Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Growing up is painful...

Many years ago, a miracle happened. A baby boy was soon to be born to end our lonely DINK lives and make us parents. Preparing for that day became the grandest undertaking of our lives. Our first baby was to having nothing but the very best we could manage. Shopping for furniture for the nursery was sheer joy. We found the perfect bedroom set and, later, a glider to match. But what theme? Every great baby nursery has a special theme! I spent a lot of time pouring over baby decor websites and other baby gear sources until I found THE theme that spoke to me. Rainbow Fish. It was based on a book (literary theme! Perfection!), it was beautiful shades of blue (baby boy!) and I could get bedding, curtains, and even a wallpaper border to match. No other room in our fairly new house had wallpaper (that is VERY hard work to install) but this room was special. Everything had to be perfect.

The husband loves colorful tropical fish and was pretty easy to convince. It's a border. How hard could that be? But just a border... no. I wanted the room to have a tranquil under-sea fantasy feel. From the border down had to feel like the bottom of the ocean. Above the border... initially I thought a pale blue sky with painted puffy white clouds. We had to paint the walls some color. Flat builder's white wasn't going to cut it. Eventually we came to our senses (and our artistic limitations) and went with beige. That was the sand on the shore! Get it? Just go with me on this.

It came together beautifully. You can see for yourself below.



The wallpaper on the lower half was a watercolor stripe with bubbles. We were so proud of our efforts. It was backbreaking work.

And our baby boy LOVED it. He loved it so much that, 13 years later when I asked our newly minted teenager if he was ready for a change to a more adult theme, he flat out told us NO. No one was touching his room.

OK then!  Fast forward 2 years and, in the middle of a late night argument, the no-longer-newly-minted-teen angrily complained he couldn't have friends over because his room was "embarrassing". *sigh* But you said...just a little while ago...has it been 2 whole years? OK! So what do you want instead? He had no idea. Just not sweet or tranquil.

The problem from then on was finding a time when A) the daddy wasn't busy with work, B) the teen wouldn't be home for many hours, C) the energy to rip out all that wallpaper.  Those 3 things converging, well, that doesn't happen very often. Until today.

The teen is at football camp all day. The dad was recently laid off and has had time to rest up since school has ended for the summer. So! He and the younger son have been working hard since mid-morning (it is now mid-afternoon) to strip off all that pretty paper.

We still have no idea what will be put on the walls to cover the shredded drywall, but...maybe the teen will like the look of plain shredded drywall. You never can tell.

Meanwhile, I am quietly mourning the loss of that beautiful, tranquil room. It was easily the best room in the house. *sniffles*  So painful.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

It's a big one!

Anniversary, that is. I've spent 25 years married to the man of my dreams. We've been together as a couple for half my life. I've spent more time with him than I did living at home with my parents. That's so weird to think about! At this stage of life we have settled into a very comfortable camaraderie and focus most of our energy on the boys. (They take a LOT of energy.) I do sit back and think about just "us" now and then. We don't ever go out on our own. No date nights. No trips without the kids. Yes, we probably should do that. I feel the need pretty strongly at times to just be alone with my guy. We are best friends and parent well together but I miss some of the intimacy we've lost over the years.  Spontaneous weekend trips to romantic destinations, just us and fun. I miss that a lot.

Sadly, after 31 years, my husband's company decided to chuck him out (along with a large amount of other "surplus" employees.) Any of my plans to run away with my guy will have to wait a while, I guess. But I still want to. The desire to whisk him away and do very naughty things together is a good sign, I think. Life is routine and stressful, but somewhere, sometime, it will just be the two of us and I hope we get that chance to just be "us" again.

I love you, baby!

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Football Dreams

Potentially momentous things have been happening lately. A previous attempt to join the high school football team was stymied by too many failing grades. Ty was crushed, but not defeated. I've never seen Tyler work so hard for something in his life. No, he hasn't turned into the perfect A student. He still won't do homework most of the time. But he IS trying. He has managed to raise some of his grades. Will it be enough? We aren't sure. But he has been working out with the team, working out at home with his home gym, going to practices, and following this weird diet to cut fat and muscle up. He still sees "man boobs and fat" when he looks at himself in the mirror. I see a Greek god. The boy is ripped!

Yesterday he was issued footballs pads and gear by the team. A good sign, I think. What I wasn't prepared for was seeing him walk into the room, wearing just his gear and pads. I welled up with tears! He isn't a boy anymore. He looks like a professional football player. It was startling, a little scary and awe inspiring.

I want to support his football aspirations. I want to be there for his games. But we need to work on our mother/son relationship. He chose, about a year ago, to direct all his anger and frustration over school and anything else wrong in his life at me. Everything is my fault, apparently. He told me I was no longer his mother (he fired me) and he wasn't going to speak to me ever again. And many other more horrible things. I was left shocked and reeling. And yes, he is THAT stubborn and has pretty much stuck to his threat to cut me out of his life entirely.

I've sat here helplessly trying to work some mom magic by continuing to quietly provide him with things he needs, support him when he isn't looking, and keep out of his way. When he's angry about something, the "never speak to you again" rule gets tossed out in favor of venting at me and trying to start a fight. He likes to take a far right political stance and goad me about our current president. *sigh* If being a punching bag and stress reliever is my only role, then so be it. At least I am helping in some small way.

I could use some wisdom on how to repair our relationship. He says he won't even consider respecting me until I've lost weight, dismantled my home office here in the family room (where it has been since long before he was born) and disappearing from his sight. Leaving the family or dying would also be good.

I plan to talk with his therapist and see if he can help. This has gone on too long. A year. A whole year of not being allowed to be his mother. No one told me being a parent would get THIS hard.

Meanwhile, I really hope and pray he makes the team. He looks like a football player. I just wish I could get a photo of him in his gear. Not being allowed to photograph him breaks my heart the most.