My “Pre-teen”

I watched my oldest son Brad on the playground this past weekend. He’s nine, and is just beginning to enter that insanity that is puberty. Thankfully he’s got a ways to go, but little glimpses of what is to come occur entirely too often these days.

We were at Scott’s (my middle son) and I was entertaining Jay (the youngest) at the playground. Brad had climbed on top of the jungle gym (are they still called that?) like the alpha-male he tries to be. I noticed a posture that seemed an attempt at cool – and then I realized why.

Her name was Regan. They were both participating in some pre-adolescent flirting that was amazing to watch. I couldn’t help but be proud – she was a cute girl. I gave them some space and Jay and I returned to the soccer game, mentioning to Anne and even the girl’s mom to watch the two of them.

They explored the playground together. They walked around the greenway, just spending time together, and they were inseparable.

It was one of those moments that really moved me. Brad and I are very alike in many ways – it’s scary how similar we are. He’s the oldest son (as am I), he has some attention issues that make it pretty clear it’s a genetic thing (and not from his mother’s side of the family), a love of music, and beneath all the bluster, he’s got a great heart. A heart that sets a standard for me to achieve.

After the game, I noticed Brad and his mother having a hushed conversation. Later, under the strictest of confidence, I was informed that Brad had declared his love for Regan, and that he thinks she loves him back. He told his mother “She likes to climb, and so do I” and that when she was resistant to going back to watch the soccer game, he turned to walk back to the field, and she followed him.

I’ve gotten to relive many things because of my parenthood, and this one is a biggie. I remember as a “pre-teen” and teen the joys and pains of love and perceived love. I remember the crushes, the unrequited loves, and the girls that didn’t know that I existed. I remember the excitement of a new relationship, and relationships that began and ended all to quickly. I look forward to those things for Brad – the joys most, but the pains too knowing that he will learn from them as well.

It will be interesting to see if he is concerned about what he’s wearing to this Saturday’s game, or if he has moved on to other things. I’m not sure which I hope for.

Simple Joys

Simple Joys – Volume 1
  • Fast forwarding your Tivo to the point exactly between the end of the last commercial and the start of the program. It’s a competition at our house.
  • Cosmic Ice Cream’s Vanilla Cake Batter Ice cream (when they’re out of that, just about anything from there will do.)
  • Stumbling across an old song I haven’t heard in a long time on XM.
  • When any of the boys are interested in something that I’m interested in (a far too rare occurence).

Friends Blogs

Blogs of two friends:

One is conservative and funny, the other liberal and obnoxiously proud of it. It’s kind of tough to keep a blog, musing on things regarding politics and pop life when you’re as middle of the road as I am.

I’d describe myself as a moderate with leanings to “the right”. My problem is that the extremes on both sides scare the crap out of me. I have a tendency to react in direct opposition to “the group in power”. As the country seems to be moving to the right (the Conservative Christian movement worries me), I find myself coasting away from “the right”.

A Quote I Like

To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one’s self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived – this is to have succeeded.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a little better; whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is the meaning of success.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Favorite Quotes

To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one’s self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived – this is to have succeeded.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a little better; whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is the meaning of success.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Current Events and the Art of Being Shallow

Between Terri Schaivo, the Pope’s passing, and Carolina winning the championship, is there anything else going on in the world? Can’t seem to find anything in the media otherwise. Oh yeah, Prince Charles got married and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie might be doin’ the nasty.
Michael Jackson is going to get off, this time just without the direct involvement of young boys. Martha Stewart’s always been a thug, now she’s got street cred. Important stuff there.

We’re being told what’s important by a select few. This isn’t just some grand conspiracy theory, just a fact of life. My house has a subscription to Us Weekly, not the New York Times, so we’re as guilty as anybody.

Some friends suggested reading the Brothers Karamazov in preparation of a Sunday School class – I’ve never been so overwhelmed in my life. The section I read before abandoning it for being too highbrow was plenty violent, but not nearly enough sex and explosions.

Another friend recommended a Tennyson poem to me regarding something I said to them. WHO?