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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Perspective

Getting away from the reality of your life is a wonderful thing.  It can be really difficult to pull yourself away when your children are holding on to you for dear life.  I feel so responsible for their happiness and in this case...a lack thereof.  I get lost in it...sometimes to the point where I feel like I'm drowning.  It's just not healthy.  My positive energy just melts away, leaving me depleted, angry and sometimes even resentful.

I find that as the boys get older in some ways, they require more of me.  I didn't think it was supposed to work this way.  You think typically...older means MORE independent.  Even though Red is 16 years-old, he requires the most, at least emotionally.  I am his safe haven.  I am the person in the world who understands him most.  Why would he want to let go of his safety net?

Well this weekend, I put on my oxygen mask first and drove away to Houston to meet my new baby/nephew/godchild.  Just being in the presence of new life gives you such wonderful perspective and simple pleasure.  There is something about the essence of a new life that is so pure...it just makes you feel good.  Their sweet cuddles make you forget about the pain they will inevitably cause you when they become terrible 2 toddlers, pain-in-the-butt teens, and young adults who don't have the time of day for the mother who raised them.  (Yes...I am talking about the prodigal 23 yr-old son).  Since I will never have the pleasure of having another baby...my very gracious friend indulges me by sharing her wonderful babies with me.

We mostly just sit around enjoying watching baby C. sleep, eat, and poop for 2 days. I also enjoyed coddling and spoiling my 2 year-old niece.  We ate good food, drank good wine watched movies and played with my babies.  Baby C's personality seems very calm and introspective.  As I watch him I wonder what his personality will actually be.  His sister is a complete bundle of energy and entertainment.  She's talking up a storm, often uttering her favorite word that she says in the sweetest voice, "no."

My boys do miss me, of course.  Before I left, Red announces that he is giving up on his hobby of flying via Flight Simulator in order to focus on his video editing business.  I tell him he can do both,  but he seems to be an all or nothing kind of guy.
Subsequently, he spends most of the weekend claiming boredom.  He does not actually work on any videos.  Instead, he spends a great deal of time and energy complaining about one thing or another.  What he wants is attention...and he will get it one way or another whether it's positive or negative.  Whatever positive attention he receives while I am away...is not enough.  The good things his father does with him have a short shelf life.

Lately, he doesn't do well with unstructured time here at home.  He feels like he has to be entertained in some way...that is, when he's not on his computer.  If not, he wants to talk non-stop about a subject of interest or about something he wants to do or buy.  He can talk himself into a stupor, when the answer to his request is not what he wants to hear, or if you just disagree with him or try to redirect him to do something that will change his negative thought pattern.  This eventually turns into a miniature meltdown, which he apologizes for an hour later.  It's big fun!

He finally admits on Sunday that he just misses me and is mad because I am away.   This combined with his selective boredom presents quite a challenge for Dad.  Do I feel any guilt about this? Maybe a tinge.  But the bottom line is for MY sanity, I need time to decompress...to just think...to just be, without my every thought being interrupted...especially by negativity.  Dad gets this on a regular basis when he travels for business.  He doesn't want to count it as "peace" time, but the bottom line is that he closes the door to a hotel room at night and doesn't have to listen to any crazy talk for hours on end.  I don't care if he is working.  It's still a break from the insanity.

When I get home Monday afternoon...I'm not in the door ten minutes before he is all over me, like white on rice! Dad goes off to watch Monday Night Football while I deal with it. Luckily, I have tequila in the house.