Sunday, July 24, 2011
♫ The Itsy Bitsy Spider ♫
That is the basis for everything isn't it. For how all trouble seems to start. I can remember when I was a teenager. Mostly what I remember is that I was dumb. DUMB. But I thought I knew everything. The problem was, one of my parents really did. Know everything. My Daddy. He knew everything. And do you know why he knew everything? Because he had already done most of it himself. But as teenagers, we always think we're slick. We're doing it first. Doing it better. Had I known that my Daddy was such a renegade when he was growing up, I might have taken him more seriously. But that was one of those things as a parent, that he kept from me. Good strategy. As parents, make em' them you're the dumb ones, it works every time.
I was basically a good girl. I truly was. I'm not saying everyone I dated was the best company I could have kept. But I knew how to separate. I was never a drinker. When I was growing up, my Daddy was an alcoholic. He is now a recovering alcoholic, celebrating 23 years. And I never smoked weed, it just never appealed to me. I think the whole thing for me growing up was about losing control. When you live with someone who is in a constant state of no control, you crave the calmness and the reality of knowing what is going on every minute.
So, what was left for me to do that I had no business? Plenty. I skipped some classes. Never school, because I was Miss Social. I had to go and see everybody. Sometimes I just picked and chose which classes it was necessary for me to see them. I snuck out of my house. To do stupid stuff. Like go to the store up the road with my girlfriend who was staying over. Because we wanted some candy. Yeah. stupid stuff like that. Not coming straight home, but going by my boyfriends house on the way home from school. All silly stupid things, but enough to make my already loose cannon of a Daddy go apesh*t when he found out.
So, I decided to take a different route with my boys. I decided a long time ago to be honest. Tell them things that I had done. Selectively of course. Because I wanted them to know upfront how smart I am. Kind of like when you're in school and the teacher gives you all the answers to the test, you just have to study, but it's so easy, it was handed to you, so you don't. And you fail an open book test. Kind of like, giving somebody a running head start before you take off and catch up with them anyway, tackling them to the ground. Kind of like playing weak, and let them take the first punch, only to come back with a one two punch that knocks them on their feet. Kind of like that. Just to show them who's really the boss.
I have to admit, my oldest son Joshua gave me a run for my money once or twice. He had me at a disadvantage. He had never misbehaved. Never had a spanking. Never made less than an A in school. Never lied. Never lied that I knew of, being the key words here. So I'll admit, he punked me a time or two. Never saw it coming. But once I caught on, once my gut instincts kicked in, he was threw. You hear me, done.
So now I have my youngest son, Zachary. My snake charmer. I'm older. I should be wiser. But he's working me. Do you hear me folks? HE IS WORKING ME. I have to be 'on' every second of every day. That charm of his will knock you off of your feet. Believe me, I have tried to ward it off. I've dabbled myself with the perfume of doubt and deceit. I don't even look into those big brown eyes of his, or I'm sunk before I even get my paddles out. He's a very 'expressive' explainer. You have to listen hard. Don't look. Just listen. I try and approach him as a blind and deaf person would. I listen for the vibration of the words, more than the words themselves. The treble and timber of his voice. I gotta be honest and tell you, sometimes it works, sometimes not. He's good. He's pretty dang good.
As open and honest as I was with them, they have been with me. To an extent. They love telling me what everybody else does. The fibs they tell their folks. The white lies they tell to keep from getting a lecture. So it's only natural to wonder at what point they will begin to use the tactics they have watched. And will their minds surmise, that because they have been so open with me in the past, when or if I will figure out, they have "gone to the other side". And that they are now "fooling" me.
He's sixteen years old. I'm not at all certain how successful I'm going to be. I question my mind. I question my gut. And I certainly question my heart. All teenagers are going to try you. I do not care who they are, I don't care how they were raised, or what parents raised them. It is going to happen. All I hope for, is that the little stuff, will truly stay little and for the most part innocent. And the bigger stuff, that I have the instincts I will need to see it coming.
♫ The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water spout. Down came the rain and washed the spider out. Out came the sun and dried up all the rain, and the itsy bitsy spider climbed up the spout again. ♫
I have no doubt my son will fall down. I have no doubt he is going to skin his proverbial knee. I just want him to hurt as little as possible. Act as wisely as I think I have raised him. And cause me as little worry and sleepless nights as possible. I don't think that's so much to ask. Do you?