Why is it that when my children are growing up, I'm the one having growing pains? It hardly seems fair.
Or maybe they're not growing pains. Maybe they're just pains.
Case #1: I mentioned to my husband last night that yet another one of our boys need to begin the wonderful rite of passage known as shaving. Although I probably really shouldn't worry about it. As soon as he's told to do so, he'll want to do anything other than shaving. Just like his older brothers.
Case #2: Three of the four that I'm homeschooling have finished their lessons for the year. And yet, they still must travel to work with me several times a week because, even though they're old enough to be left on their own, they don't necessarily do well when left unsupervised too many days in a row. So now I'm trying to find ways to keep them occupied five hours a day. One of them acts as though I'm killing him because I require that he read a chapter of a book each day. It's a fiction book that's geared to his age and lots of fun. You'd think I was making him read Scottish Chiefs.
I've got them doing a typing course, getting a head start on next year. They all love being on the computer, which is a privilege not often extended. But I've only got one laptop, and taking turns seems to tax their sharing abilities. Plus I repeatedly find them playing games on the computer instead of doing the typing.
I should explain, by the way, that my very gracious boss is a proponent of homeschooling, and has been wonderful in allowing me to bring the boys with me on the job. That way I supervise their schooling while completing my work at the same time.
Sort of. Some days it works better in theory than in practice.
Case #3: They all also have that end-of-the-schoolyear energy that is so detrimental to everyone's health and well-being. The boys sit in a conference room with a whole wall of windows to do their schoolwork. I can see them through the window from my office. Last week Son #2 brought a bag of candy with him to school. And no, I do not allow that. Son #3 began crawling under the conference room table to get to the candy. Son #4 started crawling over the top of the table to get to the candy. All of them began rolling around the table in their executive desk chairs, playing a form of candy keep-away. (Apparently I went longer than one minute checking on them through my window. My mistake.) I became aware of the problem when they slammed into a bookcase and sent a lamp crashing to the floor.
Who knew school was a contact sport? Lest you be confused, let me assure you that none of my sons are two years old. They are ages 12, 14, 16 and 18. They know better.
Case #4: Son #2--I'm not sure why I'm not using their names in this post, but live with it--is getting ready to graduate from high school. Among other things, I'm supposed to provide 20 pictures of him at various ages for a display that is being put together for the seniors. (A private school nearby is graciously allowing our homeschooled son to participate in their ceremony.) My problem is, I don't have that many pictures of just him. And the ones that I do have are awful, fuzzy and completely out of focus. I'm suffering major guilt that I have not done a better job of recording my children's lives through photography.
I think I'm signing up for a photography class this summer.
Case #5: Son #1 and Son #2 got into an argument recently. They brought the problem to me, mostly because each of them thought I would set the other one straight. Except that they were both right and they were both wrong. While I was trying to sort out the mess, they continued arguing, and I couldn't get a word in edgewise. I finally stepped between them--except that my head only comes to their chins. Their argument didn't even slow down as they continued talking over my head.
And that's when I struggled with the desire to share my growing pains. Or at least cause someone else some pain for a while. It's a good thing I'm going out of town for a few days because I definitely need the break.
I just hope at least some of my furniture is still intact when I get back.