This year we got to have a real summer. The kids were home. All the time. There were no schedules to keep except one kid had to go to lifting, and he didn't complain about getting up early. There were late nights, late mornings, and lots of sleeping over. I told the boys to enjoy it because it would probably be the last time it would happen in their lifetimes. This was not a joke. Next year they are going to need jobs so that they will be able to buy a car because NEXT year they will turn 15. That does not seem possible but I am sure it is correct, as I have been keeping careful count.
I now have to look up at them. Sigh.......... Oh well, they are growing into men.
The one who signed up for football quit. Without telling me first.
Then the one who signed up and quit within the first week called the coach (encouraged by friends) and decided to play. Without telling me first.
THEN, when I pointed out that he, in particular, would also jump off a bridge if encouraged by these same friends, and that I was tired of being left out of decisions, and that we would not keep jumping on and off this or any other merry-go-round. We are not that kind of people.
Then he said "OK, I'll tell coach tomorrow my mom doesn't want me to play".
Yes, he said that. Which led to a long speech about how it is not "manly" to dart around with the attention span and commitment of a mosquito deciding stuff and TELLING PEOPLE, and then blaming it all on your mother when it isn't going to work out. This speech emphasized personal responsibility and looking at situations from different angles.
These were not new concepts. In fact, I would say they are very familiar, but maybe that's because I'm always the one to give the presentation.
It's been a long week.
Fortunately, I have a couple of angels who just love boys (and dogs) and have hired the two of them to do some dirty work around the house. The Grand Finale adore this couple to begin with, but the secret ingredient is that the male half of this couple has absolutely no qualms about me vetoing any decision he would make concerning my kids. He has helped me raise the older two also, but they had a father who was involved and I never needed any help with them. With the Grand Finale he is stepping into the role of mentor and I can only thank God for him and his wife every night.
With the Mentor, the boys are tougher. They do not bother to offer up paltry excuses like the do with me, their mother, and I suspect would with any other woman. They swagger a little around him, they jump to be useful to him in any way regardless of how hard, dangerous or dirty it promises to be. They think he is 10 feet tall and bullet proof. I have always thought of him the same way, to tell you the truth, but then I have had good reason. He's been in charge of all my home repair for 20 years, and it was he who pointed out that I was going to have trouble with teenage boys clear back when I was in the "my sweet boy....." stage. He's a man who gets 'er done and done right the first time. He's been my friend for decades, just a little bit older, just a little bit smarter, just a little bit more experienced. He is brutally honest and does not worry about sparing my feelings if it's important. I cannot tell you the times he has given the "the look" that asks "What are doing? You know that's not right. Don't think I'm going to excuse you for this." One time I got that look over the little doohickey that locks a window being broke. He just fixed it, and I have to say at that moment was the first time I thought to myself "I have fallen down on the job. I have to get back to it even if I do not personally care anymore whether the window locks are broken." He can make me feel bad just like my mom always could. I do not resent him for it, I only wish we could clone him. The world could use more of him and he has already influenced many children, mine are just the latest two. He and his wife are the kind of unsung hero's that America is known for and made up of. They don't think they are hero's. They just live their lives but they try to do things right and they help other people do the same.
He has given my boys the confidence to take charge and take care of things. I no longer carry in groceries, let alone dog food in 40 lb. bags. I haven't opened a door if accompanied by one of the boys for months. I was on my way to pick them up from working last night when the female angel called, reported on how good a job they had done, told me they were having fun swimming right then, and that she was warming them up some chili because they "looked hungry" and then would bring them home. I was to do whatever I was busy with at home and enjoy my time. I thanked God right there while I was still shaking my head in wonder. The Grand Finale came home a while later, dirty, dripping and whistling. Just like men who had earned a honest wage.
Now, I ask you.........do you believe that there really are angels among us?
I do. I have proof of this kind in myriad ways throughout my life, and it seems that this is the basic reason for this blog. Blogging is difficult because you are always trying to keep details back while giving the correct impression without them.
Who has been an angel to you? More importantly, who have you been an angel to?