Archive for the ‘James’ Category

The heart of a child

December 9, 2008

I had a hard time falling asleep last night, because I was thinking about ways to reach our oldest son, James.

James is 14, and yes, he is a teenager and we’re dealing with teenage-ish things. However, this is not what keeps me up at night.

The fact is, James has been…I guess you could call him a “troubled” child since he was very young. He plays a good game; he makes people think he’s a good kid, but then he turns around and does something really deceitful or mean. We never quite know what’s going on in James’ heart, because he is so good at deceiving us. Most of the time we find out what he’s doing way after the fact.

He is on medication now, anti-depressants, and they seem to help – that is, when he remembers to take them. Last week was a hard week; he loves to argue with Dean over anything – and I do mean anything. This particular time he decided that Emma’s video game time was over (we give the kids about an hour of video game time on the weekends) and abruptly turned off her game. We told him he was out of line, etc., and he fixated on one little point and started arguing the heck out of it, lost his temper, and was sent to his room, where he promptly destroyed his bookshelves and punched a gigantic hole in the wall, screaming obscenities.

He’s grounded right now, but it doesn’t affect him whatsoever. This is just one example of the kind of stuff we deal with on a daily basis; he’s constantly arguing, or picking on his brother and sister, and he’s always planning, planning, planning something that’s inappropriate and underhanded.

We are at our wit’s end with this child. We love him very much, and have always taught him carefully that these kinds of decisions are wrong. We’ve never given any reason to be angry with us, he has been a cherished child since he was born, and yet. And yet.

Just when I think maybe he’s starting to change, or turn towards what is right, he does something that shows us that he is just playing with us. All we can do at this point is pray and continue to do what we know is right so we don’t have any regrets later. That’s all we know to do.



September 2, 2008

Classic AOTC poster 2Image by Doc_Brown via Flickr Well, we had a fantastic, FANTASTIC five days at the beach. I can’t even tell you how much I needed that vacation. I took hundreds of pictures and we made memories that will last a lifetime.

Got back today, with a leisurely afternoon of Star Wars watching planned (we do that when we get back home early during the day from a long break). As we were finishing up Attack of the Clones around 9 PM, I suddenly had a prickly feeling like “did I forget something?”

Lo and behold, I had forgotten just a teensy little detail. I had misread both today’s date AND the first day of school, and guess what? All those times I had told the kinder that they were starting school on Wednesday? Well, not so much. They’re starting school TOMORROW.

They weren’t too happy (understandably) at first, but they quickly came around to it, and were actually flipping out excited within about five minutes, THANK YOU GOD. So school supplies, lunches, snacks, and cute outfits are all ready.

I think we’re good. Even with a severe calendar malfunction.

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Where did the time go?

August 20, 2008

See this guy?

Today is his 14th birthday.

I remember so much about the day he was born. My water broke – quite explosively, I might add – at 5:30 AM, and for the next two hours, I puttered around the house, very serene, while my husband followed me and timed the contractions. I remember going into the bathroom and having a “holy crap!” moment, realizing that there was absolutely no way I was going to get out of this experience now, that I was in it for the long haul.

17 and a half hours later (!) James arrived. We didn’t know what to name him, and talked about it on the phone (DH had gone home for some clothes). It became crystal clear to both of us that the only name that would fit would be of my Papa, my grandfather, who had passed away just four months earlier after a long fight with Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Even now, 14 years later, I still cry when I think about my Papa. He was the best man I’ve ever had the privilege to know, and I’m so glad that James carries on his name. So, so glad.

Anyway! Enough sap, huh? James has had a good birthday today. He requested Mom’s homemade cinnamon rolls (done) and a visit to the mall (done). For the first time, we gave him money instead of gifts, and he was THRILLED, yet, I think he would’ve loved some gifts, too. No matter how much teenagers protest, they love that kind of thing.

Love you, James. You’ll always be my sweetheart. Happy Birthday!

Kids say the darndest things

August 19, 2008

Henry on watching Spiderman (for the first time!) and seeing the kissing scene: “Oh, GOOD GRIEF.”

Emma: “Mommy, did you know that when Daddy kisses you his tongue goes in your mouth?”

James: “Did you know that the XBox is only $189 at GameStop?”

(That last one isn’t so funny.)

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Fun with your semi-perfectionist seventh grader

May 9, 2008

Me this morning: “Hey James?”

J: “Yeah?”

Me: “I had a look at your grades this morning.”

J: “oh yeah?”

Me: “Yeah. Did you know you’re getting an F in Math?”

(sounds of scrambling out of the bathroom, various bottles dropping, running down the hall)

J: “WHAT?!?!?!?!? I got an A on the test yesterday, I’ve turned in all my work, I don’t understand! Oh my God! Oh my GOD! What? What? OH MY GOD!”

Me: “Yeah, it’s an F all right…..(pause for dramatic effect)….it’s an F for FABULOUS! Ha ha! You’re getting a B-, dude! That’s awesome! Best ever!”

J: (falls over) “That’s so not cool, Mom.” (stomps back to bathroom)

Me: “Heh heh.”



November 20, 2007

Know why? I’ll tell you. I read my 13 year old’s diary. This guy.


See, here’s what happened. I decided to take a break and clean the house….well, at least make things look pretty. So I was in his room, and decided to make his bed, and the diary just kind of fell out from under his pillow and I ALMOST took the high road and didn’t read it but then I was all like “Hey! I could put this in my blog, since I don’t really have anything else to write about” and things just kind of steamrolled from there.

So! Here are a few snippets that we can laugh at learn from.

Today I had to do chores all day. I think Mom and Dad are determined to make me as miserable as possible.

HA HA HA! Oh, crap, I just peed myself laughing at how pathetic this is, and yet so poignant. Onward:

I am so hot for (girl at school). I hope I can hook up with her.

Exsqueeze me? Baking powder? You are NOT ALLOWED to be hot for girls at your age and while you’re under my roof. Wait until you’re about, oh, let’s say, 34. Then I don’t have to think about the fact that Mommy’s Widdle Baby is a horndog.

Pretty much the rest of the journal is in one or both of these lines of thinking. I’ll update with more once he writes in there again……I’ll have to hurdle various moral objections that my conscience will throw at me for doing this, but that shouldn’t be much of an issue.

I've got the 12 year old blues….doo doo wah

January 31, 2007

Having a 12 year old around the house is an interesting experience.

Interesting in the way that a torn off fingernail is interesting, I mean.

I’m invoking my parental right to pinch off his head the next time he gives me That Look, by the way – it’s a little known coducil, doncha know.

I love him, but could he quit being moody for a second? I’m tired of sending him to his room every five minutes.

This too shall pass. This too, shall pass.

I’ve got the 12 year old blues….doo doo wah

January 31, 2007

Having a 12 year old around the house is an interesting experience.

Interesting in the way that a torn off fingernail is interesting, I mean.

I’m invoking my parental right to pinch off his head the next time he gives me That Look, by the way – it’s a little known coducil, doncha know.

I love him, but could he quit being moody for a second? I’m tired of sending him to his room every five minutes.

This too shall pass. This too, shall pass.

Calm blue ocean. Calm blue ocean.

December 21, 2006

For the past two days, I’ve been doing nonstop laundry. Well, with five people after a four day vacation, what do you expect? So I think I did, oh, something like 15 loads of laundry.

The biggest hurdle in the whole laundry chore thing is the actual folding and putting away of the kids clothes. So last night, I thought it would be fun to sit down with the five (!!!!) baskets of kids’ clothes and watch Bing Crosby’s White Christmas with the kids.

All done, right?

Wrong. This morning, James got a full mug of hot chocolate and brought into the living room even though he had been told five minutes before not to, (you can see where this is going, right?), and Henry got all rowdy and started tossing pillows. One of the pillows knocked the entire mug of hc into the baskets of clean clothes.

So, about five, six hours of work completely wasted. I’m trying to be the Grownup in all of this, but what I really feel like doing is pinching off all of their heads.

My favorite kind of day

November 28, 2006

It’s snowy outside, I’m listening to oldies on the stereo, I’ve got peppermint mocha coffee in hand, and I get to write and research all day, sans kids. Well, until about 2:00 at least.

I’ve got to write some more about James now. I worry about him, constantly. He just seems to have no motivation to do anything; and honestly, this isn’t a new thing. He’s been like this since the second grade.

I just wish that he could see that he could be truly exceptional if he wanted to be. If he decided to get off the stick and just DO IT.

If his grades continue to slide the way they are, we’re going to have to consider other options, education-wise. Dean says a big no to homeschooling, and I tend to agree with him, since James fights me in everything. But I wonder if we got him something that was totally self-regulated if he would rediscover his love of learning.

I don’t know. He just seems to be coasting aimlessly; he’s angry about this and doesn’t realize it.