Monday, April 13, 2015

Swirling This Way and That

Oldest Son at the DMV ... the one in the grey baseball sweatshirt and white socks ... just moments from a life changing moment: the legal right to get behind the wheel of a car.
We are walking beside our teenage boys while standing back at the exact same time. How is this even possible?

The last few weeks seem to be an avalanche of teen life.
  • Oldest Son turned 15 and Youngest Son turned 13
  • Oldest Son showed his kid side by having a rollicking bubble soccer birthday celebration
  • Youngest Son showed his grown up side by choosing a girl/boy fondue birthday dinner party
  • Oldest Son got his Driving Learners Permit by barely passing the test
  • Youngest Son's Bar Mitzvah for early June (2015!)was changed from Israel to Lake Tahoe
  • Oldest Son made choices for sophomore year that make us both proud and anxious for him 
  • Youngest Son has presented us with interactions forcing us to rethink our parenting paradigm; he will ensure we become our best parenting selves for sure
  • Oldest Son has faced some tough decisions and responsibilities square on showing a maturing young man
  • Youngest Son is working with an organizational tutor (other than his mom - go figure) to help him make sense of deadlines, papers, projects gearing up in Middle School
  • Oldest Son is playing baseball
  • Youngest Son is playing select soccer AND lacrosse with the craziness of rescheduled rain outs
  • Oldest Son's mid-trimester comments made us smile because teachers are seeing his intellectual, direct self while also picking up on his humor 
  • Youngest Son is acting in an Upper School play with a lesbian theme (go diversity!)
  • Both boys tried out for the Maccabi Games (think Jewish Junior Olympics); Oldest Son will play 16U baseball and Noah will play 14U soccer 
  • Both boys started with a new Spanish tutor and there seems to be mutual admiration between students and teacher (the boys have worked with an amazing tutor since our return from Mexico to maintain their fluency)
Commuter Husband and I have been recalibrating how we manage all the above and the heightened emotional noise in our life from both the normal teen issues and the new challenges that are real and all around. For example, I attended a disturbing yet enlightening school meeting about teenage addictions to drugs and alcohol. I am still processing that whole topic. At the other end of the spectrum are conversations about colleges and SATs. Fill in the middle with all the other teen topics.

And we have hit a place where being a Commuter Family in two cities is an extra layer of hard.

So I am reading "Yes, Your Teen is Crazy! Loving Your Kid Without Losing Your Mind" by Michael J. Bradley. Books help me. Books are my friends. This Book is changing my parenting approach. It is tough but I am determined. 

This resonated from the Book:
" ... try to become comfortable with a new and uncomfortable parenting concept: Your goal is not to create perfect adolescent behavior. This is not possible, anyway. Your goal is to build unprecedented parenting skills so you can respond with discipline, strength, and love to your kid's imperfect behaviors in order to inoculate him against the greater insanities awaiting him in the world."

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