Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Insignificant, or Is It?

There are little, seemingly insignificant moments, and I wonder if every family treasures them as we do...as every single one of us does. We had an ordinary, yet beautiful day together, filled with those moments.

Today was Dominick's day off, and other than Angela attending her Graphic Arts class, we took the day off.  One huge benefit of homeschooling for our family is the ability to create the schedule that makes sense for us, so we maximize our family time together.  During the winter, we'd literally never spend time with Dominick if we weren't able to take time off here and there during the week.

We didn't do anything interesting, not at all.  We ran a few errands, we did a little grocery shopping (got out for around $130...woohoo!), I got my hair trimmed, then we went home where I settled in and rested a bit as I am still not feeling really well.  All kinds of music was playing in the background, depending upon which room you entered...Russian, Indian, Christian, Rock...you name it.

Josh can almost always be heard singing songs from the movie "Frozen" these days, his sweet little off key voice a treasure all its own.  How that boy is changing this year!  His body is feeling so much more broad shouldered these days, he is less delicate and far more sturdy. The man is beginning to emerge, little by little, and how capable and masculine he will eventually be!  There can be nothing more beautiful than watching your adult children gradually taking shape, month after month, a little change here, a little more height there...then...there they are, more adult than child.  Now, it is harder to remember Matt as a little child than it is to think of the man.  Josh is in that transition, Kenny's is happening more subtly.  He is growing taller, but not broader at all :-)  Our gangly young man has the deep voice of an older teen, but the development of a younger one in many other ways.  There are moments though, when his thoughtful awareness of others reminds you that he too is maturing, just at his own pace.

We watched a touching film together tonight, with a theme about families with grown adult children, and how secrets and unreasonable expectations stand in the way of true authentic relationships.  Throughout the movie, we talked about how sad it was, how many families grow distant like that, and how we all hope that will never happen to us.  My fondest desire for The Limited Edition Team LaJoy is that we remain deeply rooted in our family life, even as new branches are reaching skyward.  I don't want apron strings, not at all, but I do hope we can reverse a lot of what we see around us in the world today.  It means doing things differently, it means being misunderstood much of the time, it may mean we are doing it totally wrong and all will backfire on us one day a few years down the road.  But we're trying...we're trying to get it right, and that is all we can do.  I think both Dominick and I realize, perhaps even more now as we are growing older, that there will be little accomplishment of any great importance in our lives if we fail at creating a family with healthy dynamics and children who blossom and have healthy families of their own.  We are seeking to reverse a trend, to go against the tide, to push the envelope on the whole Nurture versus Nature debate.

After the movie, we played Rummikub while Dominick played hairdresser and gave me somewhat imbalanced highlights.  Heck, I am not complaining...it was $9.95 versus $40...and no tip required!  Not many men would be willing to do that for their wives, considering it beneath them.  The boys watched, giggled, and teased while the girls started talking about makeup.  Then, after the mess was cleaned up, Dominick, Angela, Olesya and I sat at the table looking at Bollywood movie stars from India, rating them as "really hot" or "not so hot".  What a dear, sweet man I am married to who took this totally seriously, never cracked a joke, and participated in the conversation his beloved daughters so clearly wanted to have with us...ranking handsome men, sharing what they liked or didn't like in a man, revealing that this one was known to be arrogant so that made him not so cute in their eyes, or that one was known to be kind and they liked that.  They knew them all, names I can't recall, films they have watched over and over again.  It was a precious time, the kind of conversation many moms and dads don't get to have with their teenage daughters, the kind of conversation we were blessed to participate in with our lovelies.

Kenny came up to me this evening and apologized for not turning his brain on yesterday.  For some reason, he can't even explain it, he tried to cook raw cookie dough in the microwave to bake a cookie, setting it for over four minutes and almost catching it on fire.  He had never done that before, had no directions for the pre-made dough, and didn't ask for help.  He also didn't check it and put it in, and walked away.  If it hadn't been for Olesya being there to catch it, we might have had a real problem.  Around Christmas time, he tried to make fudge.  He made it totally incorrectly three times before getting it right the fourth time, all because he wouldn't follow the directions step by step or added to the directions.  He is doing so well in some ways, remarkably well, and yet in day to day life skills there are moments when I am very scared for his future.  He is so bright, and yet has some pretty strong deficits that are working against him.  When is start really panicking about his future, I try and breath deeply and remind myself we still have five more years of school ahead of us, five more years of training, and more than that if he needs it and wants it.  We have no idea if he will ever be safe to drive, and are not even talking about that at this stage.  Sometimes it is harder to have a child who is such a deep thinker, and truly intelligent...intelligent enough to understand how limited his life just might be due to things beyond his control.

But a more sweet hearted young man you would never, ever find.  He has an attitude almost unheard of in kids his age, he accepts criticism so well, he admits his weaknesses and mistakes, he is just a startling honorable 15 year old.  He also has the most contagious laugh!  How dear he is to us all, even when in Chatterbox mode!

Tonight I go to bed thinking of Bollywood Boys (They are all so young!!!) and the laughter and joking of this family of ours, giggling as everyone headed down the hallway to ready themselves for bed.  Angela came out one last time to tell me good night, and to check to see if she had hurt my feelings over a mindless silly joke, nothing at all offensive as my hair was up in a cap and she gently teased.  I laughed and gave her a hug, telling her I had thought it was hilarious and she had no need to worry.  She looked relieved and said, "I just thought maybe I went too far, and I didn't mean anything by it...you know I was just being stupid and silly, but I didn't want you to go to bed with hurt feelings if you had taken it wrong.  Sometimes we can go too far with joking, and I love you too much to do that to you."

Truly, I live within something quite different.  We all do.  We each seem to want to hold it close, and could care less if others think we are freaks.  Or, in Angela's words, we are "Uniquely Developed".

Yes, yes we are...I think I'd like to keep it that way.

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