Proverbs 31:25 states: She is clothed with strength & dignity and laughs without fear of the future. Single handedly, this is one of my favorite proverbs based on its truth.
When I became a full-time custodial stepmom two years ago exactly to the date, I had no idea how much laughter would be the best medicine for my soul. It didn’t start that way – it took practice.
This last Thursday, my 13 year-old stepson walked into the living room and said, “I will not be going to my half day of school on Friday.” Now, I am all about school, attendance, studying, and am the epitome of finishing what you start.
He also did that “look” when he said it too. He lets it linger just before he turns to walk away, of which I said: “SS13, we are not done with this conversation, and I see you have chosen to make this a control issue. So let’s do this the right way shall we? Have you asked your father?”
He turns back around to re-enter the conversation, “No. I made the decision unilaterally.”
I say, “I like your choice of the word unilaterally. However, at the present time, you are a minor and have five years before the “unilateral” decisions become effective. But for the time being, you need to run through this with your dad.”
“No,” he says and walks out of the room.
I call his father, who enters into the situation and says, “SS13, please come to the living room for a discussion.”
When SS13 is back in the room, I start the conversation with, “Your grades are impeccable, and I am proud of how well you did in school. For the record, not that my decision matters, but I personally have no objection over you not going to your half day of school tomorrow. That is how I stand on the matter for the record.”
Now, true story, this kid stares me dead in the eyes and says: “I will be going to school tomorrow, now.”
And walks out the room!!!!
My husband looks at me with almost a reverence of absolute incredulous respect, “Did you know what you were doing so well to get him to say that with all of your studying?”
I so badly wanted to take credit for it. I really did, but it would not have been true so I said, “If it is, I am not conscious of it, so therefore no.”
And then I started laughing. Mission accomplished? So confusing!
This kid is going to be the death of me, but I love him and he is worth it, but I just don’t have it in me to let it go.
In the end, my emotional read was to gauge if I cared – our way of relating with one another will never be normal and will be what others label as utterly dysfunctional and perhaps toxic, but there is order in chaos. You just have to tweak it there. I personally enjoy the challenge as so much emphasis is based on the illusion of control to where the real issue gets lost in translation.