Saturday, June 16, 2007

Bread and Water



I hate it when Jeanine walks into the room and says, You gotta back me up on this…

It means she has doled out an unreasonable punishment- she knows it unreasonable but sometimes, once it’s said, it’s said. You have to follow through.

She sent Ben to his room until dinner. It was 2pm.

It’s about 90 degrees out, a beautiful sunny day.

Jeanine’s pretty calm. The shouting didn’t get to her- she handles that very quietly. It was the butt stuck out and slap in her direction, a “kiss my ass” move from our eleven-year-old son that sent her over the edge.

I’m glad she gets sent over the edge occasionally, otherwise it would always just be me.

Like it or not, I’m backing her up.

I feel terrible about his situation but… no one asked him to slap his ass. Boundary testing, as we enter the pre-teen years, is interesting, to say the least.

He does have an air conditioner in the room. He said he was not going to turn it on and “die up here and no one will care…”

A few minutes ago, I took up a glass of ice water and some fresh strawberries. I almost got a slice of dry bread but I knew the humor would be lost on him. He is up there dying, after all.

I opened the door to a icy breeze- not only does he have the air conditioner on, it’s cranked as high as it can go- something that is, big surprise, not allowed. I didn’t say a word, put down his water and strawberries, turned down the a/c and looked at him with raised eyebrows.

A barely audible “thanks mom” was said.

I’ll go up and talk to him in a little while. We’ll talk about choices and how to best express displeasure in a way that will end up with a positive result instead of being sent to his room for four hours. I’ll be clear that I will not change Jeanine’s punishment.

It doesn’t matter if I agree or disagree. You can’t play one of us off the other. Out of earshot, we often disagree about the other’s approach, but never, ever in front of the kids. It’s not about being right. What matters the most are the arms that hold him, keep him safe, stay joined together, no matter how hard he pushes at them.

Maybe I’ll bring him a tin cup and teach him a new song…

Louis Armstrong’s, Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen

Nobody knows the trouble I've seen
Nobody knows but Jesus
Nobody knows the trouble I've seen
Glory Hallelujah

Nobody knows the trouble I've seen
Nobody knows but Jesus
Nobody knows the trouble I've seen
Glory Hallelujah

Sometimes I'm up and sometimes I'm down
Yes lord, you know sometimes I'm almost to the ground
O yes, Lord, still
Nobody knows the trouble I've seen
Nobody knows but Jesus
Nobody knows the trouble I've seen
Glory Hallelujah

You got here before I do
O yes Lord, don't forget to tell all my friends I'm coming too

O yes Lord, still
Nobody knows the trouble I've seen
Nobody knows but Jesus
Nobody knows the trouble I've seen
Glory Hallelujah



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