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Archive for the ‘Boys Growing Up’ Category

There are times I want to be a fly on the wall in my kids’ lives. There used to be a time I wanted them to tell me everything.

School/work, friends, lunch, dreams, fears, beliefs, challenges, over-coming moments.

Encouraging dinner-table discussions, car-ride rhetoric of whys and hows – teaching my children as we come, go, sit and stand.

The communication-door-is-always-open approach.

My definition of everything has expanded. With that expansion has come the realization that I don’t want to know everything. My expectations of everything apparently have limitations.

There are some things a mom does not need to know. I never thought I would say that.

Until my son came home with a plate of scones one day – and declared them. . . . better than mine.

The grasshopper(yes, the grasshopper again) telling the teacher “I have out-done you.”

I stood there, on the other side of the counter, watching my son come in, from the outside coming in, with a plate of berry-something scones that he had baked with his then lovely-fiance-now-wife.

Maybe I need to establish our baking history. In 3rd grade, my boys learn to make box brownies. In 5th grade, my boys learn to make cakes from scratch. In 6th grade, this son made a better homemade lemon meringue pie than I could. I told him so. No ego problems there. Just a lot of mama pride.

This was different, though. Healthy communication boundaries respects, waits to be told by the teacher, “You have outdone the master (chef, teacher, do-er of laundry, healer of boo-boos, bed-time storyteller extrodinaire, stealth prayer-mama).

But grasshoppers  are jumpy things, catapuling – which is why they tend to get run over in roadways. A grasshopper can jump 10x its length – so it can really get ahead of itself.

According to the article “The Grasshopper’s Hop, “the grasshopper’s jumping muscles may lead to an effective insecticide.”

That day, standing on the other side of the counter, as he presented me with a plate of scones, I realized that if I had not unconditional love in my heart, that this young grasshopper might have jumped into a life-threatening situation.

Some days I wished we’d taught, “Children should be seen and not heard” but that was not our parenting-heart.
 
Our heart was to teach them independence, reasons for their beliefs, thinkology, how to seek God so they could seek Him on their own, how to pass down our traditions and make new ones, how to communicate fluently, to grab thoughts from the recesses of their minds, study them and express them.
 
My  heart still says, “Come on in, son, pull up a stool and tell me about your life.”
 
But as they get older, some things are better left between them and God. Some things are better left unsaid, like “My scones are better than yours.”
 
“I love you,” though, is always healthy boundary communication. “I love you,” is a Hail Mary Pass in a communication challenge. 
 
Because I love my sons, they can say things they shouldn’t.  Even saying their scones are better than mine. It’s just hard to swallow sometimes. 
 
Note to those whose children are not teens yet: You might not be ready for this message. You might not be able to fathom ever having even a whiff of the thought to not want to hear “everything:” You might even be birthing the thought,“I’ll never think like that.” All I can say is“I was once there, too – before I had older teens to college student children.” Everything changes as they grapple with growing into adulthood, especially communication boundaries. 
  •  Blue Cotton Mom’s Scrumptious Scones Recipe: Click Here 

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Before Christmas, I bought a new quilt for my bed. Depending on my mood, it can be found either folded over the foot of the bed atop a white coverlet like the one in the picture. Right now my white coverlet is folded away in the closet. Regardless of which blanket is the main blanket, my original quilt – one about 11 years old, is not far away – either folded over the foot of my bed or on my settee.

The old quilt has history.  Snugglebuggles when all the boys would end up in our room, the biggest one wrapped in the Blue Cotton Blanket on the floor, and, depending on who wandered in during the night, one or all of the other 4. Climbing under the Green Cotton Blanket was synonymous with comfort, warmth, giggles, good-night books, a safe haven during a blustery thunderstorm, funny sounds in the night, a healing cocoon when sickness struck – and mom.

I guess they spent nine months in me – and the closest they could get to mama after those nine months was being wrapped up in the Green Cotton Blanket.

I’ve knitted blankets they love, bought little boy bedroom blankets, and Nanny quilted blankets for each son.  But none are filled with the Green Cotton Blanket Magic.

The surest sign they are growing up is when they stop wandering in for snuggles under the Green Cotton Blanket.  That is as it should be.  However, they’ve never tried to steal it. . . until a few weeks ago. Why should I be surprised, though?  One son stole the Blue Cotton Blanket; apparently, it is in the genes.

There, so innocently, folded over my bed, just waiting to be used – The Green Cotton Blanket.

The littlest guy, pictured below all snuggled up in blankets in his carrier, was he headed for a life of blanket theft even then?  In the background, you can see the green cotton blanket. Was the pull of the blanket just too much?  And he broke? Temptation is they name. . . Green Cotton Blanket?

Those same words from almost 22 years ago, the same facial expressions, just a different little boy, the littlest boy.  As his fingertips pulled at the blanket, he flashed a guilty smile full of bravado, “I’ll just take this.  You don’t really need it.”

“But what about if I take a nap? I’ll still need it?”

“How ’bout I get it at night, and you can have it in the daytime?” he countered as he darted out of the room, his body shielding me from the Green Cotton Blanket – as though I were the threat.

I stood there amused because the situation was so familiar to my heart.  And so bemused because I was out another blanket – one I really like snuggling with for myself.  We went back and forth for a few days.  He would trot to the bathroom; I would sneak in to steal it back. But I knew it was a lost cause. Because when you get too old to snuggle with mama, well, you really still do want to but you’re just too old, so the next best thing is the snuggle blanket. It is not a total snuggle-free zone yet, but I see the writing on the wall! Or the message in the blanket.

I just somehow feel like I’ve lost more than a Green Cotton Blanket!

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