I've been away from here for so long. Not sure if anyone is still out there.
I made a vow to myself when I started blogging that I would choose to avoid blogging deadlines, self imposed and/or perceived, and that I would only write if there was something stirring within me, urging to be let out.
Thus, it's been quiet here.
That, and, well, it's summer, for goodness sakes!
We have had a good summer. Our summers tend to be rather public. We spend a lot of time with people - Family Camp is full of group ... everything! We spend our holidays with very good friends and that gives us memories and strength to last through the year. We try to see family.
And we love it.
But by the end of the summer, I look at our little "Dynna IV" family and I have this compulsion, this drive, this crazy NEED to be isolated with them. I've shared them all summer. Now I want them to myself. And so, we made a quick 'end of the summer' trip to Waskesiu, just us.
So many things barrelled through my brain while we were there.
"Wow, the boys will actually get along when no one else is around to hang out with."
"Seriously? The boys WANT to spend time with ME!"
Andrew asked us to buy a ball at the corner store and he and Ben played endlessly with that ball. READ: it was not an electronic ball. It was a ball. And they played. And had fun.
No one wanted to go home. We all begged for an extra night there. And we took it.
"Best time ever", they said.
Tuesday, we stayed at the campsite for most of the day and rested. Read, napped, fed the neighborhood
Sigh. Loved it.
Must make a point of doing that every summer. Isolate the Dynna Four. Hibernate. Escape. Run away. Re-discover "us".
I paid attention to my sons this week, particularly to what makes them tick. A couple of years ago, I attended a session with Gary Chapman, author of the Love Languages concept.
Love Languages =
Anyway, my boys:
Andrew - needs words of affirmation. Last week, he snuck into my room one evening and blurted out an observation in regards to some communication habits that we had all fallen into. He was hurt, he was tired, he was frustrated. And so, while we were away this week, I tried to be aware of what he, at the age of 13, needs to hear these days. "Andrew, you did a good job. Andrew, your outfit makes you look handsome. Andrew, I appreciate how much you helped Dad hook up the trailer. Andrew, thanks for trying."
He blossoms under words of affirmation. He receives it. There is a respect that grows and develops when words are meant to build up. He holds his head a little higher, he tries a little harder, he is a little more confident. He grows up, mentally, emotionally. And 13 year old boys want to be grown up.
Ben - needs quality time. He is a veritable bouncing ball of "spend time with me". "Watch me, look at me, listen to me!" Mom, mom, mom. Let's, let's, let's. So, within reason (after all, me and the cold water of Waskesiu were never meant to be close), one afternoon, I tried to answer his "Mom, let's...." with "sure". It was like he saved up 11 years of "let's..." for that one afternoon. " 'Let's wade in the water', 'let's play water games', 'let's walk down the beach', 'feel this stone, mom', 'let's look at the water on this side of the pier', 'let's lie on our stomachs and watch the minnows', 'let's jump long jump at the museum just like foxes, mom', 'let's hop back to the beach' (whew, that was a long hop), 'run like this, mom', 'let's run up this hill, mom', 'I bet I can beat your time running up this hill, mom', 'let's hold hands', 'let's talk, mom,' ... 'mom....', 'mom....', 'mom.....'
He never ran out of ideas. They just poured out of his lips.
I'm a bit of a blubbery mess, reflecting on how much these boys want their mom. (and their dad, by the way, but this is my blog, not his!)
Somehow, during a few days away, we went from not wanting to be seen with me (who can blame a 13 year old? I do get it...) to the bare bones of relationship. Talk to me. Tell me I'm okay. Tell me I'm smart and kind and handsome. Be with me. Hold my hand. Dance down the street with me. Act like you love me.
Seems like it wasn't too much to ask. I've spent lots to time, pining for their company. Feeling abandoned for their passions, hobbies, image.
Perhaps they have felt the same sense of abandonment as well?
The powerful draw of "FAMILY" is a pretty awesome way to end the summer. Good things did come AT this summers' end.
I am humbled.
Spend time with me, mom.