Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Good Mother

Astute readers might notice that a certain someone's name was NOT mentioned in this post. Yes, there is a direct reference to "the oldest" and more veiled nods in that child's direction. But the Matron was careful not to mention, well, Stryker.

Because he told her that this post violated his trust.

Those words "Mom you violated my trust!" tore a small planet-sized hole in her heart!

You see, the Matron and her son have a bit of an ongoing battle. A few weeks ago, he requested that she no longer blog about him. She could only partially agree, noting that she was a writer who wrote about her own life and nobody could dictate her material. On the other hand, she agreed to respect his privacy and discuss him only in the context of HER story, not his.

Trust her. Stryker himself could fill the internet. It pains her, these delicious, smart stories she is NOT sharing.

But Stryker felt the Actual Conversation hit too close to the bone. Let's just say rage and fury and discord? Settled in here for awhile as he let her know this. She felt horrid.

So the Matron agreed to stop blogging about him altogether, which is why he recently appeared only by referent.

Yesterday, the Matron was pondering all things Stryker -- how hard it is to be 13, how great he's doing in school (all A and A+), how hard it is to have a 6 year old brother, how little power you have at 13, how hard it is to love video games your parents don't approve of, how really hard it is to sit in Scarlett's theatrical shadow.

She was also proud of how well Stryker was handling the fact that he wasn't one of the boys standing in line at midnight to buy the latest version of Call of Duty, that little electronic bundle of mayhem all of his friends are playing.

This has been Stryker, for the past six weeks.

"Scarlett I love you would you take some of your acting money and buy me Call of Duty when it comes out?"

"Mom! Come here and see how amazing this game is!"

He would leave little notes around the house with "call of duty is coming out soon" and newspaper ads with the video game circled and "xo xo" penned nearby.

Yesterday when he came home from school he was happy. He chatted about the game and how several kids at school already had it. He told the Matron one more time how amazing Call of Duty was and lamented the fact that he wouldn't be able to play this online with his friends. All said with a smile and acceptance. Then he walked into the house to do homework and laundry.

Now until that very moment, it had never even for one nanosecond occurred to the Matron to purchase that game. But a little light of epiphany broke open upon her and she thought of her recent struggles with this child -- how they often agreed that he lived in one world that she didn't understand.

What a way to recognize his world? To buy him the game he never expected? Out of the blue, shocker?

The Matron has no time for these games and pretty much despises them. But Stryker relishes the spare hours he's allowed. Buy the game and she pretty much just says: here, don't get it but I support and love you. On HIS terms -- not hers.

You know what she did.

After Stryker had finished his homework and cleaned his room, she walked up to him and said, here. And gave him the game. He nearly collapsed with joy!!!!

The very very best part for the Matron?

Stryker: "Mom! I seriously never expected to get this game in a million years. Never, ever, ever. I am in total shock. Thank you thank you thank you thank you!"

The second best part?

Stryker: "Mom! I am so happy that you have my permission to blog about me for one week! Blog away - one week!"

Thank you, Stryker. She is.


Kizz said...

Thank you for sharing, Stryker.

Becky said...

Oh man, thanks so much for sharing that story. I need this lesson--that parenting needs to include plenty of grace. Somehow this is easy with my toddler, and not as much with my bossy-ish 8 year-old. I think you had an epiphany indeed.

And bring on the Tales of Stryker!

smalltownmom said...

Matron, that was very nice. 13 is such a touchy age. I will enjoy your week of Stryker-approved blogging.

Anonymous said...

Awesome parenting. Awesome son. I muchly (is SO a word!) look forward to reading about Stryker for the next week.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

That was a fantastic thing you did.

And Stryker? Would be in hog heaven at my house. Danger Boy can drive, so he drove to the store, bought the game, stopped at the grocery for soda, candy and chips and he and his best friend played until the server crashed at 5 a.m.

I don't get it either, but it sure does make them happy.

Ulrike said...

That made me cry.

Every bit of that post resonated with me.

Minnesota Matron is lovely. And thank you Stryker. It is not easy being a teenager.

MJ said...

Yahoo! No limits on Stryker for 1 week! You'll likely post umpteenth times per day!

I only wish my dh would permit me the same leniency. But he won't... and then I self-censor to eliminate stories of my girls... and then there's little to write about...

Susan said...

How wonderful! Both gifts.

JCK said...

Delicious surprise! Glad Stryker is letting us in on this story.

Maggie said...

Haha! I love it!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I adore you for doing the unexpected for him.

Michele Renee said...

On Tuesday when it appeared on the shelves I was called by my 13 yr old on the way home from work asking if I'd get it from Target (he has his own money from several lawn mowing customers) and so I did and he greeted me in the driveway when I got home. He swore he had no homework. (btw I find it interesting that it came out right before Veteran's Day). Next day was a 1/2 off from school and I took them skateboarding and then he played it until about 8:45 p.m. and then he brought me his teacher reports that had to be signed and I saw missing assignments and poor recent test grades (overall grades are good but not some test grades). There proceeded a lecture on priorities from Hubs and is grounded for one month. Thanks for your Stryker stories and for letting me air mine here!
P.S. Word thingy is edblame (as in blaming it on education!)

~annie said...

Attitude is everything. I remember a story you told a good while back where he wanted something but more or less demanded it, huffing and puffing the whole time. As I recall, that one ended badly. You've both come a long way.

Heather said...

Excellent! So all you have to do is buy a new video game every week so you can blog about him! :)

Cate said...

When I was 13, my mom had a gig writing a humor column for the local paper's "Women's" page. I guess it would be the 70's equivalent of a mommy blog.

I was a latchkey kid, and the first thing I did was put music on the stereo in the living room. At one point, I was going through a severe Elton John phase, and would listen to him over and over and over.

One week, she wrote about lack of appreciation from teens, and used as an example, her teen (me), cueing up "The Bitch is Back" to play when she came home from her hard day at work.

It is entirely possible that the song might have been playing one day when she came home, but I certainly didn't do it on purpose. I was teased at school, chastised by my teachers, frowned at by other parents -- it was horrible and I hadn't even really done anything.

She wasn't allowed to write about me after that.

Tell Stryker that story. Maybe he will feel better. (I'm still sort of pissed off over the incident, in case that doesn't come through loud and clear).

stephanie (bad mom) said...


May I a) purchase some of your amazing mom mojo and b) clone your kid a few times to pad my classroom?

Appreciated. :D

jenn said...

What a cool mom! Stryker is lucky indeed.

I have a daughter right on the brink of 13, and I foresee similar non-blog fodder requests in my future.