Happy B-Day Mike!
Ok thats my son, today is his *gulp* 17th birthday. And while even saying or typing that in makes me feel old there is a lot to be said here. He is already 2 years older then I was when he was born. We have done a lot of growing up together. When he was in Kindergarten I was in college, we did our homework together every night. Although he likely doesn't even believe it, I am proud of him in a way only parents are of their children. He doesn't have to do anything, he doesn't have to get straight A's in school and he doesn't need some phenomenal accomplishment for me to say that. I am just proud that he is my son, and that we have made it this far together. He may still not like me very much, as I have never taken the 'my child is my friend' attitude. He is not my friend, not yet anyway. When he is 18, we can start being friends. Until then, I am his mother, I do not allow any disrespect and maybe twice in his life he has attempted it. Which reminds me of something that happened not long ago that makes me smile and is another reason for my pride in him. I have been an unbelievably strict parent. I guess it goes back to feeling like I did not bring children into the world to destroy it, or to make it more miserable. If they can't add something to it, I hope they will not injure it. But it has caused more then one round of major fighting in our short time together so far. One story makes me grin no matter what.
We were riding in the car and although I can't remember what the argument was about in particular, we were disagreeing on something trivial I'm sure. And although he has always been allowed freedom of speech, if that freedom causes disrespect thats where we bash heads. Bash heads is a little far out there, more like a one sided head butt while the other person glares. So I am pissed and he is rambling and the conversation ended like this. I believe he was 15 at the time.
Mike: You don't even know me!
Joy: Don't know you? DONT KNOW YOU? You are ME how could I not know you???
Mike: What do you mean?
Joy: Only a blind person, or a child wouldn't see that we are exactly alike. When we are around other people in the family or just my friends WE are the only ones that even understand what we are saying. You have the same temperment and personality that I did at your age. Hell Michael, you cant even walk past me with candy in your pocket without me knowing. Just get over it.
Mike: This is BULLSHIT
Tires screech to a halt on the pavement. Mikes eyes get huge, he immediately starts apologizing. (not that I dont have entirely foul language, not that I dont know where he got it from, not that I blame him for using it in that moment, but I am his mother and he knows better then to talk to me that way or curse even NEAR me. To this day the foulest thing I've ever heard him say was "You know, after a certain time of night they can say 'shit' on tv and get away with it)
Joy: Ok well look. I really want to be pissed at you and I still am because you dont know what the hell you are talking about, but son, that took balls, big balls and it proves that you have a mind of your own. I'd never punish you for that so quit apologizing.
Mike stares, he doesn't trust what I am saying.
Joy: No, you cant say that kind of thing to me, and I DONT like it nor do I appreciate it. But I would have said no less, likely worse. Congradulations, you are growing up and learning that things can suck sometimes. Even if its just something as simple as being referred to as being just like your mother.
I go home and go to my bedroom and have a great big laugh. He is me, he doesn't like it, but its the truth.
I love you Michael