Monday, June 14, 2010

Soon the school year will be over

The school year will be over soon and my two young boarders (the girls having left end of December) will soon be off in their different directions. I will miss G very much -- he's been a huge help, a dear soul, good-humored, taking initiatives to help clean, chop wood, mow the lawn, burn the garden clippings, etc., Truly, a lovely young man. Next year he'll be entering the Compangnons -- the modern day cathedral artisans' guild to become a master carpenter.

But, for our other young man? Well, I've the feeling he's burning bridges as fast as he might. He made an effort at different times this year to get along, to be helpful, etc., but, apparently, it was always an effort. And now, that effort is finished with. We've clashed strongly twice in two weeks now. Monday evening is not a good time for us.

Last week he freaked because I'd permitted G to use his bicycle when G's was out of service. In retaliation, he let the air out of both tires and would have happily left G stranded at school in such a state. G managed to get the tires pumped up and came home on said bicycle, but I didn't see him before I saw M and gave him a serious piece of my mind. How could he be so obscenely selfish and petty? Oh I went into a litany of things, that he uses all my affairs, that we live in a community, that it had been a necessary loan, etc., He got upset, slammed his door and hid out in his room.

And tonight it was over being helpful and giving me a hand cleaning the house this weekend. He simply hadn't felt like it... (I'd left him to be with clients, but had specifically asked that he vacuum and mop the kitchen and the stairwell).

I'm afraid that if anything makes me more berzerk it's selfish and petty behavior. My kids know that it's just not permitted, it's just not acceptable, it's repulsive and to be banished, it's... well, you get the picture. To put it simply, Jonas plays with Leo's toys, and vice versa, ditto for bicycles, and most everything else in this house. And both my boys were roped in to help clean the garden, the pool, and now the whole house for the renters. This is just how life is. You help when your help is needed and requested and you put aside your petty preferences till the job is done. Life is not a 24 hour party. (or only if you make it so by loving and helping and being delightful).

So, I'm afraid, zen as I try to be, accepting and adapting as I've tried to be... I must admit that I'll say good riddance when at last this child doesn't share our home. Sometimes, it just isn't meant to be. I hope, I trust, we all learned something this year about coping and getting along when your personalities just don't fit, but... it's time for the lesson to be over. Though, before he goes, there's a little remaining task -- I insist that his room be as it was when he arrived: immaculate. Either he, or his mother, take their pick.


Nathalie said...

Learning a home's rules when they are not similar to those you were accustomed to may prove a difficult task for some!
I don't know of that many boys seriously asked to help with cleaning the house & their rooms (I mean, with no option out).

As for the bike, I tend to respect my children's prized belongings and as a rule I wouldn't allow myself to lend something that isn't mine so I probably would have tried not to lend his bike without asking/informing him first. But then I understand your point about sharing, I see the value of that. Basically I think it doesn't matter either way as long as the kids informed of the house rules.

Nathalie said...

...need I to add that nothing excuses deflating the tyres?

Acknowledging someone's anger is one thing. Accepting revenge as an appropriate response to anger is quite another. I wouldn't let a child go there.

Madeleine Vedel said...

Oh t'is true that adapting to a different set of house rules isn't easy. And I know I'm rather particular in believing that even private property can occasionally be loaned out -- when necessary. I don't cultivate strict ownership in my kids... However, what's amazing is that this child does have moments of charm and helpfulness -- thank goodness! So, after our altercations and frustrations, I'm happy to praise him for the work he's done cleaning his room with G and his pleasant demeanor from Tuesday on.