21 March, 2006

If Brevity is the Soul of Wit....

... then I am a half-wit.

My verbosity is legendary, and my output from the last week is more in keeping with my natural character than I would like to admit. You can always tell when I have no clue what I'm talking about. It takes me pages and pages to say it.

I want to make it clear that I am not neglecting my family to blog at this great length. My family is neglecting me.

If you ever have the opportunity to single-parent through the late teen years, go ahead and pass. I have free time for the first time in a decade or two, but at the price of near constant rejection. Doing that without someone in the house to say I am not a complete loser gets old.

My daughter has actually quit spending 50% of her time here (and who can blame her - that split life thing is awful) to go live with her mom. It is much harder than it may sound, as it seems to me that she mostly did it following her mom's example. Her mom rejected the Lord a few years before leaving.

My son is fully engaged in prepping for SAT and AP Exams. I see him for about 2 minutes a night, some nights, and maybe an hour on weekends. We did not even have time to rock-climb together, which is a usual Tuesday/Friday night thing for us. When we are together, though, things are good.

Mostly, though, these years are ALL about proving to themselves that they can think for themselves. That involves mountains of finding things to disagree about. It wears, baby. It wears. Were I the confident type, or as mature and secure as my four decades might suggest, it would roll off my back. Unfortunately, I don't think there is an animal in nature that I am less like than a duck.

Anyway, I'm pretty confused by the whole M & C series of posts, so they will probably be written in "verbose mode". I will try to go back to "blog-length" posts after that. Indulging in 1300-word explorations is just plain rude. ;-)

(This post: ~330 words.)

24 comments:

Milly said...

Hay dude praying for your family. I get the kids growing up thing, kind of. My son is pushing towards 13 and he gets to me. The other day he was leaning against the table eating and reading the paper. He didn't even look up to talk to me. He didn't sit down. I had to walk away for a moment to push back my tears. My baby is growing up. He moved out for spring break, he's with my dad but since there's no class at church this week I'll see him Sunday night.

Your daughter has you and she knows it. Your spirtit and your love for the Word will be with her. Keep being there, they will always come home to you.

Kansas Bob said...

My kids are 25 & 21. In their teen years I often felt the way you do ... an outsider and uninvolved. I learned to push past my pain and love them in the way they needed to be loved rather than the way that I wanted to love them ... it was rough because it involved accepting their decisions about family and church life. I guess life is all about the long haul ... in the long haul love conquers all.

Signed, 1/10th wit

Andreia said...

I can feel your pain although with kids 2, 3.11, 5, and 9, I have not gotten to where you are yet.

I think your willingness to be available whenever will make a difference in the long run.

You have seen the movie where the gawky guy/gal is the best friend of the Beautiful One. Gawky kid is routinely rejected until one bright day when Beautiful One realizes that they love the one who has supported them the most.

BTW, Im not suggesting you are gawky!

Like the movie, I pray that there will be a time when your children will realize your steadfast love and crave the time with you.

But until then work on that serve, dude and keep posting those 1300 word rants. I happen to like 'em!

Milly said...

andreia,
Do you have 5 kids? The 2 I have keeps me hopping. One is in my black high heals and her Easter dress from last year replaying High School Musical. (Thankful it's my girl)

Milly said...

Codepoke,
Clearly we like your posts. Keep it up. You've brought this rag tag group together now you have to deal with us. :-}

Andreia said...

Milly

No, I only have 4!

My next-to-youngest is 3 years 11 months and counting every second until the big 0-4. We have a perfect quad: boy-,girl (gurhl), boy, girl.

Yes, I know. I have tons of heartache ahead of me. And hopefully, lots of joy too.

Enjoy the serenade!

Weekend Fisher said...

Poke, I'm really sorry about your daughter. I know if my son left I'd be devastated. I've only known you a little while but I get the impression you don't give up easily. I'm probably facing this day one day myself: how do you keep close to a kid who is too busy for you, or has moved out? Ouch. But we all figure out something. I was closer to my own parents as an adult than as a teenager ... I'm rambling. Wish I could help.

Take care & God bless

codepoke said...

Thanks, all.

KB, it is very comforting to hear that. I agree. It is very hard to figure out how they need to be loved, though. I guess the thing that's hard is believing that they know what they need. I really want to tell them what they need, but that is strictly verboten. It genuinely does not work.

It was just kind of a tough week on that front.

codepoke said...

Andreia,

I pray that there will be a time when your children will realize your steadfast love and crave the time with you.

But until then work on that serve, dude and keep posting those 1300 word rants. I happen to like 'em!


Thanks for both!

It's tough because their mother is a gifted people-person. She knows how to make anyone feel at home instantly, and is almost preternaturally thoughtful. Me? Not so much. I have that classic guy/thoughtless thing going pretty much all the time. I get lost in theory at the drop of a hat.

But, I think I have found 2 hobbies that she will like. It's tough! She's a girl, and I'm so not one. I'm not much for the movies, but if she'll go, I'll pay. Friday, it's Madama Butterfly at the Columbus Opera, and back to the regular theaters after that.

Then, she seemed to like the idea of going to the shooting range. I haven't fired a pistol in years, but something tells me she will get into that. If she does, then that will be easy time together. I used to love it, and now that I have glasses, I might even be a little better at it.

codepoke said...

I was closer to my own parents as an adult than as a teenager

That's a great foundation.

My kids have seen the opposite patterned to them. At 19 I moved out, and never looked back (Nobody chased me, either.) My ex was an orphan. Neither of my kids has any concept of an extended family. I kept up a distant friendliness with my parents, and that is exactly what I fear is in my future if I don't figure this one out.

All this, and I have no roots in Columbus. In 6 months my daughter will go to school in Georgia, and 12 months later my son will go somewhere else.

I probably end up back in Northern CA, where my mom is close to needing help.

Matt 6:32-34 TNIV
For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.


It's either believe that or lose the last little shred of my sanity. :-S

codepoke said...

I should mention that it's my daughter I will take the movies, not the ex. :-) Ambiguity. It's invisible until you click, "Publish".

Also, I need to mention that both of the munch'ns are a pleasure to be around. They really do make parenting easy. Great, level heads on their shoulders, and no real reason to believe that they are going to cause themselves pain - except in the matter of their confusion between their mother's religion and mine. It's not their fault they're growing up on me!

Honestly, every single year with them has been better than the year before. Don't let a moment of weakness on my part discourage you who have this to look forward to.

I get to have discussions of the highest order now with these people that I used cradle in one hand. The moments are golden. Their love is now measured out to me; they no longer run to meet me at the door. But, when they do tell me they love me, there is nothing childish about it. Theirs is now an independent and free love, freely given. It is an amazing transition, and a treasure to witness.

The teenage years are fantastic. It's just that like all the other years, there are times that things wear on a man.

One verse does come to mind though,

Ecc 7:21 TNIV
Do not pay attention to every word people say, or you may hear your servant cursing you—


;-)

Milly said...

CP,

Madama Butterfly! I so love it. (Sniff sniff) I believe he could love her every time, I have seen it and heard it a lot of times. My husband reminds me to bring a hankie. Music starts and tears roll out. I want a go.

It sounds like you are in need of a hug. Thinking hugs to ya.

My dad and I would go for walks and spend time in the garden. It doesn't have to be big. Love is shown in small ways like just being in the same room. He and I now have our trecks to an organic farm and to get peaches. My sister hates the idea of going so far for stuff she can get at the store. We go for the love of being.

codepoke said...

If anyone is still checking back,

Several months ago my daughter was running with a slightly geeky crowd. I tried to incite them to a robot challenge. They build a robot and I build one, and see which robot wins. To this end I bought a pair of Lego Mindstorms 2.0 robots. They did not, in the end, seem to feel much need to embarass me. The competition never happened. :-/

So, these robots seem to be perfect for kids a few years younger than mine. Age 12 to 15, or anyone actually interested in this kind of thing. The programming is pretty easy, but it's actual programming. I can also point them to resources that will make the programming even more flexible. There is a C-like language available for the bots, for example.

Anyway, I have two of these that are gathering dust. If any of you knows anyone (obviously including yourselves) with an interest, I will gladly throw one or both of them in the mail. The are really cool, and I hate to see them going to such waste.

Milly said...

It's hard to know sometimes how to connect with kids. When I was in college my friends and I hung out with two people much older than us and we even like some of the teachers. We went dancing and stuff. If that were my parents. No way. My parents were just that. I didn't want the cool mom, my friend had that.I wanted the mom and dad that were at home waiting for me to need them. Being the solid in a childs life is important.

My mom was my best friend most of my life, not all. She was my solid until the day she died.

It's great to have a solid dad.

Patchouli said...

Movies and the pistol range--love it--and your kids will wake up one day and appreciate it.

Rich said...

codepoke,

Teenager stories all over scare me to death. You know my kids are younger than that now (&, 5, and not yet 1), and boy would I love to bottle up this time, but I know that's good for no one.

My thoughts are with you with your daughter... and son, too.

Also, I'll just say that your posts, no matter which ones they are, are always way more thought out and credible than any I ever write, so you've got nothing to apologize for on that front. Keep on keepin' on.

codepoke said...

Followup for those who come back to old posts like this.

Madama Butterfly was good. Much better than Aida. I would love to love opera (especially after the movie "Pretty Woman" made opera a functional IQ test; But that's OK; I hated Pretty Woman anyway,) but for some reason it cannot get under my skin. Then again, symphony can't either, when I am there in person. I like it much better in the car.

(called away. Finish later.)

Milly said...

The opera is so special to me I hurts when someone doesn't love it. You must think not loving tennis is like that. I've seen several operas and loved them all. Heads up to Carmen the music is very relaxing try not to snore. I was very pregnant when I went. I had an excuse, the others didn’t. And if you watched Gilligan’s Island you’ll remember the music from the Hamlet musical. Try not to laugh. Now I want to go.

codepoke said...

Yeah. Sorry about that. Maybe the rest of the comment will clear things up.

It was a difficult night. Daughter child seemed to enjoy the opera. She certainly said that she did. I took her to Steak and Shake afterward. She got slightly bent out of shape, and I had to explain to her that I was not watching her put ketchup on her plate. Really, she was so edgy that she was visibly freaking out because she thought I was judging her for the way she was putting on the ketchup.

I just couldn't stare intentionally away from her any more. The rest of the room was getting nervous. ;-)

I am not good at awkwardness! I am awkward without any help, thank you very much. She spent most of the down time at the opera watching whichever half of the room caused the back of her head to be turned toward me.

[Milly note: It's hard to be carried away by an Opera in Italian with English supertitles with all this rolling around in your head. I will probably go alone some day, and see what I think. If I go alone, though, it will have to be a sad one.]

I did find small talk to make, and we did laugh. I did remind myself over and over to loosen up and just enjoy. I think the night goes down as a win, but hardly a victory.

The final indicator was this afternoon when the migraine caught up with me. It was just another starter migraine, nothing to write home about, but I get them 12-24 hours after a serious emotional struggle.

It was a hard night, but worth it.

She does the weirdest thing when she's straining. She smiles her fake smile (like all of us do), but she really focuses on smiling with her eyes. She overplays it to bad effect. I'm pretty sure she learned that one from me.

Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.

codepoke said...

Oh, and "Nah" on the tennis.

It takes a particular bent of mind to enjoy working that hard for something so pointless. I often wonder whether the Lord values the time I spend out there. I do. That will have to be good enough for now.

It's just not a mass-appeal thing.

But it's coming on the tube right now, and that's what matters!

cya!

Milly said...

It takes a particular bent of mind to enjoy working that hard for something so pointless. I often wonder whether the Lord values the time I spend out there. I do. That will have to be good enough for now.

I use to jog. I think the Lord gave us that stuff for our sanity.

[Milly note: It's hard to be carried away by an Opera in Italian with English supertitles with all this rolling around in your head. I will probably go alone some day, and see what I think. If I go alone, though, it will have to be a sad one.]

If supertitles are subtitles:

I hate the supertitles. I find myself reading and thinking, not listening and watching. You just don't need them. I read the story before so that I can relax and let the music and beauty take over.

Sorry about your daughter. I could be that she's trying to figure out how to deal with leaving you. It's not easy to leave the person who loves you so much. I'll bet it was about love.

Milly said...

The final indicator was this afternoon when the migraine caught up with me.

I get them. I had one every day last week. I had to detox to stop them. Too many pills. Bounce backs.

Try to relax. :-}

codepoke said...

7 days of migraines?!

My respect for your cheerfulness just went up about a million.

I am so sorry. May the Lord grant you some form of relief!

Milly said...

He did, doctors who give me meds. :-}