Monday, July 23, 2007

A matter of perspective

My fifteen year old, Sasquatch, has been known to drive me crazy. Partly it's his age, but not completely. He's always been a challenging kid. I have been pushed to my limits by him, more times than once. Some of the worst moments of my life have occurred during these times. It has not been all beer and skittles. I guess if you're truthful, parenting is a series of battles - some important, some ridiculous, some funny...and some heartbreaking. Some won...some lost.

Things have been awfully good around here for quite a while. The honeymoon really does continue. He's changing. He's getting more mature, more capable of controlling himself. We're changing. We're realizing that sometimes we have to back off and let him figure it out on his own. It's a work in progress, but aren't all relationships constantly evolving? The ones that endure anyway. And at the end of the day, I look at the kid and see this incredible human being. Yes, he's difficult at times. Yes, he does have a crappy combo of some of our less desirable qualities. Yes, he can make a cement wall look flexible. But he's mine. And even in his worst moments I wouldn't trade him for anything. Even in his worst moments the pros far outweigh the cons.

I had a kid come in by ambulance last week at work. He was in severe abdominal pain. In tears. When I checked his ID bracelet his birthday was almost exactly the same as my fifteen year old's. I had to move his handcuff to check his ID. He was in a juvenile detention facility and came in strapped to the cart by a leather belt and cuffed at the wrists and ankles. Fifteen years old, anger management issues, psych issues. Obviously legal issues. Two guards at his bedside at all times. I don't know what he did or why he was in this facility. I'm not completely sure I want to know, to tell the truth. We got some phone calls from his family while he was there, wanting to know what was going on. It was a local number, yet no one came in to see him. He was really polite to me and very grateful for the treatment he received. We got him fixed up and sent him back to where he came from. Cuffs and straps in place. Guards at his side.

Perspective is an incredible thing.

So is gratitude.


Dumdad said...

My son is 13 and he's asserting himself more and more as only adolescents can. Sometimes surly, sometimes downright rude, sometimes sullen, sometimes overwhelming nice. But I see me in him and remember those days years ago. And, of course, like you with your son, I love him more each day.

And you've just shared the Harry Potter experience with him. My son has just finished the latest book and now it's a matter of who gets to read the book next: my wife or me.

Jen said...

When me and TFYO are butting heads, I sometimes wonder what it will be like ten years from now. The thing is, I know we argue because we are almost identical in our personalities. This is where my husband comes in, always the voice of reason.

Akelamalu said...

13 to 16 was the VERY worst of ages for my two boys. I wonder, even now, how we ever got through it. There again it's only when you meet one worse than you're own you realise yours aint that bad really! You've got to love 'em!

Jo Beaufoix said...

Wow, that must have been really hard to deal with.
I bet you went home and gave your 'Sasquatch'a hug (if he let you).

I'm dreading the teenage years in some ways, but I'm so excited to see who they become too.

Sounds like you're finding a way that works for you all most of the time.

I hope we can do that too.

Mya said...

I'm dreading Sprog's teenage years - both myself and Spouse were terrible adolescents - my Mum has told me on many occasions that what goes around comes around. Eek.

That poor child in the hospital - cuffed and strapped down - the fact that he was polite and responded well to you was probably because you were the only one treating him like a human being. I can't imagine how frightening it must have been for him. There but for the grace of God etc...

Mya x

pursegirl said...

Yeah! We always knew Sasquatch was amazing, and now that he is showing it is wonderful. AS I've lamented to you MANY times, there are so many hard days you think your relationship may never recover. But, the resilency of children, and a mother's heart, is too strong. Man Child is so incredicbly wonderful now, that I can almosts forget the agonizing 13th and 14th year, where he almost died at my hands so many times... We don't have that standing aliby for each other for nothing. Yet, isn't it great that it looks like the MOST difficult times are over. Now for the next two... Boarding school?