Home On The Fringe

Fringe Art

Contact Us

Recent Ramblings

The Chronicles

Fringe Reads

  • Powered by Blogger
  • Weblog Commenting and 

Trackback by HaloScan.com
  • Get StatCounter!

The Update on Bryce's Outing

I've been thinking of how best to frame all of this, and there are so many ways I could do it. I could take the intensely alarmist standpoint wherein I wail and gnash my teeth over the fact that Hannah with her maturity problems, together with my sister-in-law's world-renowed ability to make people do things they don't want to do, made up the WORST POSSIBLE COMBINATION of semi-adults to send off with Bryce. Hence, the pop he drank FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HIS LIFE DESPITE HANNAH'S DISTINCT AWARENESS THAT I DON'T GIVE THIS TO HIM AT HOME AND HE'S NOT TO HAVE IT UNTIL I BLOODY WELL SAY SO. Hence, the TWO AND A HALF HOURS they were gone from my house on the unplanned trip to Carl's Jr., which actually turned into more of an unplanned trip to Carl's Jr., the land of sugar-filled caffeinated drinks, and also a big chaosfest at Cold Stone Creamery, you know, just because their stomachs didn't have enough complete crap to digest already. Hence, the stop at two open houses that my sister-in-law wanted to walk through while leaving all five kids and Hannah in the car while she drooled over a house her husband will never "let" her buy even though she's the one who actually provides the paychecks at their house.

Um. I digress. That was the alarmist standpoint. I could also take the drunk standpoint, wherein I say, "oh what the hell? it's just a dr. pepper. he didn't even know what it was and he won't be able to ask for it in the future. i'm probably just being anal about this whole pop thing anyway...normal kids drink pop, why not mine too? He's not THAT out of the ordinary. Barkeep! Another round!"

In a slightly less irresponsible twist, I could take the newly laid back standpoint wherein I and say, "who was that woman freaking out about a Carl's Jr. trip anyway? It's FUN! What kid wouldn't enjoy that? I need to take some lessons from my sister-in-law. After all, she has THREE kids, and I only have two biologically. She probably knows more than I do."

Or, I could just take the realistic standpoint wherein I stop stalling and admit that Bryce LOVED every second of his time with his cousin. Despite the chaos and the new social situation and the unwarranted caffeinated sugar drink that I would never have approved and the millions of opportunities to feel uncomfortable, he was free to feel it all and enjoy things that if he'd had me there to shield him from, maybe he wouldn't have risked. When my sister-in-law brought Hannah home from their three-hour "lunch", I approached the car from my front door not knowing what I huge emotional explosion would await me when I opened that door, but what I found was a kid with a chocolate mustache and a voice hoarse from squealing laughter in the Carl's Jr. play area and eyes and language that said to me with all the intensity I've learned to cherish from this kid, "No, mom! I'm going back to their house like we talked about! Remember!?" My hands itched to get him out of that car, to bring him back inside and give him the third degree about what had happened in this unprecedented amount of time he'd been gone, to provide the comfort I was sure he'd need after such a taxing milestone, to keep him under my wings for just a little bit longer. I stood there at the car door and looked at him with his face full of hope and excitement and absolute fatigue; I faltered in my resolve to protect him from any further chaos. He was fine. He was tired but happy, not confused and overwhelmed and craving familiarity. At least not the way I'd feared he would be. He had managed it. He had handled it. He had done what I'd been teaching him to do.

I sent him off again with my sister-in-law, and told her I'd be there to get him in an hour. When I got there, he was still playing heartily with his cousin. After a while, when it was time to head home, the meltdown I'd been expecting from him hit with the force I'd been expecting from him. He wasn't ready to leave, but I'd known this was coming: transitions are hard for him. My sister-in-law thought it was strange, but again, she doesn't know my kid the way I do (this is why she also thought it was "weird" - and expressed so to Hannah - when Bryce refused to drink white milk and she told Hannah to "just give him the dr. pepper"). I picked him up and took him to the car without comment. On the way home, as he tried his damndest to negotiate terms of future late night playtime with me, I asked him to really listen to me, and I went into a very complex, adult monologue about how we all make choices with our time, and since he'd chosen to spend the afternoon with his cousin, we couldn't stay out late and go to the school's bingo night with them the way he'd really, really wanted to, because it would just be too much for his body to take all in one day. I always do these monologues, but they are typically drowned out by wailing and moaning and screeching about injustice. Not this time. He dried his tears and sniffed, then said, "well, how about next time I take a nap in the afternoon and THEN we can play bingo with them at night?! Would that work?" (The eternal negotiator. At age four. At age three. AT AGE TWO. The kid is unreal.) I said, "that's a great idea, buddy. Maybe we'll try it that way next time."

And you know what? After that, he was JUST. FINE.

This intensity he brings into our world...have I mentioned that it's unpredictable? Have I mentioned that its force sends me reeling back to a place of humility and awe and utter amazement at every turn? Because it is. And it does. And for the record, I know how surrealistically lucky I am to have him, to have this opportunity to watch the universe laugh at me and my theories and effortlessly turn me on my head.

Labels: , ,