Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Focus on the Positive

Rob is on the cusp of teen hood. And while I don't mind that per se, it sort of keeps reminding me that I have x number of years to "get it right." To somehow impart honesty and a work ethic in this boy that I love so much. I think that when you do older child adoption it is sort of like when I took those compressed high speed courses in college. You could take a semester once a week or cram it in triple speed over 4 wks in the summer. It was exhausting, getting all the info that quickly.

There is so much about Rob that is wonderful. He is sweet, funny, tender with younger children and good with animals. He also has so much to learn and I sometimes feel like there isn't time enough for him to learn what he needs.

Rob has a fascination with fire. Not a huge fascination but it is there. I know that part of that is a boy thing. Chet went through this too. I get that fire is mysterious, that controlling it is compelling and deeply primal. I am more than willing to help my kids make campfires. I actually was a girl scout and can do a one match fire. (yup, I know, bragging!)

I just feel a little freaked when I walk through the kitchen and smell that smell that only hangs in the air after a match has been lit. Or when I find a small packet of matches in his pants pocket when we check them to throw in the wash. (not snooping, don't want to dry another crayon folks!)

On the plus side, he pretty much fessed up on the packet of matches. At least to the where they came from part. A little fudging on how they ended up in his pocket. I told him he had to bring them back to church on Sunday and give them to his teacher and apologize for "accidently" bringing them home. On the lit match front, he didn't admit what he did. But, and this is a huge but for Robbie, he didn't deny it either. Up to now, he has done what they call on some adoption lists "crazy lying." Lying that has no hope of even being remotely plausible. One could hold all the evidence in your hand in front of him and he would still maintain his wildly improbable story. You could give him time to reconsider and he would respond by further embellishing the crazy story. So the lack of denial was a step forward. I didn't give a consequence for the match lighting. I just removed all the matches from the kitchen (sigh). And told him that dying in a fire is a really really crappy way to die. That was probably the mean and petty part. Some shrink will be able to blame me somewhere down the road for imprinting that particular neurosis on my son. Remember how I said I want my kids to find their own phobias? Well I do, except that even more than small places, the thought of being trapped by fire totally wigs me out. K has some past life theories about that (laugh) but all I know is while I enjoy controlled fire, I am a real control freak about it. I am a martinet about fire safety and hyper vigilent with kids around fire. I try to relax but I just can't. So part of me needs for him to get this sometime soon!

The other positive we had was tonight Rob neglected to shower. (something pre-teen boys should not neglect!) When we pointed out that he hadn't been in the bathroom long, he volunteered, yes VOLUNTEERED that he had not showered. Wahoo! When I told him we had just gotten an email inviting him to go to the skate rink and laser tag place with a female friend of his and a few of her other friends tomorrow he didn't balk a bit at returning to the bathroom for a shower. Small steps, it's all about the small steps!

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