Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Finding Remarkable in the Mundane

Another week has been flying by. High school swim season has started and we are getting a new routine in place. While it seems like we are continuing to make progress toward reconciliation, the most noteworthy event is that Colin slept in a bed for the second time since he's been home. Also worth mentioning is that he seems to be opening up more on the car rides home. The trick is to be quiet and listen.

4 Day Weekend

The boys had Thursday and Friday off from school last week. Therefore there were some late nights. Thursday morning I woke up extra early due to a sinus headache and went to the loft (now my 2nd bedroom) to lie down for a bit before getting up to feed the dog and start my day.

As I was about to climb into the bottom bunk bed, I felt a leg and realized there was a body. Apparently after watching videos with his middle-brother in the room they used to share, he was too tired to make the trek to his basement room and collapsed in his former bed which now resides in the loft.

He slept until mid-afternoon until he woke with a panic. Colin burst into his brother's room to wake him. He needed a ride to afternoon swim practice.

When I called home to ask my 17 year old what time I needed to pick his brother up, I was warned. Colin may not be in a great mood.

Good Cop

I inquired why and was told that Colin was complaining that he was going to be late to practice and did not want to be disrespectful to the team. My middle-son launched into a tirade about how he felt disrespected. Not sure what else was said but I was told that it was not pretty.

I replied that I do my best to make the ride pleasant and bring a box filled with a wide variety of snacks. Colin is hungry when I pick him up after workouts and we usually pick the dog up next which extends the trip back home. Middle-son said that I will be a hero next to him.

Sure enough, that afternoon, I had a chatty boy complaining about his older brother. He also told me about his classes and some test scores he was not happy with and hoped to improve on. What I remember most about the conversation is that my son was in a relatively good mood, seemed to appreciate the snacks and was slowly starting to open up more about his life.


The rest of the weekend, I barely saw my miso-son, other than to drive him to a swim practice and a school event with his brother while Dad took the other mini-van into the shop.

Monday was relatively uneventful and Tuesday morning I had a nice surprise. When I went down to his room to wake him, Colin was up and dressed and seemed to be in a great mood. He was just finishing up some homework and told me he had a great night's sleep. "I got around 7 hours last night!" he exclaimed while he got up from his couch and stretched.

This morning was an average early morning. I woke Colin up at 5:15 a.m. so he could get ready for his 6:15 a.m. practice. I had to check in 10 minutes later for a second reminder. I asked if he needed a towel and he said yes. Without asking, I opened his swim bag, removed the wet towel from the day before (he should be doing this when he gets home) and threw his damp swim things into the dryer. I resisted the urge to scold him like I would have done to his brothers and reminded myself how lucky I am to be able to do this for my son.

We rode in silence until we got to the school. We were a little early which gave Colin a chance to tie his shoes and slowly gather his belongings.

As I pulled away from the high school exercise facility, I took a moment for silent gratitude.

As always, we are a work-in-progress!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Life in Asterisks *****

Recently the first quarter grades for the boys' high school came out. Following close behind was the Honor and Merit Roll List. Both Colin and his middle brother made Honor Roll but Colin had an * next to his name. This meant he was at a 4.0 or above. He is my first boy to achieve this honor and we are quite proud.

I just have to keep reminding myself of this when I want to reprimand my son for his night-owl schedule!

Sleep Schedule

Swim season started this week. This involves 9 practices a week. Monday, Wednesday and Friday there is an early morning session that starts at 6:15 a.m. I don't mind being the driver as this allows me to get to work early and have my husband transport the dog to daycare. This is my busy season at work and I need to find ways to have more time in my office.

Last night I could not sleep so I went to the loft so my tossing and turning would not disturb my husband. It was just after 1:00 a.m. and I could hear Colin in his room through the heating vent. The sounds of him yelling out while gaming on his laptop came wafting up the duct work. In four more hours he needed to be up! I was not amused!

I marched down to the basement to find my son still in his school clothes, huddled in front of his computer. I scolded him for being up so late and told him the game needed to end and he should be asleep by now. Colin scoffed at my dismay and told me he had a nap earlier and is fine. I responded with a threat. "If that game is not shut down, I will not wake you to get ready for practice."

I went back upstairs as he continued to play. As I laid back down to try to go to sleep, I noticed the absence of game sounds and soon after he came upstairs to brush his teeth. I decided to cut him a break and wake my son in a few hours. It took two tries and we made it to practice on time.

As much as I wanted to lecture my son, I kept silent and decided to be grateful. Our lives have gotten back to normal*. (*new normal)

Sometimes you just have to suck it up and call the glass half-full. We need to pick and choose our battles. As long as Colin is relatively healthy and getting good grades, I will try to be cautious not to upset the delicate balance of our household.

As always, we are a work-in-progress!