You want your kids to relate to you, right? You want to be cool, don’t you? Maybe you should try to relate to them? Novel idea. Do you remember all the DUMB things your parents liked and did? Do you really think you’re any different?
My son and I had an extraordinary experience this Spring Break while on a ski trip at Mammoth, California. It was just the two of us, since my wife stayed home for work and my older son preferred hanging out with his friends and girlfriend (I can’t blame him, as she’s wonderful). So, it was a special alone-time-trip with my younger son, David. Together we learned about the possibility to overcome fear.
Because our skiing levels and skiing interests are quite different, we tend to prefer to ski separately. I have friends there and David had some friends from school that he skied with. However, we always hook up at some point and one day, after he’d slightly hurt himself and was taking it easy, we skied together. We skied just one area, where there’s a short chair lift and short runs.
This past Easter I was skiing with my younger son. As my middle-aged body gets sore from several hours on the slopes, I tend to indulge in the jacuzzi to ease some the aches I’ve earned each day.??? On this past Easter Sunday, I ended up sharing the communal jacuzzi at the condo complex with members of a family who shared some personal stories. For me, they were inspirational.
I met Bob (names all changed) who was single 30+ years after divorcing the mother of Sharon and Mark, the other two adults in the jacuzzi. Bob had been their stepfather for seven years, yet remained actively involved in their lives long after he and their mother divorced. Sharon felt so close to him that when she got married she invited both her biological father and Bob to walk her down the aisle. This irritated her biological father who had evidently not been much of a father during the years before and after Bob was in Sharon’s life.
For something new, here is a cornucopia of unrelated revelations I have come across….
1. I text when I drive? My younger son gets crazy on me and points it out in the same way I’d point out a mistake or poor choice he’d make. It doesn’t give me much credibility when I continue this dangerous and foolish behavior.
2. Why is it that our kids seem so much more aware of life (e.g. sex) yet seem to mature later and leave the house even later?
As my kids get older, each touching corny moment (and I mean “touching” literally, as well as figuratively) becomes more and more fleeting. As I have two boys, the amount of kissing and hugging is reduced to the point of pretty much shaking hands, and with my younger son (13), an occasional hug and air peck on the cheek. At least my (3) dogs still give me affection (and, my wife, of course – if I didn’t say that I’d be in the “dog-house”).
BUT, I had one of those “at this age” unusual and rare sappy parenting moments with my young teen when he and I went to see AVATAR. It was Saturday night so we thought getting there an hour early would be time enough to get tickets for the 7:00 p.m. show. Nope, sold out. So, we got them for the 8:00 p.m. show and went for dinner.
So, I had a little ski accident that I’ve already written about in “Just A Guy Overcoming His Fear.” The only residual damage I’ve had is that I keep getting fatter and I can’t lose the weight I gained from the period in which I had to be relatively sedentary! I then went back to my usual routine of working out and couldn’t bloody lose the extra 15 pounds! What gives?
This past Winter Break I ended up with some alone time as my wife and younger son went to Japan and my older one, 16, stayed home to be with his friends and his girlfriend. I went alone to the mountains to ski. I used to be able to bring my dog, Simon, but the place where I stay has begun enforcing archaic HOA rules forbidding dogs of guests. So, instead of a warm, furry body next to me, I had the cold sheets and my wandering mind for company.
I had a fight with my mature teen. I acted like a teen and he acted like an adult. I pouted. He was reasonable. I was yelling. He was calm. I hate when that happens!
It all had to do with expectations and desires, on my part, for my mature teen son to want to hang out with his dad. Our family was apart this holiday season as my wife and younger son went to Japan and Hong Kong.