Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Parent Trap

Joe-Henry is playing with a friend. They are playing baseball, like they do every time. This friend, who is three years older, is goading Joe-Henry, quietly, like he always does, because he loves it when Joe-Henry screams and yells and I tell him to stop.

It's going to get ugly, because my boy is tired, and has had some candy at the movies. He's bored. And this kid knows EXACTLY which buttons to push.

I am mowing the lawn. The mower stops and I hear Joe-Henry yelling to me from inside the house, "Mom, V just tried to hurt me!". I had seen the boy heading next door moments before, so I head in to check on Joe-Henry. He's crying and yelling at me to go next door and take care of things.

Calm down, I say, tell me what happened. He's yelling, I DID tell you, he tried to hurt me, he said "Oh, you want to get me? I'm not afraid of you!", and he pushed me down and hit me on the head with the ball.

Why, I ask, did he say "you want to get me?", because, he says I accidently threw the batting helmet and it almost hit him. But it was AN ACCIDENT, he screams, knowing he just told me the important part of the story that I need to know.

I know full well the scope and range of my son's anger, and this, I say is where the tantrums stop. He is nine and a half years old. It's time to find a new, better way to deal with being really, really mad.

I told him that I wasn't going next door, that tomorrow HE could talk to his friend. If he wanted, I could talk to him if he comes over again and tell him they can play something other than baseball, and be nice or go home. But this issue was his to resolve, and he'd better wait a day to do it, so that he's calm. He cried and yelled and told me I wasn't doing my job as his mom.

But I am, see? And that's the part that sucks.

What I don't tell him is this: As much as I want to go next door and tell the little shit to stop baiting Joe-Henry until he explodes because he thinks it's funny, and stop coming over here just because you're bored and want to play with my son's stuff, and just because you're big brother picks on you, you don't get to come over here and pass that crap down the line, stay away, you little weasel and quit picking on my son, I don't do that.

I took the Wii away for a day, because he was screaming at me. Someday he'll know that I'm not betraying him, or taking someone else's side, I'm just being HIS mom. Because that IS my job.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Simple Gifts

Sunday morning. Music, NY Times, good coffee.

My camera, the garden the rain.

But mostly this. I'm just so grateful for this.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Song In My Head

This song, which has never been a huge favorite of mine before, has been rambling around in my head the last few days. Maybe it's my new passion for Walt Whitman. Or my past in the performing arts. or that I heart Glee. Or my brain is melting and I can only remember the seventies and eighties, because I keep misplacing my glasses and can't remember where I put that one thing.... whatever it is, now I just can't get enough of this song. I find myself humming it, and going back and digging those great a cappella moment where there are seemingly a hundred harmonies.

I hope you enjoy it. No matter why.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Walt Whitman - Laws for Creations

I have never read Walt Whitman, but I'm going to change that. I have read bits and pieces. But sometimes I think we find what we need when we need it.

Found this today:

LAWS for Creations,
For strong artists and leaders—for fresh broods of teachers, and perfect literats for America,
For noble savans, and coming musicians.

All must have reference to the ensemble of the world, and the compact truth of the world;
And no coward or copyist shall be allowed;
There shall be no subject too pronounced—All works shall illustrate the divine law of indirections;
There they stand—I see them already, each poised and in its place,
Statements, models, censuses, poems, dictionaries, biographies, essays, theories—How complete! How relative and interfused! No one supersedes another;
They do not seem to me like the old specimens,
They seem to me like Nature at last, (America has given birth to them, and I have also;)
They seem to me at last as perfect as the animals, and as the rocks and weeds—fitted to them,
Fitted to the sky, to float with floating clouds—to rustle among the trees with rustling leaves,
To stretch with stretched and level waters, where ships silently sail in the distance.”

What do you suppose Creation is?
What do you suppose will satisfy the Soul, except to walk free, and own no superior?
What do you suppose I would intimate to you in a hundred ways, but that man or woman is as good as God?
And that there is no God any more divine than Yourself?
And that that is what the oldest and newest myths finally mean?
And that you or any one must approach Creations through such laws?