Thursday, April 2, 2009

...mother of a twelve-year old

Today is my son's 12th birthday. I simply cannot believe that twelve years have gone by so quickly. I know all parents find themselves surprised at the speed that time flashes by us as we live in our day to day lives. But it doesn't mean that I'm any less affected by the wonder of it all.

I sit here and wonder if I'm preparing him enough for what he is going to face as he grows up. I'm no Sarah Connor mind you, but I'm doing what I can. We [my family and I] focus on honor and integrity. Honesty. Valor. He's involved with martial arts. His TV watching is monitored by me. He gets very limited electronics play time. VERY limited. His music is monitored by me. Point in fact I told him that he could no longer listen to Chris Brown after that bastard beat the hell out of his girlfriend, Rihanna. My son's reaction? "Okay, Mom." He was incensed and appalled. He also is very confused as to why the media talks about it the way they do, AND why she would ever take him back. He willingly helped me to toss out any CD's we had and music on our computer and MP3 players.

My family and I have had to do "double duty" as far as school is concerned. Apparently they aren't even teaching them about WWII and the Holocaust. My 6th-grader hadn't ever heard of Hitler. We were stunned. He wasn't being taught how to draft and create paragraphs. Now, this could just be a symptom of his school in particular, which happens to be in a terrible district...but I wonder? Just what are they teaching our kids and what are they NOT?! Never heard of Hitler? Really? Am I remembering my own schooling so badly that it wasn't taught to me until Junior High? Well thankfully my sister has been trained to write and she has undertaken tutoring. We talked to him about Hitler and the Holocaust. We are teaching him about government - in fact I'm going to show him that wonderful video I found at RightKlik's blog this weekend.

I refuse to let the school educate my son about sex - I've been very frank and honest with him on sexual matters. He can ask me anything. I personally have chosen to set an example & do not date or have casual sex. No strange men in my house. Luckily, he still isn't interested in girls. He's quite shy in that respect. He knows that will change - but he's not ready for it. He knows he doesn't want to become a father early in life. (Keep your fingers crossed!)

While I talk about my beliefs at home, I encourage him to just listen and learn and allow himself to make up his own mind as he grows and matures. I don't want him to just be a robot that spouts off what he hears at home - don't we have enough of those?! He's exposed to different forums at home: talk radio, tv news, internet news, etc. I share it all with him.

But is it enough? Am I doing enough?! In my son's case - yes, I believe it is. He is a good, strong, kind, generous boy with a great sense of humor. He is intelligent. He loves spending time with his family. He doesn't go looking for trouble [not REAL trouble]. He respects the law. He is honest - in fact he's a TERRIBLE liar and he knows it! He is charitable. I'm so proud of him.

I'm not exactly sure what my original intent for this post was as I sat down to write it. Bear with me here. Perhaps it was just simply to honor my wonderful son and the man I know he's going to grow up to be. In spite of the current state of our nation, and maybe also because of it!

Happy Birthday to my boy.


Ceredwyn said...

Very good blog, Jenn. As a mom, I relate to every point.
I raised my son quite similiar to what you are doing, and he turned out fine.
He's 23 years old now, works two jobs, and (hopefully) will get his butt back in college -- after a short time off -- and get his masters.
He has recently met a girl (his very first serious girlfriend) and she, of course, takes up quite a bit of his time. LOL.
But, she is a conservative, like him, and so are her parents. So SOMETHING I taught him stuck with him.
I guess all we can do is teach them as best we can and then stand back and hold our breath...
I raised a good decent man; I know you will, too.
All the best, Ceredwyn

Just Jenn said...

How wonderful he sounds! I do hope that my son goes to college - that is something I didn't do. Thank you so much for the kind words.

Barry O said...

Happy 12th to your son!

Just Jenn said...

Thank you Sir ;)

Surly Mac said...

Way to go, Just Jenn!

Joe Reboy said...

JJ, your life sounds similar to mine. I have a 15 year old, and while I confess I didn't marry a Scot I married a woman who is half Irish, although she'll deny that and punch me out for mentioning it.

A Sarah Connor reference? I love it. I feel the same way, because my boy, who is very much like yours, is being prepped to help fight the future war with the robots of socialism as well. Can't have enough John Connors, I always say.

For the record, we let our boy, Colin, play and play and play with video games until he no longer cares for them. He had an XBox and a PS2. He will still play at some social gathering, but he doesn't ever want to hook the games up to the TV anymore. He listens to 60s and 70s classics like the Who and Cream, and he talks endlessly about guys like Brian Eno and David Gilmour. He thinks less of president hussein I think than even I do, and one of his best friends in school was investigated by the Secret Service last November when he drew a picture of the president-elect and put concentric circles on it with a note saying "Get Him!" and hung it in the boy's lavatory at school.

The school blew him in to them.


Hope your boy had a good birthday, and keep your chin up. We're pulling for you!

Your friend, Joe