keep those wagons rollin'...Raawhiiiide! I think this should be our motto for life......just keep those wagons rolling, up hills and down, through the valleys, fording small streams (the little problems of life) or the deep rivers (bigger issues), to come out on the other side ready to continue the journey.
Basketball games have begun, so our evenings are full fitting in dance, games, Christmas events, etc. James is starting varsity this year as a sophomore and Jr and I love to watch him play; it's always great to watch your kids do well at something they enjoy. We hope to convince NingNing to play baseball, basketball, or even both, if only to get him out doing something and off the computer. I think I've lined up a piano teacher, so that will add to the mix in January.
Judi's doing great in her basketball and has finally grown enough to make baskets with no trouble. Amazing what a year and a couple of inches make! Jazmin is also doing basketball this year and has started practices with games in January.
Jessica's been accepted to State Fair Community College and will use the A+ program to start her college career there; in her words, she is "looking forward to getting out of the house"! And Jaz has decided she will "move" into Jessica's room when she is not there, lol!
Still can't figure out what really happened during Thanksgiving to NingNing, but he's back to "normal", so to speak. As December gets into full swing, he's not really taking an interest in Christmas so far. We went to get our tree this last Sunday (we go to a tree farm) and got it set up in the living room, but all he really seems to want to do is play on the computer lately. At least we got another family picture that I will post on the blog once I get it uploaded.
Sunday night there was a Christmas event in our small town I wanted to do with the family. Ok, so there wasn't anything for the boys to do, and yes, they were bored, but still........it's family time, right?
James is more vocal of course and made his opinion clear, while NingNing demonstrated his feelings by playing in the syrup from his pancakes and having the most hangdog, dreary expression on his face. This is his version of "pouting". He doesn't act up, doesn't have tantrums, doesn't get angry, just "suffers" through whatever it is until he can return to his beloved internet. Finally, I got sick of looking at their glum faces and just told Jr to take them home. I try to keep in mind that NingNing is not used to doing things WITH family and AS a family (a foreign concept to him), but as time goes on, we do and will expect more of him in this respect.
The next afternoon, I sat him down and had a "discussion" with him (I had the same talk with James). I asked him if he knew why I was unhappy the previous night when I got home and he knew (James had warned him that they were in "trouble", lol!). I told him exactly how I felt, that my boys tended to lend more importance to their computer and video games than family/family time. I made it clear that family time is very important to me and I want to spend time with my sons because I love them. And while I understand that they are boys and love their electronics (he agreed with me that we allow him plenty of computer time), family comes first and families spend time together. I also told NingNing that I love the Christmas season and want to make his first one special.
Basically ended up by saying, if I get my much-needed family time...with NO pouting or fussing....then boys get their computer time; everyone's happy! Remember, the old saying "If Mama ain't happy, NO ONE is happy!" James, ever the quick wit, amended that to say "but the reason Mama isn't happy, is because the kids aren't happy, and their griping is what makes Mama unhappy in the first place!" Found out later that Jr had a scaled-down version of the same talk with the boys before I got home with the girls that night, so they were "primed" for my talk,lol!
One thing that was sweet though, no matter what caused it...that night, after I came home, I was sitting at the kitchen table just thinking with my head on my arms. NingNing passed by me, reached out, and rubbed my back as he went by, finishing up with a little pat; the first truly spontaneous (unasked for, unsolicited) gesture of affection and empathy. And as a mom to teens, who dispense hugs, kisses, and affection as rarely as my chances of winning the lottery, I soaked it up.