In My Day…

I have four children. Due to genetics, they’ve inherited some of my traits. Due to upbringing, they’ve picked up most of the others.

That’s all well and good where brilliance and toe-dexterity are concerned, but has drawbacks in terms of …debilitating negative thoughts and self-consciousness about how apelike those toes are.

My oldest is a near-miniature clone of me; except male, better looking, and more confident. He’s on a hormonal roller coaster lately. With his baseline mood and perspective, that amusement park ride is a rather broken and dangerous sort, with mostly downs to sudden stops and views of creepy vines and threats of bottomless chasms.

Pre-pubescence is a beast.

We recently sent him off to a week-long scouting camp with high hopes and supportive smiles …and, got a phone call his first night that he wants to come home. He was homesick.

If I were reading this blog, I’d jump on the comments and say, “Kids these days are coddled and helicoptered! Tell him to suck it up. Why did you even give him a cell phone at 12?!”

First, I didn’t. Give him a phone, I mean. I’m determined that he won’t own one till 18 or 21 or even 35 some days. He keeps borrowing other people’s to call me. Plus, I literally told him to give it more time and if he was still struggling then we could arrange for him to come home.

*Smacks head* I should not have said that. I shouldn’ta said that.

Now he wants a ride home. And knows I’m a person of my word. And will internally never forget how I didn’t keep my word if I simply tell him, “Nevermind.” Yes he will.

Instead of telling me to tell him to suck it up, thus destroying our trust, what are some truly helpful phrases to tell a depressive mind? My followers who know anxiety and depression, how would you have talked to your twelve-year-old self?

17 thoughts on “In My Day…

  1. Our Hannah recently had her first overnight stay aged 14. It was with a local charity who run activity weekends for kids with disabilities. She had her phone with her and we feared the worst but she had a great time and we barely heard from her. She was ready to go. Maybe your son wasn’t quite. I hope next time will be different *he added sombrely*

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post. I love your humor dealing with the day to day struggles of motherhood and BOYS!!!! As the mother two sons and the grandparent to three. (One boy and two girls) I can tell you that boys, believe it or not, are easier than girls. EXCEPT for puberty. They are totally weird from 12 to about 15. Messy, stinky, emotional, strange creatures!!! But, they are much easier teenagers than girls. They aren’t bitchy and could care less about their clothes. (In high school however, they do start to care, because they notice girls….)
    Anyhow, back to your question…. I am probably not the right person to ask since I discouraged my children from scouting. I was a teacher for 36 years and the scouts would come into the schools, promise kids the world, hold a scout night making it sound like it was the best thing since sliced bread!! Brainwashing pretty much. When my younger son wanted to go camping and scouting over night, I told him no. Actually, my oldest son really didn’t want to since my first husband took him camping once and he hated it so much that scouting and sleeping in a tent was the last thing on earth he wanted to be a part of. He was on a traveling soccer team in middle school but parents went with their kids.I liked that much better!
    I got a bad feeling for those scout leaders at their orientation when I let my youngest son go to the big event held in our school auditorium. They were pumping the kids up and I got bad vibes from all the strange overly religious men or too touchy- feely guys wanting to take my kid away on a trip. My son cried when I said no because his best friend went, but I wouldn’t let him. I told him the scouts in the 1950’s were really cool but it had become cult like in recent years. (This was in the 90’s.) Two months later after this big sleep away event, the Head of the whole thing and two of his scout leaders were arrested and found guilty of molesting young boys. So I made a good call. ** Now I am NOT saying that all scouting is weird like that. I just got a bad feeling and acted on it. Teaching for as long as I had I could spot danger a mile away. I’ve had to report abuse many times over the years and so my radar was out.

    But… in regard to your situation,I might have told my son to give it a couple of days but first I would have asked him why he wanted to come home. Sometimes children have really good reasons!!! Remember, I used to have to send my oldest up north to visit his father for a few weeks every summer. When he was younger he hated going and would call me and cry that he wanted to come home. I legally had to let my ex have him during a portion of the summer but I caved in every time my child called wanting to return home. I would ask him why, to explain it to me. My ex was a director in the theatre in NYC and my son hated walking everywhere, not being around other kids his own age, living in a concrete jungle and sitting and doing nothing while his father directed or went to therapy. Frankly, he was bored.He wanted to be outside riding his bike and playing with his friends. So I let him come home.

    I think as parents we get to know our children pretty well. IF your child is really miserable why torture him? Hey, my oldest cried when we dropped him off at college. He never liked leaving home. He is now married with three kids and travels everywhere for work, but he hated that as a kid. Probably because he had to fly across country to see his father as it was court ordered.

    My youngest son is more adventurous. But not as a kid. He never wanted to sleep over friend’s houses, he liked his own house. But he now lives out of state and is an assistant director in the film industry so he travels a lot now to make movies. He got over it too. Boys grow into men when they are ready.

    In fact, now I miss when they lived at home. Yours may drive you bonkers now, but thy really do grow up and move away. So hey, if your son wants to come back home, then let him come home. It simply means that he is not ready to leave home yet. That’s not so bad is it? Because, boys do leave. I promise. They grow up, they fall in love, they get married and they leave. And that I think might be even worse. Sniff. Just sayin’….

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Lesley! You have so many insights and such good advice. I’m fairly certain the issues he’s having are regular homesickness with a slight exacerbation of anxiety. I’m waiting to hear back about how today’s gone, and meanwhile have “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh” stuck in my head…


      1. He’ll be fine I’m sure. It’s always a tough call on what to do. In the end every child is uniquely different and you know your child better than anyone. Some children do better than others when leaving home. Either way they all learn and grow from each experience. I can’t even imagine having to handle 4 kids close in age. In school I could deal with a classroom full but I’d cry at the end of every year when they left. 90 percent of my former students still write to me on social media. Guess it’s a nurturing thing. I love kids Lol

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          1. Thank you. I loved teaching. My first year of retirement I missed it like crazy. I volunteer in my grandkids’ class a couple times a month and teach poetry in their classrooms. I truly loved my job. Just last week I ran into a former student (who is now in college) She was with her parents. We sat and chatted for almost two hours. They couldn’t believe I remembered all the stories she wrote in class. It’s funny, but while they were in my classroom they were “mine”. You can’t fake caring. They knew I adored them. I found teaching children much easier than parenting. I could easily present lessons and make them dynamic and interesting, but having to mold sons into caring men who respected others, valued all walks of life, and gave back to their community? What a daunting task, especially as a single parent. I had to be a role model, mom and dad, and everything in between. That’s what moms do and it’s the hardest job in the world. Plus, it’s a crap shoot. Luckily, my guys both turned out to be amazing men. Yes, I gave it my all, but it could have just as easily gone the other way.I have friends who haven’t been as fortunate. You just try you hardest and hope for the best.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. I have no experience of this because my delightful darling takes every opportunity he has to leave me. He first went camping with his scout group at 8! In the two years since, he has had a sleepover at school, gone on a 5 day away trip with the school and had several sleepovers at friends houses.

    However, his best friend does have severe anxiety and won’t leave home. At the school sleepover, I was informed my several teachers that my own child was desperately trying to comfort him but despite his careful administrations, his buddy still had to leave very early in the night.

    I think it’s just a personality difference.

    It’s a shame because his mum is really pushing him to try these things and doesn’t want him to miss out on all these experiences.

    The thing she keeps telling him, is when he’s a grown up and can’t do all these things because he has responsibilities, he’s not going to look back and wish he had spent more time alone in his room playing the xbox.

    Liked by 1 person

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