Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Yes, I'm getting old - my son is 14

**Warning - this is a soppy ramble about my son so if you don't want to read soppy this morning scroll down to the next post lol Plus I am not awake yet so my thoughts may not be coherent (even less coherent than normal lol)

Well, things have definitely been rough the last year and a half. Both of us losing our jobs was, of course, the biggest hit all around. Kids can be amazing too when push comes to shove and it's really nice to see, just wish I didn't have to see it. Does that make sense? Well here is my example, today is my DS's birthday - he is now 14! Well, he will be 14 at exactly 3:30 this afternoon and all he is asking for is an old game he used to have for Playstation. Total cost between $10 and $20 about now. He even offered to get a job - now that he is of legal working age - we're not that bad, but we are nowhere near as in as good shape as we were even this time last year (After I had already lost my job but Alex still had his) I told him no, of course. If and when he gets himself to where I don't have to struggle everyday to get him to do his school work and he goes back to A's and B's then he can work a few hours a week so he can buy HIS stuff. His little extras like extra minutes for his phone (Yes his phone is prepaid no more $300 phone bills thank you very much lol) his cologne, extra sneakers (meaning his 3rd and 4th pair lol) etc. In our house you earn your extra stuff and the only time you get bombarded with gifts (normally) is on your birthday and at Christmas. You get new clothes when school starts and then once more through the year(and also alot of them at Christmas now that they are both older)

Anyway, I digress lol. The point of this is that I cannot believe that he is now 14. Sure 13 was the "entry" into teenagedom but 14 is almost more real - or surreal if you know what I mean. I still remember the 17.5 hours of labor like it was yesterday along with the first time he kicked in my belly, rolled over making my tummy look like I was in the movie Alien lol. The first time I held him, bathed him, fed him, watched him walk, heard him talk. Now - he knows it all!! He already has more hair on his lip than his Father did, legs, underarms, arms etc all covered, and today I saw his adams apple. Realizing that he is growing up is almost sad. He's already been through alot for someone his age, already found out that life isn't fair and still he is "Man" enough to still be who he is. He's his Momma's boy (he tells his friends - "you don't like it? Too bad!" lol) he has compassion for people who are hurt (unless it is something drug related then he says they got what they deserved) and freaks when there is a story about an animal who was abused or worse. I mean he will rant and rave through the house for HOURS about how sick these people are and what he would do to them if he found them. Don't get me wrong, I know my son, he is opinionated (no idea where he gets it from lol), stubborn, loud and thinks that he is on the same level as an adult - thereby very often being disrespectful. Of course, after his Dad died and him being the oldest male in the family, it was perfectly normal for him to try and assimilate himself into the role of man of the house. He had no problem with Alex, even when he moved in almost 2 years ago, what he has a problem with is remembering that 14 or not, he is still a child and NOT a man. The part that keeps me from throttling him during those extreme moments (other than jail lol) is that 90% of the time he is trying to do the right thing - even if his methods are wrong. I can see the type of person he is and the man he will become. He has that type of personality that charms people and the compassion that touches people and more importantly - he doesn't sway from who he is. Sometimes he staggers a bit but he always finds his own path. I step back and watch him make his own mistakes, and I know more than he thinks I do. Sometimes he doesn't come to me with the newest problem but for the most part he does. So does he have an obnoxious MYSPACE (actually 3 or 4 of them) yes he does, does he dress in clothes that are too big, sound like he's from my old Brooklyn neighborhood and listen to loud Rap music? Yes he does. But the good things he does and feels outweigh mine or anyone elses personal preferences. I always tell him he can be who he wants to be but he has to learn the meaning of the phrase "Time and a place" The time to act that way is when he is home or with his friends. When he is at work (later of course) and school he needs to act the way "society" demands. Calm, assertive and intelligent. The kid has an IQ over 130 (the lady wouldn't tell me exactly what their IQs were when I had them tested but she gave me a nod when I asked if it was over 130)he is VERY intelligent - but thanks to the Florida school system BS he thinks he is stupid and should just go to work and drop out of school. That's NOT happening. He will finish school and he will go to college. If he were having a hard time and really didn't have the ability to do better I would tell him, finish school through High school then take up a trade, but he CAN do much better and he will - even if it kills me.

14 is the critical age now, more drugs around and drinking, sex, more peer pressure, I remember those days all too well. I feel like I am constantly walking on egg shells. It's so hard to step back and watch him do what I know he is going to and watch him go through heartbreak and fights with his friends but I know I have to. I repeat myself constantly in the hopes that some of it will seep through and we have our talks when he is ready. I don't push because it pushes him away. Sometimes I ask what's up and he will tell me nothing. So I say ok but I'm here if you want to talk. Eventually he will tell me (90%) of the time. For me as a parent, it's not about who is in charge- I'm not on a power trip. We don't wake up mad, whatever is from the day before is done. Of course if he is grounded then he is still grounded but any attitude is gone. It's about what is best for my child, what makes him feel most comfortable and allows for open communication. So today is his 14th birthday. 14 wonderful and sometimes heartbreaking years and I wouldn't trade them for anything. I can't wait to see what the next 14 brings ;) I LOVE YOU CHARLES!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

I made two LO for my son before I have to go. I need to take him shopping lol
This first one I made with Feeling Nostalgic by Ronda. I made the silver frames with a style I made - they are not included in the kit.

This second LO I did using Gail Cooke's Raggedy Ann kit. I love the blue stripes against the red background.

OK I am back - didn't even know I was gone did you? LOL I went and we took Charles to pick out his game then we went and got John from school, went to the doctor's to get our prescriptions, went to the grocey store got one of the prescriptions and stuff for Charles's cake. Chocolate on chocolate of course ;). I am making empenadas, Charles didn't care about dinner this time so he said let John pick - thought that was nice of him. John obviously picked empenadas sot he meat is marinating/cooking now and a little later I will go and put them in their little cases and fry em up and make the rice etc. Gotta get the cake in the oven soon too. ANYWAY here is another LO I did just before I had to leave. I used Debra Anderson's Midnight Wind for this one:

You can find her designs at Go Digital Scrapbooking ;)

Will be back again later lol I hope ;)