Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Beast

I have a son and he is a beast.
This beast left with his 8th grade class to go the San Juan Islands for a week.
He was beastly the whole morning, nay, the whole day before he left.
Well, actually ...he has been beastly for about a week really.
Alright, he has been beast for a couple of years now.

He wasn't always a beast. He used to be a sweet little bouncing baby boy.  He used to snuggle and read books.  He used to ride his tricycle around with his sister and play policeman giving tickets.  He used to build things with hay bales at preschool.  He used to play chiropractor and give me adjustments.

I guess he always had the beast in him, it was just a work in progress then. Now it is pretty refined and although it still needs work, I think the beast might be at the pinnacle of its beastliness.

For The Beasts 1st birhday,  a friend gave me a book called, How to Raise a Son.  I never did finish that book, I think it is still somewhere in the recesses of my book collection.  I did read some of it.  But I don't remember any of it.  What I do remember is thinking to myself that raising a boy was going to easy.  It was girl that would be hard.  Boys...nothing to it.

Well I vastly underestimated the complexity of the male psyche.  I vastly underestimated testosterone.  Although I can respect it and all its beauty and relevance to the world, I don't really get it.  Not that I think I have to get it to enjoy it.

But how do you mother a beast?  I am not a nicey, nice, lovey dovey, sweet kind of mother.  I never have been.  That is not who I am.  I am also not a believer in hands off, by 14 you should be on your own kind of mother.  I fall somewhere in the 'get over it, life isn't fair' and 'you are brilliant, beautiful and can do anything you set your mind to,'  kind of mother.  I don't coddle.  I don't believe in it.  I don't think it does children good to coddle, or cater .  That is not to say that toss steak on the floor and let my kids fight it out for eating rights.  Or let my kids roam the streets late at night hanging out.  It is a fine balance.

I want my beastly son  to be independent, self sufficient, self reliant.  I also want him to be sensitive, gentle, understanding, compassionate.  I want him to be strong, tough, capable.  I want him to be outspoken, passionate, humble, honest.

I want him to be everything.

At this point I have such little time to perfect him.  I have already done as much as I can on certain fronts, The Beast must make his way into the world on his own.  It is a tricky transition, one that I like to think I have been preparing myself and him for his whole life.  The trick is trusting in him and myself that what we have been doing for the last 14 years has been sufficient. The trick is knowing how far to let him go before going out to get him.  The trick is knowing how far he needs to travel on his own.

I like things to go the way I want them to, my son the beast has from the very moment he came into my life, let me know that he is not to be molded.  I have had to learn the lesson over and over again in my relationship with him that I can have my idea of how it should be, what it should look like, and that he has no intention of trying to make that happen for me.  That all that is my issue not his.  That is something I really respect about him.  That is also something that really makes frustrates me about him.

The Beast goes by the name of Kai.  It used to be Kai David when he was little, but he put an end to that in 3rd grade.  (I still call him Kai David sometimes, he generously lets me.)

Kai The Beast goes around the house these days towering over me, eating everything that isn't nailed down, listening to his ipod so loud he can't hear any one say anything to him, swinging the bat in the house, wearing dirty shoes in the house, leaving his backpack in the middle of the floor, strewing his laundry in the bathroom, down the hall and on to the stairs.  He swears, make dirty jokes, he likes things that are raunchy and crude.   And he also goes around the house growling..."I'm a beast."

Kai The  beast is just that, a beast. But like all beasts, the loud roaring, growling, and rough behavior shells a gentle, loving, and compassionate soul.  And before the world can know the true heart of the beast, he must be tamed.

Let's hope he doesn't eat me alive before the gentlemanly prince can make his way out.  Let's hope there isn't more to the art of mothering a son than I know...it could be dangerous to everyone.  And let's hope that no one ever really tames him.  I mean, it is pretty wonderful to have a beast around sometimes.  Let's hope he learns to tame the beast inside on his own. And let's hope that the beast never really goes away, just learns how to clean up after himself.

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