Tuesday, June 17, 2008

More on Malibu OR On Parenting a Teen

Child #2 and I spent the weekend in Malibu.

The two of us alone, miles away from the others, is not a common occurrence in our family. However, Child #2 wanted to attend a water polo camp at Pepperdine College, but didn't want to stay in the dorms. So, we cooked up a scheme where we rented a hotel room nearby and I wrote and wandered around town during the day while he water polo'ed in the Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool. Child #2 turns 15 later this summer. I suspect I won't get many more requests for weekends like this, so I jumped on the opportunity.

Child #2 is my most easy-going, mellow child. He arrived into this world two weeks late and has meandered through life happy and content, a glass-half-full kind of kid. He is brilliant in and out of school, has an excellent sense of humour, chooses friends wisely and has a thoughtful, pleasant personality.

We had a delightful weekend together, separating in the mornings for our individual activiies, then coming together in the early evenings for food, a chat, a rented movie.

But it wasn't perfect.

Now, there's an edge to some of his remarks, a stony stubborn look when I offer advice, a more careful, selective sharing of details about himself and his friends.

Child #2 is becoming a teen.

I'm not really ready, having already travelled down this path with Child #1.

But I'm very happy to have gotten the gift of this weekend in Malibu.

21 comments:

Christina Phillips said...

Aww Barrie. That sounds like a wonderful weekend. I know what you mean, because my little ray of sunshine (who now towers over me!!) turned 13 at the end of last year. It's bittersweet, isn't it?!

JaneyV said...

Your weekend sounds fab! Big Son also turned 13 last December. He was two weeks late coming into this word and although a bit of a worrier he's always been a great kid. But I too have noticed the effects of testosterone in his tone and demeanour. As you say .. it's just an edge. I guess that's just a storm that we must weather.
Batten down the hatches!

deboradale said...

That was a gift, indeed. I'm fortunate to still enjoy many of those moments. I'm afraid of the day they'll slow. We have to let our youngin's grow and fly but it's not as easy as it sounds, is it?

~Debbie

frank said...

Ha ha ha! That's my response to people with kids coming into 'teenhood.'

A couple of my younger friends are either planning a family, or already have very young children. I tell them:

"Gak! Do you know they will become teens?"

My daughter is 16 and my son is 14, and I'd be willing to return to diaper changing days anytime.

Laura said...

Just keep loving them the way you are doing and once they complete the teen detour, they will be back...so glad you could have a good weekend with him!

Thanks for sharing.

Charles Gramlich said...

A very good post. I'm glad you had some fun. I well remember when my son went into the "teen" period and it seemed he was often a bit suspicious of my motives when I did things that I felt were protective. I suppose it's the law of teenland.

Vivian said...

Sweet post. Makes me appreciate my little ones. I'm not looking forward to the teen years. Sigh.

I'm glad you had a great weekend.

Chantal said...

That is great that you spent a nice weekend together. I find my oldest who is 6 doesn't quit enjoy our mommy date days as much as I would like yet. All he can think about it getting back home to his friends. I hope there is some middle age where he will enjoy this time. :)

Trace said...

How nice for you to spend this time with him!A real treasure.

I find my once atypical son has become a typical teen...hmmm who would have fancied that? I used to be able to say whatever flew into my impulsive head. Now every word is measured as to "How will he take that?"... I really do not like having to change the spontaneous me but I know it is needed to keep the good relationship we have going.

Teens! whhhew.Work!

Annie said...

Hold it near and dear (since you may not see the likes of it again until he's twenty)

All and all, I wonderful memory, wouldn't you say?

Patti said...

as you know by now: take what you can get. and they come back, but you know this too...

beckylevine said...

So, mine's 12 and I've gotten the edge for at least a year now. Does this mean we'll come out the other side sooner? :)

Family Adventure said...

Yes, appreciate whatever he gives you now. I know I do with my 11 yr old. I'm glad you had such a lovely weekend!

Heidi :)

Alyssa Goodnight said...

That sounds like a lovely weekend. I have two boys, and I wonder if I'm ever going to get a chance like that. I feel like I'm already going through the teen years with an eight-year-old.

Beth said...

Despite past experience, I was never quite "ready" to endure that next stage with the next child.
And, yes, a weekend of quality one-on-one time is definitely a gift to treasure.

Bina said...

Amazing you say this. My daughter will be 13, and I think she will start the teen years earlier than my other two. She ia more mature, and already showing signs of "no-it-all-and-you-are-stupid-and-embarassing-to-be-seen-with" syndome. I'm so sad about it. She and I used to be so close, but I still have my 5 year old who thinks the sun rises and sets with me and wants to be with every minute. You can bet I'm gonna treasure that every minute I can, until...that faitful day, when she become a teen.

Lisa said...

He wanted to spend the weekend with you. I think that says it all.

christine mercer-vernon said...

oh my barrie, adolescence! sounds like your weekend was wonderful but those teenage years are coming and with them, i'm sure some frustrations and new batch of worries. i've recently reconnected with a past 'not-so-friendly'-friend from high school (20 years ago) and we've been discussing how cruel we all were and the behaviors and such and i proudly summed up it all this way...

"it only assures me that none of it was personal, merely the dog eat dog world of adolescence, we were all responding our environment and grasping on to what acceptance we could find."

hopefully, child #2 remains reasonable and glass half-full, and as a mother you sail through the rocky waters of adolescence!

glad you had a memorable and inspiring weekend with your son!

Eileen said...

Sounds like the perfect time away, a great balance! Your son sounds like a sweetheart! I sense that while he is growing up and more independent, you two will still be close. He sounds like that kind of boy!
XOXO

TJ Brown said...

I went on an assignment for Oregon Coast Magazine with my son when he was that age... it really is a gift.
Teri

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

I love tagging along! Espeicially if it means I can get away from the house and chores (hahaha!). Seriously, so glad you had a great weekend with your boy.