Here I sit at the computer with SportsCenter in the background-the 49ers just eeked out an amazing win over Seattle and I'm pretty hyped about it...), feeling a bit write-y. I got a lot in my head, and tons of peace, as our night changed from "busy family fun then hurry home to get ready for tomorrow" to "chill while cramming leftovers into our faces". You see, my dad caught the flu, which meant that we weren't going there for dinner, and tomorrow is a bit iffy for my parents-it all depends on how he feels in the morning. Which is good because I want him well, and no one in my immediate family wants his germs, so it puts things up in the air a bit. Of course, it all doesn't really matter. We will have just as much fun Monday at their place, or Tuesday. We will do a re-do. It just spreads Christmas out longer, which could never be bad, right?
All this reminds me of a "First World Problems" card I made on Someecards. You know, "First World Problems"? Where we all gripe about how much it sucks to be us, while 95% of the rest of the world lives in poverty we can't even imagine? No? Well, go here for a quick sec. I'll wait. I made up some of my own. I will share my card, because after all, it's the season of giving. And virtual cards are free. Merry Christmas, a day early. Now, you don't have to argue with your significant other over whether to open a gift tonight, or save it all for tomorrow. You're welcome.
I have another gift for you, too! See, I'm such a giver. Go check out Pregnant Chicken. She has a great collection of crazed Santa photos.
Now that you're back, I will get to the point of the post. See, I CAN get back on track. But first, another sidetrack.
Monkey Boy is out (I will get to that in a minute, because that was the original reason for this post--I'm easily distracted.)
Sky King has gone to fetch our nephew, who will be spending the night with us. Princess went along for the ride, most likely to show everyone the gaping bloody hole where her molar used to be. She used to be squeamish about loose teeth, but has recently grown up a bit, leaving a hole in my heart, and in her mouth as well. So the Tooth Fairy needs to visit, along with the fat man in the red suit.
Princess had been running around, showing her twisted mess of a tooth to Uncle M, trying to make Uncle M vomit. Now, the tooth is gone, and that fairy better deliver. I'm not sure what she is more excited for-the $2, or the loot from Santa. All in all, I think she's owed, since she barfed her way through last Christmas, waking up every 3 hours so disoriented we kept showing her her gifts and it was new to her each and every time.
Back to MB. (See? Amazing, right? Didn't think it would happen, did you? HA!) A few days ago, he told me he wanted to have dinner at a girl's house. Not just any girl, mind you, but THE girl. Her fake blog name is Eloise, because it's my blog, and I get to name people around here. So, he and Eloise text all the time. ALL. THE. TIME. They are young-he's 12 and she is turning 14 today. So it's that first true serious crush. Unless you count Ramona, a while back (7, 8,weeks? Gosh, time flies when it comes to young love...). That was only a short while ago, and within a week, his thumbs had moved on to another number.
I figured this one was a bit more serious-but Christmas Eve for dinner? Really? Then I find out it's her birthday, and they do this every year, have a big family dinner for her. This year, she wanted to include some friends-a girl and two boys. Wow. I relent, with some apprehension. MB doesn't know, but I'm really wanting to pull the "family holidays should be together every goddamn minute" card. But I don't. I know this girl is special. So the dinner is special to him. I've been there. He's at an age where I remember what I did, how I felt, what decisions I made. And I know this is important to him.
Then began the concept of a birthday gift. He had money, and bummed a bit more from me. A budget of $37. Serious business for a 12 year old, right? He went out with Uncle M, and they came home with....are you ready for this?
Cuz I'm not.
Seriously, this shit is freaking me out.
They came home with this:
Yes. That is jewelry. Specifically, a silver snowflake necklace, complete with diamond shards. No CZ for his lady. Nope. It was going to be a locket, but I think Uncle M helped him understand the inherent significance of lockets, and deemed them a tad too much. Frankly, I would have been much happier with a basket of Bath 'n Body Works crap. Or a new pair of toe socks. But jewelry? :::Gulp:::
To top it off, he wrapped it quite carefully, complete with a fancy ribbon and bow-he takes great care in things that mean a lot to him. Most people would not know that about him-only a handful of people do. I do.
And he showered for this girl. But wait, it gets better. He stressed over a clean shirt, and put product in his hair. Product! Then, called me to the bathroom to help him.
It doesn't help that I got my BA in Child Development. I eat, sleep and drink ages and stages. And one of the things that stands clear in my head is this: from 0-8 yrs, the biggest influence in a child's life is his/her parents. Then, the peers begin to add their two cents. Then comes puberty. Pretty much if your kid is a train wreck at 8, you're screwed. The majority of your influence is done, gone, sailed.
From the beginning of adolescence (age 12), a child is truly beginning to figure out who he is in the world, establish his identity. This is all provided that the child has successfully gone through the other stages. i can't make this shit up if I tried, it's right there. Think back to your adolescence-middle school. Pretty fucking seriously important, right? And here is my boy, primping for a girl, spritzed with Usher cologne, skipping Christmas Eve to be with her-bitching at me to hurry so he's not late. And I'm choked up. He's growing up, moving further and further from me, from his dad. He's my firstborn, my baby. We have a special bond. I know, so do you, with your kids. But remember, this is about me. And we are tight. I get him-I know him. When he says a tiny little sentence, I hear volumes. And, I'm losing him. To a sweet little (hell, she's my size...) green eyed girl from school.
I'm not sure what these changes will bring. Stress, sure. Head-banging, hair pulling. Yes sirree. And at the end of it all, I hope to have a thoughtful, sweet, responsible young man. (I'll settle for 2 out of 3 though.) And I'm verklempt about the whole thing. But I have to smile through it, enjoying the fact that he is growing up, experiencing all that life has to offer-infatuation, strong emotions, heartache. All I get to do is watch. And offer a shoulder, some advice. And a ride. Cash too, I'm sure.
She better be worth it.