I don’t think new year’s resolutions work. I’m sure someone somewhere managed to lose weight or stop smoking or went a year without adopting an 82nd cat, or something. For me, they just don’t stick.
On Jan. 1, 2011 I joined the gym. My favorite things to do there were yoga and spin class. I stopped going to yoga after the instructor gave me the hairy eyeball for repeatedly checking my cell phone, which I’d hidden in my shoe. If he had any idea how hard it is to get a source to return a phone call, he probably would have let it slide.
I vowed that I would go “at least three times a week.” I did, for the first six months. After that, pfft.
So this year, I didn’t really make any resolutions, but I am going to make an effort at being better, or different, in some areas (crap, those are resolutions, aren’t they?).
One of the biggest things has to do with my oldest son. He’s almost 9. He and I are so much alike, it’s sometimes shocking. I’m most annoyed with him when he does things that I know he learned from me, but I can’t admit it to him. It would be like saying, “Stop being annoying…like I am.”
I’ve learned in the last few months that he hates it when he thinks people are laughing at him. I know he gets this from me.
About two years ago I was taking a walk by my house and a man in a big truck sped up as I was crossing a street. I couldn’t make out his face, but I was sure he was laughing as I ran across the street. So, I flipped him off. I know, I know! I never do that. Seriously, I don’t (okay, I did it recently to my photographer-friend, but that was totally a joke). Anyway, as he got closer, I realized it was our pool guy, just speeding up to wave.
I kept meaning to apologize, tell him I’m not the type of person who flips people off; I’m just sort of a freak sometimes. That’s what I should have done. Instead I devised a way to wave with my middle finger up in the air so it looks like that’s just how I do it. I’ve been waving at him like that through our slider door for two years now. Whew! Awkward apology avoided.
Anyway, a couple of months ago my son got really, really upset about some silly thing and it turned into a potential run-away report when he packed his bag to “move out.”
me: What’s your deal?
him: I want to go play outside and you won’t let me. I’m leaving.
me: Leaving where?
him: I’m moving out.
Now here is where I actually got a little giddy because this is like, a quintessential childhood issue. I thought I could take advantage of a teachable moment. Wrong.
me: Where are you going?
me: How will you get there?
him: My scooter. (Insert snotty tone of voice here)
me: So you’re going to ride your scooter to Mexico? Where will you sleep?
him: In a box mom! (He’s totally serious)
me: Do you have any idea what’s going on with the cartels in Mexico right now?
him: What, did you write an article about that or something?!
me: Oh! That would be a cool assignment.
He stalks off.
Jump ahead about 10 minutes. He’s coming down the stairs with his “go bag.” (As a sidenote, when I’d tell people the story, I kept accidentally referring to it as his “kill bag.” 1. It was freaking people out, 2. I should probably take a breather from watching Dexter).
me: Is that your bag?
him: Mmm hmm.
me: Can I look through it?
him: Fine, but don’t try to stop me from leaving.
me (going through the bag): Oh, you’re taking your Action Bible! This will help you, especially with the cartels….and your poster of Augusta National…some pencils…your Bible trading cards.
Then it happened. I got to the bottom and there was an old computer keyboard I’d cut the cord off of so the kids could play with it.
me again: What’s this for?
him: To email dad, duh!….STOP LAUGHING!
It was about two days before he was fully over it.
He’s his mother’s son.
This year, I will avoid his emotional landmines and remember that he’s a boy on the cusp of moving into youngman territory. He really is a wonderful son and I’m so blessed to be his mother. He gets good grades and is a hit with his teachers. As his mom, it’s my job not to antagonize him.
Also, he’s a phenomenal golfer and when I’m not laughing at the age-appropriate things he says, he’s promising that when he’s an adult, he’ll buy me and his dad a house. I’m not going to be the reason my husband doesn’t get to live at Pebble Beach.