Thursday, January 17, 2013
This summer marks the 30th anniversary of my return to church after my prerequisite decade of rejecting it. Again, I'm a PK, we are internally driven to go through that rebellious stage. It's a wonder my parents didn't yawn in my face at my non-uniqueness.
"All those church going people are hypocrites," I then snarkily complained to my parents - as has every other nonchurch-going human being on earth. I'm so unoriginal.
What I eventually learned is that I am a hypocrite too. We are all hypocrites, we've all fallen short, we all sin even in the smallest ways. Duh, Cindy, that's why we need church.
And speaking of brain development, a pretty little girl I knew at church back then with a sweet smile, now a wife and mother, Jessica, had posted on my Facebook wall about how much better it is to wait until a kid is 18 and has more brain maturity before letting them drive.
I say a big ole Amen to that one. I'll use Sabrina as an example this morning, now just weeks before her 18th birthday, just now beginning to drive without me in the car. "Go straight to school and straight back home," I'd barked. I'm sure I came off as over-protective, maybe even mean, but I know what I know, and I want her to be safe here as she's busting at the seams to cut loose.
She's smart enough to know that I have her best interests at heart though, she's at that oh so iffy age, that pre-18 burst of fake grown up feelings from any teenager who is so ill-equipped to be out on their own yet. I've literally begged others of mine to wait, to not move out when I was positive they weren't ready, yet they did so with predictably negative results, that are commonly referred to as natural consequences.
If I praise a kid too much then they become afraid of disappointing me, screaming later at me that I expect them to be perfect when I've clearly demonstrated my lower-than-normal expectations. It's a difficult row to hoe, treading lightly between building up their self-esteem, yet not pushing 'em over the edge accidentally with what they might perceive as demands. It's just weird, lemme tell ya.
I'd mixed up a tall glass of wheat grass, sipping it, not displeased with the taste, but I might be unique in that aspect in that I detest sweet drinks. Drinks should refresh, not put one in a pre-diabetic coma. I also greatly prefer my drinks to be room temperature. Go figure. It's easier to guzzle water that is not icy.
We were up past midnight on a school night last night, as not one, but two teens shared their deep feelings, some anxieties, and fears. We'd been to our Wednesday night church services, me to Big Church for Bible Study, all of them to the youth group where Elizabeth later sent me pictures of their craziness before Pastor Adam began teaching them.
When kids like mine, severely emotionally traumatized, well, when their overly sensitive, overly exposed, super touchy nerves are unexpectedly pierced by words, gestures, or ideas, the counter reactions can be very complex. Adding in the unknown genetic predisposition for depression, or emotional issues, and/or varying degrees of mental health instability, I never know exactly what I'm dealing with each day. I never know what could set them off, I never fully get to the root of some of their very profound fears.
It is crucial that I let them vent. And vent they do.
Thursday is our Dr. Mandy day, our standing appointment that we are no less in need of even though our house is safe and calm. I need to question her, to learn from her, and she always sees whichever kid of mine has requested time with her. I allow the kids to choose. I want to slowly empower each child to take on as much as they see fit, while still living at home, still having me to supervise, and discuss different aspects of each choice.
And then after decades of such unrelenting intensity each and every day I waddle upstairs to my room and watch DVRd shows like HGTV House Hunters where I listen to 20 something year olds whine about kitchens not having granite counter tops as if they've deserved such amenities since they were born?
Lord Have Mercy.
In my own 20s I owned very little, and what I had was scavenged, second hand, rickety, but paid for.
Whatever happened to working one's way up towards owning an improved lifestyle. Doesn't anyone still use cinder blocks and old lumber for their bookshelves? Dang, I'm almost 60 and still doing dishes by hand to avoid having to buy a dishwasher. And we have a boatload of dirty dishes every day.
And a DVR? A luxury of mine, $20 a month extra on my cable bill, I have my own one up in my room and another one downstairs for the kids, who actually all each have a TV in their bedrooms as well. I'd never even have ever learned what a DVR was had Daniel not convinced me to get one, sloooowly explaining its features to someone who used to be a media specialist and used to have a clue.
My brother Gary's best line when Daniel moved into a dorm at UGA in his freshman year, "Cindy's house is gonna all apart without Daniel living there." True words spoken as a fact. Daniel could fix anything. How does a little kid know all that? I'd often ask him. He'd always patiently look at me and not tell me how easy it was for him. "Mom, I just figure stuff out, how it works and all."
Yolie and I were just talking about how neither she nor I have ever had a fuss, a squabble, or any kind of conflict with Daniel. Never. Ever. I doubt that his wife will ever fuss with him either. He's just that kind of a man, and I sure do envy his abilities, his incredibly calm demeanor, and his innate intelligence.
My other married son, Jesse, is very capable, loving, dependable, and is a great husband and father. He's planning a trip down here again in another month or so and I just can't wait, this time Isaiah and Lena are coming also.
Some of my other grown sons are players or scammers, and I pray that someday it'll all turn around for them, so that they too can enjoy wonderful lives.
In the meantime, I found these photos on my phone. Clearly someone was using it.