29 April 2011

slippery slope

The few nights a week I'm actually home for dinner, I try my hardest to have us all sit at the table and talk while we eat. Last night I was asked if it was okay if the television was on (um, no) or if I was planning to sit at the computer and eat (no again).

The teenager was the last to fill his plate in the kitchen and his brother and I were already seated at the table when he started to walk through the dining room. As I cleared my throat and said "hey, come back here." he complied, but chose to sit in what is typically his father's place at the table. Good enough.

Given the chance, the nine year old will totally monopolize dinner conversation, so typically it's just easier to let him go first and tell us about his day. His enthusiastic report included that both of his loose teeth bled at lunch time and that most of the kids spent quite a bit of time falling while attempting to roller blade in gym. "And I even told (so-and-so) that rollerblading isn't about speed; it's about focus, concentration and balance." Nice, Son.

Getting the fourteen year old to tell us about his day is touch and go. Some nights he's more than willing to spend time with me in the kitchen while I'm making dinner because he has so much to tell me and other nights all I get in response to questions I ask are guttural noises.

Parenting is hard. Parenting a teenager is sometimes impossible. One minute everything is right with the world- the sun is shining, the birds are singing and life couldn't be better. Then in the blink of an eye (and sometimes faster), there's no communication, no more smiling and lots of "I hate you people" eminating from the human who was perfectly pleasant less than five minutes ago. And don't you dare ask if anything's wrong either, unless what you'd like to hear and see is loud sighing, an exasperated 'I don't know' and multiple eyerolls.

Last night, perfectly pleasant. He volunteered that tutoring went well as he'd spent the lunch hour with some fifth-graders teaching trumpet. We talked about how my brother and sister-in-law will be headed to the hospital for Aunt Cassandra to have the new baby next week. He told me that his buddy Noah's girlfriend had broken up with him at lunchtime and that Noah wasn't taking it well, as can be imagined.

Just then, his phone rang and who would it be but the aforementioned buddy, who wanted to know if Matthew had asked for permisson to stay the night over the weekend. He told Noah he hadn't asked yet and then proceeded to ask while Noah was still on the phone. As I told him that I didn't see a problem with it but would need to check with Jon and then we'd let Noah know, Matthew relayed the message and then after a short pause said "I can't, not right now, maybe later. See ya."

When I inquired as to what he'd told Noah he couldn't do, he said "Oh, nothin' " but when I pressed just a smidge harder he said "I told Noah that I couldn't talk to him right now because I'm talking to you. I'll just call him later."

I freakin' love that kid.

*I'm linking up to share my awesome with Momma Made It Look Easy this week.*


Jennifer said...

This gives me hope for when I have a teenager.

Thanks for linking up.

Jeanine Byers Hoag said...

Okay, that brought tears to my eyes there at the end! I can only hope that I will occasionally have moments like that when my own son becomes a teenager.

Followed you here from Momma Made It Look Easy!


Maggie S. said...

Awww. That is so sweet. Don't tell him I said so. We got that here. Flashes of brilliance.

Heather said...

So nice! I think boys can kind of be like that, my daughter not so much!

Stopping by from MMILE

Paulette said...

OMG! That is flippin AWESOME! I am totally scared of my kids becoming teens (1 boy 2 girls)!! Though, my son at 9 is probably a good training ground. He scares me less than the girls.

Excellent post and I am oh so glad I am not the only one attempting to have actual dinner conversations at the table. Hubby's family is much to much eat, be quiet, maybe say a word or two, Thank You God...the end

Visiting from Momma Made It Look Easy

amanda said...

awwww. that's so cool. i know sooner rather than later my kids are going to be teens. that totally freaks me out!! but obviously you're doing it right!!