Last week my boy crossed the line and said a couple of really mean things to me. I was quite rocked by his lashing out and am expecting an apology. Looks like it might be a while.
During these days of waiting, I’ve been puzzling over his inability to offer a simple “I’m sorry.” As a mom, I can only assume I failed to convey some fundamental component of character to him. I can’t imagine that he doesn’t understand how hurt my feelings were by his words, especially since I’ve mentioned a number of times how hurt my feelings were by his words. I can only conclude that he must not know how to properly apologize.
After arriving at this conclusion, I’ve made several attempts to help him formulate an apology. My initial bid was quietly direct and went something like this: “You know I deserve and expect an apology from you, right?” Response: nothing.
I continued to treat him to my cold shoulder, a technique which I find most males struggle to get beyond, until I took another crack at it prompted by his request to host a sleepover at our house. When I refused to allow him to have a friend spend the night (using a minimum of words, of course), he asked if I would change my mind if he apologized. I told him I wasn’t negotiating with him and gave him an excerpt from Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture to
absorb read. The topic of the chapter was perfect – it was a discussion about how an insincere apology is more offensive than no apology. End result: nothing.
My most recent foray in eliciting an apology was an appeal to his adolescent need to be popular. I asked him how he thought his friends and their parents would feel about him if they knew the things he had said to me. His response: nothing.
I don’t think my son is a bad kid, nor do I think he truly thinks I am a not-too-smart-female-dog, but I do believe we’re at an impasse. I don’t often dig my heels in because I think parenting is the ultimate pick your battles kind of job, but I know this is a critical lesson he needs to learn and, for that, I’m not apologizing.
Any suggestions or similar experiences you might want to share?
- I never got to bake them for my own father
- I like to eat cookie dough.
- It’s Father’s Day - not (ex)Husband Day. He’ll always be my boys’ father and deserves to be honored as such.
- He always enjoyed my cooking and baking skills.
- The house will smell great.
- It’s his first Father’s Day without his own father.
- The boys should see their parents continue to do nice things for each other because we’re truly nice people.
- I’ve got a surplus of chocolate chips.
- He isn’t expecting it and I like pleasant surprises.
- The idea of my boys sitting around eating homemade cookies with their Dad makes me happy.
FYI: My cookies will (unfortunately) not look like these!
In my hometown, Greenwood Lake, N.Y., there was a guy we called Noah. He was reputed to be building an ark and was quite a legendary character in our small town. He was the first person I ever knew to wear garbage bags as outerwear, predating Bradley Cooper’s Silver Lining Playbook character by nearly four decades. On his feet, he wore sneakers that flapped and were tied to his feet, and together, by dirty string which was wrapped around and around. He left quite an impression on me and I’m sure many of my oldest friends could chime in with their own recollections of that very eccentric old man.
With the rain we’ve been having, enough rain that Quinn is convinced that April and June traded places this year, I’ve been wondering if Noah’s Ark might still be viable and, if so, what I should pack if the deluge continues. I came up with a couple of things…
- The four males whose faces my day is incomplete without seeing, would definitely make the cut.
- As would my girl, Cassidy Bono Lilly
- A couple of books which I never tire of reading, namely The Book Thief, Bridge of Sighs, A Moveable Feast and Love Story. Quite the mixed bag, huh?
- My trusty Nikon D60 which fits perfectly in my hands.
- My iPod with all my music, including the desert island albums I wouldn’t want to be without.
- My posse of Lakers – they know exactly who they are, along with some honorary additions to the original crew.
- Wine, lots of wine.
- Something to write with.
- My sense of adventure and spirit of discovery.
How about you? What are you packing?
The “jam” in Mountain Jam must be code
for mud, right?
Four of us attended Mountain Jam for what was consecutive year number three and I learned two very important things… the first had something to do with knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that everything will be fine because your oldest friends always have your back. The second was equally practical but involved mud, and boots that no longer kept the mud out. The ultimate message was the friends are for forever and the boots can be replaced. End of story.
One last thing – the crowd at this event was fantastic – peaceful, friendly, fun and colorful as hell. Getting these shots was a joy!
Last night’s concert at my son’s middle school made an unexpected impact upon me emotionally. I’m not usually inclined to tears, but this gathering of kids, led by their obviously committed teachers, left me absolutely weepy. Here are the thoughts I had while sitting in that auditorium…
…there was a boy with a cast on his arm nevertheless playing saxophone. During the presentation of the 8th grade participants,* a-soon-to-be graduate was introduced and described as having run in the rain to be present at his final Middle School performance. Each ensemble which took the stage was a remarkable variety of tall and short, dark and light, with every shade of skin, and texture of hair, imaginable. Feet tapping, bodies swaying, heads nodding, everyone unified by the music they were making together. Beautiful.
I am so glad that my children attend a school where these opportunities are offered and valued. The fact that this school is filled with a population often described euphemistically as “urban,” adds a richness to the experience for each and every student there. These are kids that have interests and passions and talents, all of which are being fostered by the Albany City School District, and witnessed by their families. It was a great evening and everyone involved should be proud.
*My son was introduced as the “one and only Griffin Lilly.” Never have I been more proud.
Follow up to Destination Lame:
I phoned the principal early this week and expressed my concerns about the trip. She and I didn’t speak directly, it was more a game of phone tag and a series of voicemails, but I am satisfied with her response to my issues. The trip, as presented to parents, is a bit different from the trip originally approved by administration. The principal will be addressing the changes to the original itinerary and modifying the trip to add more structure and formal activities, as time and budget allow. I was impressed with her immediate response and serious consideration of my concerns.
No notice on this really – I’m sorry! It’s my fault, not Pat’s.
From NYS Assemblymember Pat Fahy:
Local Education Forum: School districts across the region are feeling the strain of limited federal and state funding, a convoluted funding formula, and increasing testing and other state and federal mandates. To give voice to these concerns, the Capital Region legislators will host a local forum to hear from educators about the Impact of State Mandates and Testing on K-12 Students on Wednesday, June 5th from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Room 711A in the Legislative Office Building in Downtown Albany. The forum will provide an opportunity to hear from urban, rural, and suburban school districts on these challenges and all are welcome to attend.
Maybe you can get there?
My middle son is wrapping up his middle school academic career in a couple of weeks. There are a few events to commemorate the occasion, including a day trip to NYC, later this month. When I was in 8th grade, we also went to the city. I remember it vividly because I saw my first Broadway musical, Grease, and wore the brown sweater coat (the height of fashion in 1980!) my mother knit for me. It was a special day.
On Friday, he brought home the permission slip which detailed the itinerary for their day. Basically, they depart from Albany at 6:30 in the morning, returning at approximately 9:30 p.m. Their first stop is midtown where they have 2.5 hours scheduled at Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. From there they head to the Hard Rock Cafe for lunch. I understand that not every kid has parents who believe in authentic experiences which reflect their locale, but doesn’t this sound incredibly generic? Is there anything about this that screams “greatest city in the world” to you?
But, wait, it gets better. The kids then head down to the South Street Seaport – and this is the part that really rankles me, where they have 3 hours to wander around, using the “buddy system.” Now, I’m sure (right?) there will be adequate supervision of the kids, but this segment of the trip, the lengthiest one, is completely unstructured. In the description provided on the permission slip, this cool, but small area, was heralded for its “mall and 15 places to eat.” Really?!? I’m sending my kid to New York to go to a mall and eat at some chain restaurant?
I’m pretty familiar with the downtown area where the kids are going to be. The Brooklyn Bridge and the World Trade Center are right there. Why aren’t they bringing the kids to either of these free, yet, significant places? Maybe a ferry ride to Staten Island? There’s so much history in that area! How about Chinatown, Little Italy or the Tenement Museum, all of which are included in the 8th grade social studies curriculum?
Is it just me, or is this a true example of missed opportunity and lack of effort in planning? What do you think?