Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Who Are You? And What Have You done With My Son?

This is my son Bart with his Wangu village family in South Africa. He is the tallest white dude. I love my son and I am so proud of him and all he has accomplished in his life. He is a good man and one that I am honored to know. He was my first birth child and really our tester child, he got all the bad parenting until we learned that method or this method didn't work. Sometimes I feel really bad about that. but he and we have survived.

Occasionally he really surprises me with the things that he does. Most of the time he is a very mellow, laid back kind of guy who puts a lot of time into his friendships and relationships and doesn't sweat some of the other aspects of life, like a "real" job, etc. I have had to really learn to bite my tongue as he goes about living his life in a different fashion than I lived mine. Remember he is the oldest and I am always having to relearn how to let go with him.

Anyway, a helper around the house he is not. Things being messy or needing to be straightened just don't get on his radar. He also doesn't tend to exert effort where it is not needed in his opinion. So if he can get a younger sib to do it, its all good for him.

So, on Sunday he was moving out again, its kind of musical rooms with him, in and out of apartments over the years, in between he comes back to his room here. He and his bud had found a great house to rent and they were moving all his stuff out. After they left I went into the kitchen to takeout the garbage and discovered that it had been taken out and the recycling bucket had also been placed at the curb. Apparently my reaction to this was quite surprised as my wonderfully sarcastic 15 year old said "What do you think? someone stole the garbage?"

Lo and behold, my son saw that the garbage and the recycling were about to over flow and dealt with it with no fanfare, etc. Well, okay one thing out of the ordinary that's okay. Then he comes home and asks if he can cut the lawn for me!! You could have knocked me over with a feather. That is not a task he has ever enjoyed and I had to browbeat him into it any other time. This time he says "I noticed the lawn was getting long and I only work a short shift on Tuesday so I'll be by to cut it if you want me to."

You realize by now I am beginning to suspect alien abduction, maybe strange mind reprogramming like The Stepford Sons, perhaps body snatchers?!? And then to top it off, just so I would know it wasn't really my son walking around in that skin, he told me that he and his bud had tilled half the backyard in their new house to put in a big vegetable garden. He was asking me for some pointers about what vegetables to plant. So I had to ask him "Who are you? and what have you done with my son?"

Of course this is mostly tongue in cheek, I think it is great that he is going to be doing some gardening. And I have noticed other signs of a maturity that hadn't been there before. I really like what I see.

Maybe I haven't made that many mistakes as a parent.

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