I remember being 13, and finding out that I could, in fact, talk back to my mom if I really wanted to. I also learned that I could negotiate my punishments by blaming others. Back then, I knew it all, and my mom was dumb. If my mom punished me, then she obviously was crazy, and I didn’t deserve it. I remember talking back one time, and it happened to be the night of a dance at school. My little mouth cost me my $5 dance ticket (which my mom gave me the money to buy anyway). She was a bad mom for keeping me from doing something important to me….or so my shallow, inexperienced mind thought at the time.
As I begin tonight, I’m letting out a deep, long, drain-ridden sigh. It’s been over 3 months now, and my little boy is dealing with emotions that most grown men can’t wrap their minds around. Ever since my husband left from his short visit home, Cole has been slowly learning that sinful art of defiance. Of course, he doesn’t see how this is the sin that we are born with dating back to the garden of Eden. How can he understand that, right? He’s only 6. I keep telling myself that he’s only 6, but his defiance and attitude are telling me otherwise. He reminds me of the 13 year old me. This week, he went from bad to worse to something’s wrong. It was Spring Break, and we did so many fun things (like playing outside in the water with a substantial amount of bubbles, the aquarium, the coca cola factory, an easter egg hunt, dying easter eggs, eating easter eggs…etc), why was he losing his cool about doing his chores and eating his dinner? He has been talking back, rolling his eyes, screaming at me, throwing things, and slamming doors. Spank him, right? If only it was that easy… I’ve tried various forms of discipline, and I’m still the bad guy. Nothing has kicked in yet to make him want to make right what was wrong. Usually, he hates to disappoint, but lately, he just hates. period. It’s like my silly, fun, happy, goofy little boy has just disappeared, and what’s left is this angry shell of a reminder of my little boy. He finally yelled at me, “Dad always has to leave, and you never do anything about it!” Ah, so that’s’ why he’s acting 13.
When you go from being a kid to being a teenager, your body goes through some changes…no, no, this is not a birds-and-bees talk. Just hear me out. Along with those bodily changes come hormones rocketing and zip-zapping all over the place. Sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re down. Growing up with a gazillion girls in the house (okay maybe just 5, sometimes 7 when the sistas were there), our “cycles” would gravitate toward each other. We all kinda bounced off of one another. By the time I turned 13, I already had 3 other women to compete with for emotional significance. I often won because I learned to be the most dramatic. It’s part of the hormonal changes mixed with a little survival of the fittest. Well, Cole is going through so many mixed emotions, and he doesn’t understand them at all. One emotion is bouncing off of another, and then another, and so one. Now they’re all going crazy, and he has no idea when he’s feeling what or what it’s even called. But, the easiest one to pick out of the bunch is anger. Think about it. It’s the easiest emotion to explain and the easiest one to justify, because we’re born with it. I wonder if it’s the first emotion we ever felt. What are babies really feeling when they’re screaming at the top of their lungs as they’re pulled from their first home in the womb to a cold, bright place with scary giants and objects being poked at them left and right? Is it anger? Frustration? Fear? I’d venture to say those three are closely related. And that’s why Cole is having such a hard time expressing the one that fits most with what he’s feeling. He says that he’s angry with me. I get that. I’m always around, and Dad isn’t. Dad is gone, he wants me to do something about it, and I don’t. I don’t, because I can’t, but he doesn’t understand that. I wish I could buy him a $5 dance ticket and he could meet his dad there. I wish I could snap, and this would all be over for him. I hate that he’s feeling these feelings , and I hate even more that he doesn’t even understand them. I trust that God will use this to help define character in him that is going to shine! But, I ache for him as he’s being sanded. Can you even sand wood when it’s still green? I wouldn’t ever attempt it, but God does, and somehow His artwork is far more beautiful than any I could even imagine.
As for my emotions, they’ve kind of taken a back seat this week to focus on Cole’s. The scary thing is that I’m feeling numb to emotion right now. I think I’ve hit go-mode, and we haven’t even had lift-off yet. This road to deployment is the longest runway ever! The dates keep getting changed as we continue to wait, and wait, and wait. He’s already been gone 13 weeks…and there are more pre-deployment weeks to follow until we even get to start the 12 month count-down. Being a Soldier’s wife is definitely something to be proud of. I know that my husband makes a difference in people’s lives every time his dusty combat boots hit the ground, but I wonder if I’m feeling a little anger myself right now. I’m not mad at him or God or my country…but I might be angry somewhere. I just don’t have anyone to point a finger at. Satan, maybe? Sin, hate, violence? Terrorists? I don’t even know. Maybe Cole and I are both screaming and crying because we’ve been taken out of our comfort zones, surrounded by giants, and we’re being poked around from left to right by the things of this world. I guess that’s the root of it all for all of our trials. I wish he could just be a baby again, and I could keep him tucked in nice and safe in my womb, and nothing would ever harm him. …BUT, I have no uterus anymore, so even if it was a possibility for some freakish project in the creepy science-driven world that we live in, my body would be a nay-sayer.
Onto my activity for the week! I know a few bakery owners personally including Andrea from Let Them Eat Cake in Killeen, TX, Aunt Loretta from For Cupcake’s Sake in Daytona Beach, and Jessica/Ashley from Flour Power in Stockbridge. All wonderfully talented ladies with an eye for art and the hands to make magic happen on all things edible and filled with delicious calories that are totally worth every single mouth-watering, buttery bite! Continuing with my theme of being a Jack of all trades, but an expert at none, I decided to decorate a cake!! I bought all of the stuff for it and tried to come up with a clever design…..nothing came to mind. Then, Brooke (Senior in highschool at church) told me she had to have one of her toenails cut off due to a fungus! Being the surgery queen that I am, I offered to throw her a party to say goodbye to her nasty toenail, that is always actually quite polished and pretty. Originally, I thought it would be genius to have the theme be “camel-toe” and have an all-out chick fest, but I know that not all people have my sense of humor, so I went with a more appropriate theme…the literal one. So… I made a toenail cake! Since Brooke always has her toes and fingernails painted so cute, I decided to do the same with the cake. Check it out!
So, it was fun and funny at the same time, but it didn’t light a fire that made me want to do it all the time. I think I’ll stick to the occasional cupcakes for Classroom events. It totally looks like a toe though, right? hahaha Part of me wonders how a camel-toe would’ve worked out.
Until next week, send your crazy to me, since I’m going there anyway!