Tag Archives: affection

Feelin’ Loved Lately

6 Feb

Trivia Crack helps me feel loved

Trivia Crack helps me feel loved

Let me preface this by saying if you’re one of those families with teenagers who still hug and kiss you, tell you everything about their day, and openly admit to wanting to spend time with you – the following list probably won’t make sense to you.

What I’m about to share is a simple list of moments, realizations and events that make me think I may still possibly have a special place in the hearts of my beasts. So here goes…  And keep in mind, the following are not regular occurrences, hence the reason they make me feel special.

Things my beasts do that make me feel loved:

  1. Respond to my text
  2. Put a napkin over their food so it doesn’t splatter all over the microwave
  3. Bring in the trashcan or recycle bin without being asked
  4. Takes out the trashcan or recycle bin without being asked
  5. Puts the toilet seat down (OK, this is rare to basically never, but a girl can dream)
  6. Shares a story from their day that is unsolicited
  7. Shares a story from their day that is solicited
  8. Responds to a question with more than a grunt
  9. Likes a pic I post on Instagram that doesn’t have his dog or self in it
  10. Invites me to load Trivia Crack so we can play against each other
  11. Opens a door for me (any door, anytime, any place – even if accidentally)
  12. Clears his place at dinner table without being asked (actually this is one thing they do well)
  13. Watches a TV show or movie with me (even if it’s about zombies, it’s still time together)
  14. Asks for help with anything

Wow.  It feels good just to type this. If you’re tempted to feel sorry for me or find me pathetic — don’t!!  Remember about 18 months ago I outsourced my emotional fulfillment and need to nurture by getting two puppies.  So if I’m having an off day, waiting for a response to my texts while scrubbing out the microwave next to an overflowing trashcan, chances are I’ve got two baby puppies at my feet waiting for me to make them feel loved too.

Leviticus 26:11-12 — I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you.  I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people.

Parenting Tip:  It may not be a picture-perfect relationship. We just have to be present and available when they’re looking for us.

Yes, you can buy love

14 Oct

Our newest family members.

Our newest family members — Maggie and Cash.

I’ve posted in a past blog, “Love Hurts ,” how as the beasts get older, their willingness to show affection decreases.  (If I were smart enough, I’d create the mathematical formula that proves affections towards mom decrease in proportion to the increase of adolescent hormones.)  With my younger beast having turned 13 yesterday, I decided I was ready to take matters into my own hands and decided to do some outsourcing —  I got a couple of puppies.

Yes, it was a drastic move but I know dogs won’t let their people down when it comes to affection.  They won’t be embarrassed by me around others.  They won’t ignore me in public. I can cuddle them morning, noon or night.  And they’ll be happy to see me every time I walk in the door, not just when I’m holding a Subway sandwich.

I don’t want to short-change my beasts too much — they are still pretty good to me, but a mother has needs. Plus this decision to outsource my need for affection comes with an added bonus my beasts could never fulfill — puppy breath!

Who are you woman?

4 Mar

At what point did I become this unclean leper that my beast refuses to come near or acknowledge knowing me?  Track season has started.  The day before the event, I went into my beast’s room to confirm which event(s) he’s running.  Since I was getting little response, I was happy to at least get him to admit that he did indeed want me to come and watch him run.  That night, we watched the race and since he was only in one event, we knew he could leave right after.

I saw my beast on the field walking towards the 50-yard line.  Since he was alone, I knew it would be okay to cross the track and intercept him so we could all leave as a family.  As he approached the 40-yard line, I saw a subtle smirk overtake his face as his gaze and path began to veer left away from me.  He knew I was coming and was trying to avoid contact.  “Nuh-uh,” I protested.  “I just want to ask you a question.”

And that’s how most public encounters play out nowadays.

In elementary, it was a big deal at our kids’ school when your parents dropped off a fast food lunch and maybe even sat to enjoy it with you.  Back then we’d always be welcomed with a big smile, thank you and possibly even an open hug in front of friends.  I guess the first warning sign that those amicable days of relationship and public conversation are over surfaced during the first year in middle school.  It was 6th grade when he claimed parents weren’t allowed to come to the lunchroom anymore “for security reasons.” I know from reliable sources that this just isn’t true.

I’ve pretty much given up on being a field trip chaperone too — unless it is a place I actually want to visit.  Last time I helped out “to be nice,” my son blew past me on the way to the bus whispering, “I don’t know you woman.”  It was made clear — don’t sit by him, don’t talk to him, don’t look at him and don’t think about him during this event.  Being around the Mother Beast had totally ceased to be cool.

I know not all kids are this way — I’ve seen some kids who still admit they have parents when they attend the band concerts, open house or sporting events.  I even saw one child actually wave to his dad in the stands at the track meet.  I think his dad actually got it on video too.  But not my beast.  Even during drop off in the morning, I am pretty thankful on the days I get a grunt after wishing him a good day at school.

I am working on a strategy to mold my younger beast so that he doesn’t have the same need for anonymity around me as he enters middle school next year.  I do the very thing that ‘experts’ warn against — I pit the behavior of one against the other.  So far it seems to be taking a hold.  My younger beast actually commented the other day, “I am never going to be like him and do that.”   Although I see it already taking place with my 5th grader.  I dropped him off last week and wished him a ‘good day.’  But in return, I received a “bye” with all the same skill and talent of a professional ventriloquist — no use of the jaw, lips, eye contact or facial expression.  Just in case any of his friends were looking.

I continue to ‘casually mention’ from time to time that if he is more agreeable to having me around, I’ll happily bring a pizza to lunch for him next year that he can share with his buds.  I mean, really, how cool is that? Delivery, not dine in. I won’t even try to stay or sit down.  I think it will work.

Parenting Tip: Child taking to long to come to the car?  Let them know you’re happy to come inside and find them.

[2 Corinthians 13:12 Greet one another with a holy kiss]

Love Hurts

10 Feb

A means of survival?

I dropped the boys off to sleep over at my in-laws the other day.  As I walked them to the house, I realized this was a great opportunity to get my good-bye kiss.  You see, it was the dark of night. No neighbors were outside and there was no one to witness an unwanted expression of love from Mom.  But as soon as I moved in to kiss my 5′ 7″ baby on his head, he froze.  You would have thought I was a hunter with a high-caliber rifle, and he the 10-point buck alone in the distance.  As soon as I moved, his body tensed and spine went rigid.  No eye contact.  Gaze frozen into the distance. His mind scrambling for his next course of action.  At any minute, I was sure his flight instinct would kick in and he’d gallop off into the darkness never to be seen again.

It’s really all so ridiculous.  I am still his mother and I should get a kiss whenever I want one, right?  So I gently reassured him, “It’s just going to be a kiss on the head, please.”   Reluctantly he allowed his upper body to angle in my general direction just enough that I could get on my tip-toes and reach his temple for a quick peck.   I know it was difficult on him. And he acted kind of like it burned his skin.  Every year the aversion to Mommy affection just seems to increase.

But there is hope.  I still have my younger one who isn’t completely in the throes of beasthood yet.  Not only does he still willingly cuddle with me, but I can USUALLY give him a temple kiss when I want.  Of course, a cheek or lips kiss is totally out of the question now.  I guess that is how you know the aversion to Mommy affection is setting in – the parts of the face where I am allowed access begin to decrease.  Same goes for hugs and holding hands too.  The instances become fewer and farther between until one day, we are limited to one arm hugs where both bodies must be facing forward, and then ultimately a pat on the back.   The hand holding may transform into a high-five or fist bump, but will more than likely just disappear.

There is also the blowing of kisses.  Long gone.  That moves to a wink, then a wave and ultimately a head nod, or even the more subtle eyebrow raise.  Actually nowadays, if I get eye contact at all, I consider that a sign of affection from my elder son.   Way back when, we used to exchange the sign for “I Love You” with our hands – no way now.

The other day, I saw a mom and her son having a subtle pinky war during opening hymns at church.  We were all standing and I could visibly see them in front of me grinning and wrestling their fingers to fight for the top position.  Man was I jealous and actually very happy for her.  She still gets those moments.   I guess I get them too, but they just aren’t as sweet as I remembered them before.  I  know it is all part of the process – the son has to be ready one day to live apart and be less dependent on Mom.  And, I know someday it will all come full circle, and he’ll be okay with hugging and kissing me again – someday.

I guess for now, I have to get used to stalking him like a hunter in the night to enjoy what I can while I can.  And as I write this, I realize there is a reason he wears so much brown, green and camo-colored clothing — he really is trying to hide from me.  I guess it’s my fault I bought all this camo-colored stuff for him. I thought they were just clothes he liked, and I didn’t realize it really was his survival tactic.

Parenting Tip:  Deep sleepers don’t mind cheek kisses.  Steal them while you can.

[1 Peter 6:5-8  For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.]

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