! You see, I was a whiner. Still am. So he's learned it all from me.

There I am again, lower than a pregnant ant.

On blogs, most people only share the great stuff. I am usually that way. This has been such a hard school year for me in so many ways. The moment Thomas turned 12, it was as if a light switch flipped and he changed. I'm having a hard time dealing with it. Not that he's growing up, but just the attitudes. All our things with animals, sick, dying, running over them with cars -- it's all taken its toll on me.

Gaaaa. I'm picturing Goldie Hawn in Overboard in the water barrel with the blank stare on her face repeatedly chanting buh buh buh buh buh buh.

That's where I feel right now.

My relationship with my son is of highest importance to me. How am I going to earn his trust back. How am I going to deal with his terrible 12s. He's been so easy up to now. Frankly, he's still easy. He's a good kid. Kind, considerate, extremely compassionate. It's just that he doesn't want to do anything, whines, whines, whines.

Buh, buh, buh, buh, buh.

So what am I thankful for today? This is going to be completely self-centered. I'm thankful I'm human. I'm thankful I screw up. When I screw up, I usually do it BIG, and then I reflect, sulk, think, think and think some more. Then I try to take action to change.

Mom's standing at my shoulder again telling me, "God won't give you more than you can handle." For my secular friends, I'll translate that: The universe won't give you more than you can handle. Or perhaps life won't give you more. (I choose God, but that's who I am.)

I'm thankful that I love my son so much that I feel like shee it right now because I hurt his feelings. I'm thankful that I'm human, so that I can learn and grow from my mistakes.

I'm mostly thankful that he has forgiven me.

God, I love that boy.

Just to share how I feel completely:

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Every once in awhile, your child makes something so special that you know you will cherish it forever. Thomas did just that recently.

Three weeks ago I dropped Thomas off at his ceramics class and the instructor had this big white turkey sitting on display. I begged Thomas to do this project for me. He happily agreed. It took him three weeks because it was detailed and big, but it is the best piece he has made to date.

The pictures do not come close to what it looks like in person. I tried adjusting the flash, but that still doesn't work. The red head looks very funky and cartoonish in the photos, but in real life it is stunning. Bob warned me that it would not photograph well. Of course he was right.

I am so proud. This lovely turkey will be the perfect centerpiece for all our Thanksgivings to come.

Thank you so much, Thomas.

please ignore the dirty kitchen table!!!