Interstellar Adventures

June 5, 2007

Hey Kid, Happy Birthday, Once We Get Past the Hair

Filed under: Elle & Zed,Family & Friends,It's Me, Lass,Mom Life — by InterstellarLass @ 11:11 pm

So, since it’s the summer time, and since Zed’s birthday was just around the corner, and since he needed a haircut anyway, Nick and I decidd to have a little fun. “Hey. Want to shave your head into a mowhawk?” “Ummm…sure! Why not!”

So, Nick and Zed went into the bathroom and got hair all over the place. I had to go in and clean up, both the cut and the hair. And when we were done, I think it looked pretty cool. We went and got it professionally cleaned up a little more over the weekend.

Saturday night we went to dinner with my family for Zed’s birthday. I’m surprised there’s any oxygen left on the planet from the gasps my mom and grandmother sucked down. My sisters were a little more cool. After the first hundred ‘Oh my gods’ we finally got a ‘that’s cool looking’ from one of them. My grandfather just looked at him with disapproval and said “What a disgrace.” Nice gramps. Way to start off the night. No happy birthday? Isn’t that why we were there?

My grandfather sat outside the restaurant and stewed while the rest of us went inside to eat. There was palpable tension at the table through most of dinner. Nick went a little overboard in defense of my parenting capability and I’m not sure if he and my grandmother will speak for some time, if ever.

So forget the fact that he’s first chair clarinet, that he’s in honors math, that he got a ‘commended’ score on our state-standard test, that he has the sweetest heart of any kid his age that I know, that he looks after Pop and checks on him during the day to make sure there’s nothing he needs, that he’s progressively more responsible and is dismayed any time he thinks he disappoints people. Let’s throw all that out the window because of a haircut.

There he sat, at his birthday celebration, he was apologizing for causing trouble. I told him he did nothing wrong. Because he didn’t. And neither did I. My grandmother is convinced that we’ve opened ourselves to a world of trouble by allowing him to do this. Uh. He’s almost a teenager. That’s trouble right there isn’t it? And if I though he would be negatively influenced by this action, I wouldn’t have even considered it.

This is the way my family has always been. Never fearing to stick their noses in when they haven’t been asked. Never failing to have a comment or an opinion on my choices. Nick called it ‘child rearing by committee’. And they do all act as if they have a vote. And at times in my past I wasn’t capable of pushing back on them. Of putting my foot down and saying ‘no’. Of insisting that they respect my authority as a parent.

So, because I have yet made another bad decision and failed at my parenting duties, Zed will no doubt be featured on America’s Most Wanted within the next 10 years. I’m probably going to have to visit him over the Christmas holidays in juvenile detention. He’ll be convicted of selling drugs to babies. All because at age 12 I let him shave his head into a mowhawk. Silly me. Someone revoke my rights as a parent and save my children now from the inevitable damage that I have now done to them. I’m most angry over the fact that this was his birthday. And it was sullied by the negative reactions of my family that aren’t mature enough to keep their mouths shut.

But you know what? My baby boy turned 12. On Sunday he went to training to become a timekeeper at the basketball games, earning $5 per game. Then Nick continued to contribute to his deliquency by taking him to TwinPeaks (similar to Hooters but with lumberjack girls) for lunch. He declined the photo with the girls, but accepted the koozie signed by the staff. Last night I took him shopping with his gift cards and birthday money. We went to JCPenney, armed with a $40 gift card, a $10 coupon (good on an over $10 purchase), and his ‘savings’. He had a list of what he wanted. Shoes, shorts, shirt. The Target gift card would be saved for a Gameboy game. We searched the men’s shoe section. We found a pair of Adidas sneakers ON SALE. In a size 8. Is that normal? I was shocked. He checked out on his own, using his coupon and gift card. Then we wandered over to the boys section. I helped him locate sizes. He chose styles, and tried on for fit. Then checked out on his own. The cashier complimented him on his hair, asking (though totally bald) Zed if he thought he could do that style with his ‘hair’ too. “Hey, it’s America.” and the cashier laughed. Everything he bought was on sale, and with the coupon, he only spent $4.89 of his cash. Target was out of the Gameboy game Zed wanted, so he decided to save it rather than buying something he really didn’t want.

I’m so proud of Zed. I could brag on him all day. He is a wonderful, sweet, warm-hearted, kind, loving, smart, responsible (for a 12 year old), trustworthy, funny (funny!) kid. I could not have asked for a more perfect son. All you moms know that squeeze of your heart when you think about how much you love your kids. It’s both heart-wrenching and exciting watching them grow up. My time getting him ready for the world is already over half gone by, and the next few years are going to fly by I feel.

Happy Birthday Sweetie. I love you.

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