Posts Tagged ‘growing up’

Number1Son

April 9, 2010

My eldest child is my stepson, superhero name: Number1Son.  I came on the scene when he was 18 months.  He will be 17 this month.  Shortly after Big Daddy and I got married, Number1Son mother decided to move out of the area and take him with her. After that brief stint, he came to live with us. His mother eventually moved back to the area.  She and Big Daddy have shared custody ever since. We see him at family functions and attend his athletic events.

My emotions are mixed about Number1Son.  While I love him, and raised him as if I had given birth to him myself, I’m not sure about liking the person he has chosen to become.  We have always had a love-hate relationship, though he knows through it all that I do love him.  Frequently, due to work schedules, he was left in my care.  I was often left with the responsibility, but not the authority. I taught him how to dress himself, tie his shoes, to read.  I wanted him to be his best, so I pushed him.  But then I got, “You’re too hard on him.”  Expectations were all they were.  Growing up, he often played his parents like fiddles(and still does), never taking responsibility, usually leaving me to be the scapegoat whenever it was convenient.  At one point, difficult  and disappointing though it was, I had to let go.

When high school began for him, he chose to live with his mother full-time.  In our home, everyone has responsibilities.  There are expectations that you will do your best every day at whatever the endeavor, you will participate in the household, including its maintenance and upkeep, and you will be held accountable for your actions, all of them.  He took the easy route instead.

I have always seen glimmers of brilliance in Number1Son, which is the most frustrating thing.  He’s not dumb by any stretch of the imagination.  On the contrary, but rather than think for himself and do his best everyday, he has chosen follow the crowd, to just get by, not realizing that it will bite him in the butt later.  He could lead, but he’s choosing to follow.

I hope that he discovers his own brilliance sooner rather than later.

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Mini-Me….

November 24, 2009

This is Mini-Me(this photo was taken in the UK last year), the second child in the Jenkins Brain Trust.  He was in rare form this morning, which I suspect is from the Thanksgiving dinner at my mother’s house yesterday, which he was ecstatic about. I think he woke with the joyful lingerings of yesterday’s food coma. He’s in a great mood for rising at oh-dark hundred.

First he came out in his gym uniform, which was fine except for my bright orange ankle socks he was sporting, which are definitely not part of the dress code.  “Uh, what’s up with the orange socks?” “I don’t have any clean socks”, he says. I laughed because he had done his laundry.  He disappeared, came back, and then said, “No one has mentioned anything about them so far today, so I think I’m good.”  Hunh??? “Except me, nut! Go change your socks.”

So he changed to white ankle socks.  I had to ask if they were clean.  He smiled a sly grin and replied that they were.  Normally, one would think I wouldn’t have to ask such a question, but after experiencing sheer mortification a few years ago, when Mini yelled across the gym one night after basketball practice that he’d worn the same socks three days in a row, quite pleased with his declaration, I ask. Often.

We brought leftovers home from dinner yesterday and Mini wanted to take them for lunch, so I told him to pack his lunch in his bag. “Mom, they don’t fit?” “What do you mean, they don’t fit?” I turned around from the dining room table to see my son trying to fit a 6-cup container that was half-full with dark chocolate mousse in the bag, on top of a 4-cup container full of mashed sweet potatoes and was about to put in a side of brisket in to round out the meal if he could have jammed it in there.  That’s my boy. After I stopped laughing, “Uh, son, perhaps you should use smaller containers and not try to take meal for a family of six for lunch. Just a thought. “

After we got that sorted, he was sitting in the living room, waiting for his oatmeal to be ready, whistling, whistling, at 6:15 in the morning, and loudly, never mind the three other people sleeping in the house.  Really????!!! “Dude, how about a little louder, I don’t think our neighbors can hear you.”  He flashes me his pearly whites.

He loves to make me laugh by hugging me and shaking my belly, which I remind him often is the fault of he and his sisters.  He gets me this morning and we both burst out laughing. He gives me big hugs and kisses me. So much for being quiet.

Mini-Me is my first true foray into motherhood. I had cared for my younger sister, and taken care of my step-son, but this was truly my first.  I remember the moment when he and I met for the first time.  I mean really met.  The delivery room was quiet.  Everyone had cleared out; no nurses, no doctor, no family (the crowd that had assembled for his arrival had by then dispersed). It was just him and me, staring at one another. It was like nothing I had ever experienced nor ever would again. He is my first.  We smiled at each other.  In love.

Mini will be twelve in a few months, is 5’2″ and 125 lbs. My own personal sumo wrestler.  His voice is starting to change, he has the beginnings of a mustache, and it seems like every time he wakes up he’s taller and his shoulders are a little broader. He has always been an affectionate child and I relish in those moments because I think someday perhaps he’ll be too cool to show me any love.

I take him to the bus stop.  As the bus pulls in, he opens the door and gathers his things. “Love you mom,” as he closes the door.  I roll down my window, “Have a good day.”  He turns to look at me, runs around the front of the truck, puckering up as he rounds the headlight, gets up on his toes, and kisses me, not caring about the other kids watching. “I love you, infinity to the infinitieth power mom!” He turns to get on the bus. I smile.

Pure Joy…..


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