Saturday, June 18, 2011

My Man-ling

Growing up isn't for sissies.  I remember as a kid being of the whole process.  The idea of becoming a teenager for some reason petrified me. The idea of getting a license to drive gave me nightmares (though I never shared that with my parents).  It was the whole change thing.  We all love predictability to a certain extent, and an order to our little bit of the universe.

Adopted kids are no different except that you times the need for predicatability and the fears by oh, say 100.  Fiona is just now beginning (and the stress is on beginning) to realize that she does not need to worry that our relationship ends because she is over 18.  That kids and their parents continue to be in relationship their whole lives.  Rob has always been deeply afraid of growing up.  For one thing, growing up means making some choices and dealing with the results of those choices.  For another there is implicitly more responsibility.  Factor in abandonment and trauma issues and it makes for murky going.

I would say ages 12 and 13 were high stress years for him on that front. There was a lot of push/pull.  Wanting freedoms and choices. Getting them and blowing it so that he could consequence back to the safety net of younger behavioral expectations.  And I just sort of let him live there till he began to chafe at it around the mid part of last year.  And then I sort of approached it differently.  When I extended his bed hour, it was to be up with me watching a movie together or reading and hanging out together. For some reason there is a huge difference to the expectation that one  can turn out the light in the bedroom responsibly.  Can't quite fathom, but it works.  Picking the movie each week has become a task he loves to be in charge of and it has given insights of growth, interest and maturity into my son that I might not otherwise have noticed.

He is again allowed to go to the park and hang out with friends but I only let it be for an hour at a shot.  More than that seems to lead him down the slippery slope of poor choices.  I have decided that he seems to operate better by building on continued success rather than the cause/effect of natural consequences in this regard.

He has become more able to quietly negotiage for himself with regard to his interests and desires.  That is huge to me. If  you can't let people know what you want, I think you are destined to be less than happy.

And this spring, came the next big growing up thing.  Facial hair!  I mentioned in passing that he might need to start thinking about what kind of razor he wanted and he was not totally horrified.  Not exactly ready to run right out and get anything either, so I just let it ride.  Last night he asked if we were going to the store today to get his razor.  LOL We had the convo on shaving like 6 weeks ago, but apparently he'd been rolling it around in his mind and was now ready.

So today we went and got shaving stuff and set it up and had our getting aquainted with things time.  And me?  I look at this strong handsome  young man and can't wrap my mind around the fact that he used to be younger than KC is now, needing protection and reassurance from a very scary world. I am so proud that he is feeling more capable of dealing with life and exploring all that life has to offer.  That is the greatest gift I could ever hope for.


Sunday Koffron said...

EEEK! I just had the razor and “products” talk with my almost 13 year old. I just opened the cupboard and said when you need them they are in here…did I do it wrong?

Lee said...

Nope, I am SURE you didn't do it wrong! We had some products specifically for AA skin so that Rob won't get "bumps" on his skin when he shaves. And then his post shave product is scented and lord does this boy love to smell! LOL So we had a lesson in how much fragrance was a good thing and how much rendered people unconcious when you entered the room! LOL