Friday Cooper lost his wallet. Again. Last week he lost it and someone was kind enough to make a few phone calls and track him down. It was in the middle of road and someone saw it and picked it up. No such luck this week.
Sunday Aiden got his little thumb impaled by a fish hook well past the barb. Daddy was a hero and got it out with a pair of needle nose pliers but not before As passed out and hit the dirt. His poor little face was a pale, sweaty mess. I hardly flinched. I’m not sure if that indicates a growing ability to differentiate true emergency or just a numbness to my sh17 show.
Monday – still no wallet – I picked Cooper up for a doctor’s visit (his last in his six month recovery from shoulder surgery!). We drove the half hour to the office to discover the appointment was actually scheduled for … Tuesday. Shit. It did give us time to cancel Cooper’s ATM and credit cards and get duplicates to start recreating his still lost wallet.
Tuesday – Jackson forgot his gym clothes for his workout immediately after school … and Coop forgot his lunch. Not a problem! I was headed to pick up Cooper from school to go to his doctor’s appointment (again) and I could easily drop them off at school. When I got to the high school – no clothes for Jack. I flipping forgot them. Coop hopped in the car and informed me his phone was broken. Apparently playing ultimate Frisbee with your phone in your pocket is a good choice. Got to the doctor’s office (all cleared! yay!) and had time to drop the phone by to get it fixed. While maybe I should have made him wait – our life moves to quickly for me not to have communication with him. And God knows what would happen to his Clan if he was out of commission for a few days. Tragedy. The real tragedy was when I breezed back by to pick the phone up an hour and a half after it was scheduled to be done it was still. not. done. It’s okay, I’m always late so at least now I had an excuse to be late to Coop’s 4 o’clock baseball game.
Wednesday – everyone up LATE for school. Barely out the door in time. I sat down to post on my blog and have been locked out for several hours because apparently I am Jackson and not Lara and no device in this house will recognize me. Oh … and the boys’ computer can’t find the Internet.
At least the shower that was leaking from the second story out the garage and the soffit outside is getting fixed – I mean all the slate is pulled off the back of the wall but it’s dry! And I have the paperwork filled out for Eric’s identity theft and our taxes are filed – under our name! Not the asshole who filed his taxes under Eric’s name trying to scam a false refund from the government before I got ours in.
I am so aware that we could be dealing with so many other truly tragic situations. I am so grateful that our biggest problems are lost credit cards and stolen identities and leaky tile and wayward fish hooks. When Aiden had the fish hook in his thumb I had him look me in the eye and I told him what I have told all three of the boys every time we have been confronted with an emergency, “Baby steps. That’s what we are going to do. We are going to take baby steps until the fish hook is out, ok?” He nodded ok and we took our baby steps together until the problem was solved. The problem with my life is that I don’t know where to start my baby steps some days. Those days it feels like the baby steps are huge, gigantic, ominous foot prints I can’t reach.
What I told Coop the other day when we were discussing his habitual wallet losing issue was a lesson I learned in college and can’t seem to continue to keep a handle on. I was working three jobs. Teaching skating before school, classes all morning and worked at the campus television station in the afternoon before heading to teach more skating and then wrap up my day with bar tending until 2. I worked all three jobs most days of the week and after two semesters of running constantly I began to lose things. I began to get sick. I was so tired I called in to work. I missed class and didn’t do well on tests and class work. I began falling apart one overcommitment at a time. I learned then that when I started not showing up where I was supposed to be – that’s when I knew I was doing too much, when life was moving too fast. Coop, he starts losing things. He starts forgetting things. Things become emergencies because he isn’t prepared.
Part of what hurts my heart is that while I am still in the trenches of motherhood and nearly my every action is in some part focused on mothering these boys and being a wife – the mothering that I so enjoyed – the walks in the woods, the picnics in the yard, the fishing at the river, the reading before naps – has drifted past without a word. I do love the organizing and the spectating and I love the conversations we have when we are circled up around the island at 10 o’clock at night for a snack rodeo before bed, discussing our days, the games they played and the stories from school. I love that we are having life discussions and every day I learn something new about them that I treasure. But without ceremony childhood has disappeared in my house and young adulthood has emerged the front runner for time consumption. The task that takes the most of my time is management – motherment.
In managing the house, the groceries, the laundry, the camp schedules and game schedules I have taken on too much and created boys who are less independent than I would like them to be. Don’t get me wrong – they are all doing well in school, they are revered (as far as I can see) by their friends and their teachers and coaches like them. They hold a lot of balls in the air – but I am holding too many things on my plate that were meant to be dished to them. The rest of this week I am focusing on taming the sh17 show! I am going to hand over more responsibility to them – forgotten lunches will mean you are hungry. Forgotten assignments mean it’s a day late and 10% off. No clothes for workouts? I guess you try to do it in your Vans? I know what my motivation is for hogging what’s on the plate – I love to be needed. I love that they ask for my help, I love that in the transition from motherhood to motherment the part of mothering that I cherish the most – being their person – has not completely disappeared. They need me. I still have purpose and focus. I’ve made a mistake and made it about me, my needs and not about what they need to learn and be able to handle. I do not want a tribe of boys who can not take care of themselves and rely on their wives (or me) as adults to balance their check books and fold their laundry. I need to do a better job of showing them what they are capable of – of encouraging them to be their best selves.
Realizing that my soft need to be needed is really a desire to be in their lives, to have them want to be with me, share with me and invite me into their circles is a good place to start. I want independent kids. I want boys who will know how to manage their lives. I also want my sons to call me when they want to talk. Not only because they can’t figure out how to drop a class. And today that starts with not filling out the online form to replace a lost driver’s license.