Saturday, April 7, 2007

Clint, Cream Eggs and the Canucks

This article is my submission to the blog challenge sponsored by Darlene Schacht, author of The Mom Complex. "Tell us about your favorite "Mom Moment." We're looking for a story that tugs on our heart, perhaps funny or heartwarming-"

(From my journal - Spring 2002. The kids and I were into our 6th month of living at my parent's place, waiting for a house to become available in our desired neighbourhood.)

We’d been in each other’s faces too many days in a row. We were not getting along. Even though I still loved him, I found myself not liking him very much.

He was mean to Drew. Disrespectful to me. Sarcastic to Max.
And his report card was a disgrace. And he wasn’t even embarrassed about it. “It’s not my fault… it’s the teacher’s fault. They lost all my assignments.”

Plus, he was getting physically pushy. Now that he’s slightly taller than me, he likes to intimidate by standing his ground and staring me right in the eyes as he objects to what ever I’m saying.

There are times when it feels like I’m a teenager again (living with my parents is probably contributing to that sensation) and I’m fighting with my younger brother.

We’d just had a particularly bad disagreement where I acted like a 17 year old and lost “it”… My mom and dad witnessed the whole mess – and surprisingly didn’t side with Clint this time. I escaped by hopping in my car and driving to the nearest corner store to buy 3 Cadbury Cream Eggs. And then ate them all in less than two minutes. The major sugar rush to the system was just what I needed to calm down.

Then I drove around in circles til I had no choice but return. You see, I was taking him to the Canuck’s game that night. Just the two of us. I had taken Drew a few weeks ago, and it had been a wonderful evening. Tonight was Clint’s turn. And I’ll be taking Max on the 27th.

But I didn’t want to spend any more time with him. I didn’t like him. He was unkind, mean-spirited. Moronic. Difficult. A butt face. I wanted to take Max. Or Drew again. Or go by myself. The thought of spending 4 – 5 hours with him and his crappy attitude did not delight me.

However, I promised we’d go to a game together, so I followed through on my word. I told him it was time to go, and I headed back to my car. I sat and waited for 6 minutes. Grrrrr. When he finally sat himself down in the passenger seat, he came loaded with magazines and books. We didn’t talk much on the way to the game. He was busy changing the radio stations every 90 seconds not wanting to miss out on a good song that might be playing on elsewhere on the dial. (In general, even if his favorite tune is on, he still switches channels, just to see what is on the other station. I had commented last week that I feared for his ability to stay happily married to one person. Even if marries the one gal who he loves best and is most compatible with, will he always wonder what is playing on other stations? He replied that he thought I was the only person in the world who would make a comparison between one’s radio listening habits and one’s ability to maintain a marriage commitment. Then he turned to Max and said, “You know, medicinal marijuana might be the answer here. We could probably get her a prescription. Does she seem unreasonably uptight to you?”)

Anyway, there we are on the freeway, not speaking much. He’s 15 and acting cool. I’m 41 and acting cool.
So I started to pray. “God, please help me here. I don’t like the boy sitting beside me. How terrible is that? My heart is totally hardened toward him right now. I don’t know what to do… He has said some very hurtful things to me this evening. He has had Drew crying. He’s insensitive. Self centred. And loving him is difficult.
Please change my heart. Soften it. Let me see him through Your eyes. And let him see You through me. Please use this night for Your purposes… somehow could You salvage it?”

As we crossed over the bridge, we both were caught breathless by the incredibly vivid multi-colored sunset that God was working on in the western sky. I took it personally, and knew He was painting it for me.
Traffic was not heavy and we were 30 minutes early. I zipped into my usual parking lot, and noticed that his eyes had lost their “attitude”. He was in unfamiliar territory, and was content to allow me to lead him through the streets of Vancouver and into the building. And once inside, he stuck close by me. I bought a piece of pizza and a pop for him, and a bottled water for myself, which they poured into a plastic cup for safety reasons. We settled into our seats, and still not talking much, watched the Canuck’s and the Hawks do their pre-game skate. He comments that his pizza is good. I complain that my water is not cold. “Here,” he leans forward, “I’ve got lots of ice in my Sprite. You can have it. It just waters down my pop.” And he removes the lid, puts his hand into his cup and scoops up ice cubes. I take the lid off my drink and let him put his hand into it. He continues scooping ice until his cup is emptied of them all. I casually observe, “I hope you washed your hands after you went to the bathroom. Otherwise this would be pretty gross.”

The tension seems to be gone from between us. The pre-skate is over. The stands fill up. And the zambonis have finished resurfacing the ice. And all the lights get turned off.

A lightshow, combined with loud rocking music and a wild video presentation completely captures our attention. I can feel myself totally getting into the excitement of the upcoming game. The Canuck’s return to the ice and we all stand. Some guest singer from the Wide Mouth Mason’s has been asked to sing the National Anthems. First he does the American one. And then, oh my goodness, he sings “Oh Canada”. And Clint, standing beside me, sings along.

I get a lump in my throat. As the song continues, my eyes fill with tears. And when Clint's voice, still in the process of “changing”, cracks – tears spill out and run down my cheeks. He’s still just a boy. Trying to find his way. And he needs a mom who loves him, unconditionally. I am that mom. And with God’s help, we’ll make it through these ugly, confusing, difficult days.

Now if I could figure out a way to deal with our disagreements WITHOUT resorting to those blasted Cream Eggs. I’ve had more than my share already this month. I’m starting to look like one.
Same shape.
Same characteristics… fragile coating filled with soft gooey sweet stuff.


raych said...

LOVE it. Can't wait to have my own sons. Will be coming to you for advice (it'd better not be 'drink cranberry juice and pee,' you only get to use that one once).

My Thots said...

I love how God gives us sunsets, sunrises and just light in general, to change our thoughts of the here and now and remind us who is the Creator and who is the created.
Thanks for sharing.