The Boy Who Lives In My House

December 9, 2013 — 49 Comments

mother son

The Boy Who Lives In My House is sitting next to me.

Annoying the hell out of me. Butting into my blogosphere.

“Read me A Clown On Fire!! Does he say “balls” today?

Read me Madame Weebles!! The one where she talks about the Internet.

Read me Jen and Tonic!! The one where she farts in her trainer’s face.

Read me Busted Flip Flops!! The one where she sees the school bully.”

*sigh* They’ll be no writing today.

 

The Boy Who Lives In My House started a blog.  He’s  written one entry:

October 4, 2013.

“I woke up. Had breakfast. Went to school. Had a Spanish test.

At lunch, I told dead baby jokes. Brendan laughed and water came out of his nose. After school, I had my snack.

I did my homework. Mom went to work and Alison took me to karate.

Childhood is a journey, not a race.”

 

The Boy Who Lives in My House is defiant. Argumentative. Inflexible.. Draining.

He talks incessantly. My ears bleed.

I question my abilities as a parent. Am I enough to handle his special needs?

The Boy Who Lives In My House is loving. Loyal. Generous. Joyful.

He is insightful. He is pure.  He believes in the infinite possibility of everything.

 

The Boy Who Lives In My House is the most honest person I know.

A quality I cherish in him. The reason I would rather be around him than most adults.

I have days of indescribable joy with him. Sprawled in the new reclining seats at the movies. Gorging on popcorn and candy.  Then, an arcade. I used to take him down at air hockey – no more. Home, to a long bike ride. Out to dinner. Tuck him in. “I love you infinity, mama.” Bliss.

The Boy Who Lives In My House has no filter. Like Mama, like Son.

His honesty can be of a merciless, take no prisoners, quality.

His favorite way to begin one of his astonishingly honest yet brutal observations is, “No offense, but…

And then he kills me softly with his words.

-Last summer vacation on the beach. I’m in a bikini, insecure as I am, cause what the hell do I go to the gym for ?

“No offense but – your biceps look good, but the back of your legs? They REALLY need some work.”

Well, fuck you very much! When I was pregnant with you, I blew up like Shamu at Sea World! Yeah, I work out, but nothing firms up the connective tissue in my hamstrings, you little shit!

-I tell him I’m the coolest mom around.

No offense, but around here, that’s not saying much.”

Simultaneously slicing me and the spiritual suburban wasteland we live in at the same time. A Double! Such an economy of words!

 

The Boy Who Lives In My House has had to forge friendships all on his own.  He’s done okay. But he’s not fully part of any “besties” clique that he yearns for, the ones that are engineered by the stay at home moms.

I loathe this dynamic. I have failed him in this respect.

But ultimately, The Boy Who Lives In My House will be a better man for this.  He just doesn’t know it yet.

 

The Boy Who Lives In My House is brilliant.  As in, staggering 99th percentile intelligence.

Uses words like “iconoclast” and “obsequious.”

Loves to be quizzed in spelling, on words like “anesthesiologist.”  Which most anesthesiologists can’t spell.

Upon viewing a commercial, demanded to know what “transvaginal mesh failure” was. Tells me, “it’s just another thing you don’t think I’m old enough to handle. Fine. I’ll just look it up on the computer.” He did.

Came home from sleep away camp sporting a black moustache AND blue painted fingernails. Claimed he was a having a “transgender identity crisis.”

The hardest thing about raising a child to be appropriate? When it’s something you’ve never mastered.

 

The boy is frequently inappropriate. Has recently been introduced to Dick Hurtz. Dick Gazinya. Tells me he is growing hair on his ball sack. He is 10 years old.

The Boy Who Lives In My House is hilarious.  Snappy come backs constantly. Where did he learn that from? His humor is often inappropriate.

His dad tells us about a friend who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Was given only a year and a half to live.

The Boy Who Lives In My House says,

“Dad, he weighs 350 pounds! He was going to be dead in 6 months anyway! The doctors just gave him an extension.’

And I try  not to laugh; I do! But he is just so damn funny it’s near impossible.

 

The Boy Who Lives In My House is on to me.  Knows that disciplines which take away his possessions and activities are more a punishment for me than him.

I threaten to take away his IPod touch; his Rick Riordan books; computer time. He rolls his eyes and said “Why don’t you take away my flying unicorn, too?”

 

The Boy Who Lives in my House has been diagnosed with lots and lots of letters. ADHD. ODD. SPD. Doctors have been pulling out their prescription pads for him since he was three years old.

But I have not filled them. While a psychotropic cocktail will make him easier to deal with, it may dull his brilliance.  I won’t have it. Not yet.

So I worry – every minute, that The Boy Who Lives In My House will crash and burn.  He has zero coping skills. Low frustration tolerance. A million thoughts bombarding his brain every minute.  He cannot manage them.

I have not figured out the answers. I pray that I will find The Boy Who Lives In My House the right support. That he will grow into a fine young man. I see the signs of it already. He is soulful. Compassionate. Sensitive and kind.

His prodigious love for me, for everyone he loves, is untainted by the pain and rejection that comes with age. His mind is unencumbered by limitations.

As brilliant as he is, he is too young to know that he is this rare and magnificent thing – straightforward and true. And that he is the walking embodiment of innocence.

By the time he understands the meaning of the word “innocence,” he will have lost his.

 

The Boy Who Lives In My House is growing up too fast. Every time we hold hands, I wonder if it will be the last.

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49 responses to The Boy Who Lives In My House

  1. 

    I love your words! Your words are deeper than they appear..

  2. 

    I feel embarrassed that a 10-year-old uses words I’ve never even heard of before. Excellent writing, my ADD didn’t kick in until after I was finished. 😉 (I don’t really have ADD, but I do have an amazingly short attention span.)

    • 

      I so appreciate that you’ve taken the time to stop by, to read, and to comment. This is what I love about the community here.

      My kid reads voraciously, which I think gives him access to those words. Plus, his mama’s kind of a tiger mom, as far as school and education go, so there’s that…

  3. 

    What can you do about the non-stop talking? I’ve got one too. You don’t want to stifle them but, Christ, sometimes it’s all a bit too much. 10 is kind of a magical year. It’s all fun and games, really, until about 16. Then it gets real interesting. All kids have that wonderful innocence. It’s sad to know that life will yank it out of them. You can’t really do anything about it. It’s part of the human condition.

    • 

      It’s gotten to the point where I just have to ask him to stop. I tell him, “Little Dude, seriously, you’re killing me.” When he was little, I used to have “quiet contests.” But he’s on to that now. He’s better when we spend the day outside the house. A day with him is great fun – shit, did I put that in the post? I need to go back and edit it.

      I’ve heard I have 2 years left where he’ll still cuddle with me. And want to hang out with me. So I’m enjoying every second. Every second, I tell you.

      • 

        Oh please! They can see right THROUGH “quiet contests.” It’s oldest trick in the book. My daughter would sit silently for about :20 seconds, say “you win,” and carry on her stream-of-conscious monologue.

        My father was an idiot. He missed out on the satisfying part. All he did was grumble and complain. No, it’s not always easy, but it’s a testament to your abilities as a parent that you know enough to embrace it while it lasts. I just did a post about taking my daughters into Chelsea to gallery hop. It’s an afternoon I’ll never forget and I don’t think they will, either. I can’t recall one afternoon like that with my pop. Not ONE.

      • 

        ooh ooh ooh, a “mark” fix. But I have to work!! you tease!!
        I’ll be by later to read. You, your daughters, New York, the Chelsea section of New York no less, and art? Too delicious to miss.

  4. 

    Beautiful, Samara! Sounds like you’ve got that extra special mother son bond.

  5. 

    I can relate to this mother-son bond so well. I always ask mine, “When you get to be 16 will you still talk to me?” He tells me, “Of course, Mom.” And I hope with everything that he will.
    I love this story, the realness of it, the love, the worry, the surrender, the humor. You tell a story so well. And while I read it over coffee this morning I actually began crying. To think your son requested to read my post about the bully? I am honored and taken back.

    How wonderful that you and Little Dude can explore and experience this blogging world together. I remember helping my mom with artwork she would bring home from work (she worked at an elementary school). It was special to join in on her passion, especially since she burned all her old paintings in a fireplace when she was in college because of something an asshole professor said.

    Thank you for sharing this story. And if it makes you feel any better, after playfully whacking me on the arse yesterday my son asked, “Why does your butt keep jiggling after I’ve slapped it?”

    • 

      My son LOVES your blog. Especially that post, but others. True story.

      Little Dude pushed his way in to the blogging world, and I just surrendered. It’s easier to let him be a part of it. But I have to monitor it very carefully. He is not allowed to look at the screen. Only listen. That’s THE RULE.

      I’m glad you were touched. The mother son connection is so powerful, isn’t it? I ask him the same thing. “Will you still like me when you’re a teenager?” He always says yes, but I doubt it. That’s okay. He’ll come around, later on. Both our sons will.

  6. 

    My son has some of those letters– ADHD and ODD. But instead of SPD, it’s a-u-t-i-s-m. He’s incredibly draining. But he’s still 6 at the moment. And I love him fiercely.

    My daughter is a little closer to the age of The Boy Who Lives In Your House. She’s 11. She loves fart humor. She has the letters ADD (no H, I assure), like her mom. Does stuff that reminds me of her mom. And me. Positively obsessed with all things anime and Minecraft. She’s my right-hand girl.

    Both of them are wicked smart, but, I can’t be the parent that says, “Lookit how smart my kids are! Blah blah smarty-pants hipster stuff!” No, I’m the parent that hangs his head and says, “My kids are too smart for their own good… they are constantly thinking of new ways to drive their parents and each other crazy.”

    • 

      You have to be part angel to parent a child with autism fiercely and magnificently. God bless you.

      I never talk about my son’s intelligence. EVER. I do it here, on WP. But out in the world – NEVER. People post their kids report cards on facebook, brag that their kids are in gifted programs, all that shit. I refuse to do it. And Little Dude has been trained not to BRAG about that shit either.

      But I can say it here.

      And yes, his intelligence makes him able to do shit no kid would think of.

      After watching “Home Alone”, he fucking BOOBY TRAPPED MY STAIRS and I woke up in the morning and tripped, roll and fell over a complex series of snares he’d set.

      He was 5, the little fucker. hahahahahaha

      • 

        I shouldn’t be laughing… but then, I’d probably be doing a really bad impression of Bill Clinton saying “I feel your pain”, and sounding really creepy to boot. Your Little Dude cracks me (err, us, Cimmy read your comment and your post) up!

        My daughter was in a gifted program. But her 5th grade teacher last year tried to break her. We don’t like to talk about that, her teacher’s obstinateness and all that crap.

        Both the kids are on meds, but it was a hard HARD decision. Princess had a med break, but decided on her own that she needed to resume them, especially after getting into trouble about spacing out over something at school (and it looked like cheating). Cimmy refuses to give her them on the weekends– for reasons much similar to yours. Boy… not so much.

        Meds are a hard thing. I take them… Cimmy prefers to be med-free (she has ADD, too). It’s a tough choice with difficult choices either way. I respect those that make both choices.

      • 

        I’m not opposed to them. If it comes to a point where his schoolwork is suffering, then his dad and I will discuss it. For now, we’ve held off. I have considered it many times; it would really help me deal with him, and might help him with his own coping skills. We opt for cognitive behavioral therapy instead, and lots of structure. Exercise. Martial arts. Healthy food. Etc etc

        I just want to give him the chance to experience all great stuff that comes out of his brain, and the doctors say that the drugs might alter this. When it gets to the point where Little Dude is doing poorly in school, then meds will probably become part of the picture. .

      • 

        Fair enough– that was the main reason why we started Boy, because his teacher was genuinely concerned symptomatic behavior was impeding his progress. My daughter decided in detention she wanted to resume her meds. She had missed something the teacher said and inadvertently did something that looked like cheating. (The teacher was really understanding, though, once I e-mailed her with info on what was going on. Daughter is at a great middle school; I couldn’t be happier.)

        I appreciate your clarification. All save Boy remember *very well* how messed up I got on some of my psych meds. No way in hell I want them to go through that if I can help it!

  7. 

    I’m sure you’ve heard this saying before, or some variation of it, “Life gives us only what we can handle.” The Queen and I usually smirk when we hear it, because how can the person uttering it possibly know what we are going through… but, then, somehow we always do find the strength, the patience, the perseverance to continue on. We make it through one challenge and find another waiting on the other side, and this is how we make our way through our lives.

    I don’t long for that youthful innocence anymore. I long to live in a world where I have the knowledge I’ve gained from experience and can see the world as I want to, without being battered by social norms, by media blitzes, by cliques and conformity.

    I’m not sure any of that made sense, or was on point. But, it would seem that you have this parenting thing figured out, as much as any of us ever can. You are doing your best. You are raising him into a fine person, however he wants to define himself when he is ready. 😉

  8. 

    “…but the back of your legs? They REALLY need some work.” — why you little! Haha – oh man, he sounds like a brilliant, wonderful, energy-draining, exhausting, stimulating, challenging and amazing handful. You’ve clearly got your work cut out for you with that great kid — the best and the worst, the joy and the terror – all rolled into one awesome package. I find its the best I can do to try and keep up with mine – love ’em, try to keep them safe and give them every opportunity I can to grow into who they really are capable of being. But man oh man are they ever fun to have around — and you’re so right – they’re growing up way, way too fast for my liking!

    • 

      It’s the best, right Mikey? It’s the ultimate roller coaster. I never thought I would be THAT parent – but I am – I dig being a mom!

      You said all the right things about Little Dude. Did you know the way to mom’s heart is through her kid? Sheesh. Yes, he’s all those things. Thank you for seeing that, and for getting it.

      I think your kids are really lucky to have you as a dad. Just the fact that you get how fun they are. And how fast it goes. A lot of parents I know – they seem to view their kids as an imposition. Bizarre.

      Hey, thanks for being a part of my bloggy world. I’m really enjoying yours.

      • 

        I know! What is with these people that have kids and then… don’t seem to want anything to do with them? Like the kids are just in their way, cramping their style, something to just constantly try and “get away” from. These people should NOT have had kids. I always really feel sorry for their little buggers.

      • 

        Today is a perfect example – I was overjoyed when the call came at 5 am – no school! A day with Little Dude! Sledding if there’s enough snow (there wasn’t), hot chocolate, movies.

        We went to the gym this am. And all the moms were bitching that their kids are home. I didn’t dare say how elated I was to spend the day with my kid. I feel like it’s some club I’m totally left out of. It makes me feel really alone.

        I know you’re going to tell me I’m the one doing it right, but it feels really weird to be such an outsider. These people are not my tribe.

      • 

        You called it right — I’ve seen all those women for years – at the gym – in groups outside the school – and they… suck. I’m sure for a woman it is kind of hard to be an outsider with them, but I’d still say its waaaay better than becoming anything like them 🙂

      • 

        Thank you. I feel a little bit less alone. That’s what’s nice about this.

        I wish all you of bloggers lived nearby, so we could hang. And laugh at these weird people who don’t appreciate how cool their own kids are.

  9. 

    He sounds amazing. Like mama, like son. 🙂

  10. 

    Hahahahaha, Dick Gazinya! So I’m not bragging or anything, but that boy sounds like a young, DOAT! Get him blogging immediately so that I can follow him. I’m glad that you’ve decided against the drugs to this point. I’m sure it makes your life “busier” but who knows what these drugs are doing to kids in the long run? Many do need them, but if you can get by without then kudos for trying. He sounds like a kickass young man. I’d not let him near my 10 year old daughter, but that’s a compliment.

    • 

      Hey, I can only hope for a young DOAT – dashing, charming and witty and all that!

      I’m not opposed to the meds, but if I can hold off – I will. He’s too, too funny.

      Whattya mean, not let him near your daughter? I was already planning the video for the rehearsal dinner. And then the speech after the wedding ceremony – “It all started with WordPress…”

      • 

        Hahaha, dashing and charming! That’s rich!

        Well, I suppose if there’s going to be an open bar and Bud Light Lime, then it’d be ok. Of course, the bride’s dad is pretty broke so maybe they can elope instead?

      • 

        Listen- your wife is drop dead gorgeous. So you have to be pretty dashing to nab her! And I’ve seen your picture!

        As for charming, did you or did you not try to charm your way into a three way with me and my sister wife Jennie?

        No eloping. You’ll just have to knock off a 7-11! Btw, Ace is so beautiful you’d better get ready. It will not be easy having a daughter who’s a dead ringer for her mother.

  11. 

    Your son sounds like my daughter, totally amazing despite the letters that go after their names, the stupid diagnoses that people use to define them. I chose not to go the medication route for my girl either, she also has ADHD and PDD. This was beautiful, mama!

    • 

      Ohh, Janie Doh, I have been thinking about you for a bunch of reasons.

      I’ve not had a chance to blog read as much as I’d like, because I’m swamped at work and I’m trying to post twice a week. I miss your words!

      Thank you for what you just wrote. It really touched me. Stupid letters and stupid labels. Our kids are amazing, aren’t they?

  12. 

    I would rather have kids around me than adults…

  13. 

    I appreciate good writing, darling — not just writing that moves me — because that was very moving — but also writing that shows talent and skill. When people illustrate that they appreciate the craft of writing, and this shows that. Your repetitive use of the phrase The Boy Who Lives in My House was brilliant, and gave the whole thing a Shel Silverstein-like poetic quality. Just wonderful!

    • 

      That is quite a reference, and I’m thrilled you like it.

      I just finished reading Catch em all – a magnificent post, if there ever was one. Thank you for pointing me in its direction. I am following you going forward, but please feel free to direct more towards some of your great posts.

      • 

        Oh, I like you, I can tell already! Well, if you go to my main page and check out the link “The Sordid Tale So Far…” you’ll find what is essentially a table of contents. I try to make the titles intriguing, so you can pick and choose there. Volume One will see print mid January, so don’t spoil your appetite! If you are at all interested in gothic fiction, the Jessica Bell tab takes you to the writing I do under that nom de plume. As far as my favourites go, you can’t go wrong with Couche-Tard and the Jumping Asians (first post, gives you an idea of who Penny and I are) and then there’s the Cummerbund Bandersnatch posts — only two of them, but the last one I wrote a few days ago is topical re: The Hobbit.

      • 

        Yes, we’re going to be girl friends. This I know.
        I think I’ll try a little smorgasbord of everything – so as not to spoil my appetite.

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