Maybe this bit of research explains the conversation my teens and I were having this evening as the sugar pine and incense cedars’ shadows grew longer around us and Aidan pushed his stroller up and down on our quiet, sloping street.
Clare was giving me a detailed explanation of how difficult it is to get Kieron to play properly. Kieron is 10. I don’t think it’s necessary to go into all the details — the core was that he was being moody, changeable and not quite fair, but of course he didn’t see it that way….. as Clare said, if he DID, then the problem would be solved at once. She was asking for advice but mostly, I think, wanted a listening ear and some perspective. The two teenage boys were interested enough to follow us around and listen.
We ended up discussing how all of them seemed to have gone through some sort of “difficult” stage at around that stage. The form it took depended very much on their natural personality. One child at that age was often annoyed by certain specific behaviors, and said so very often and not very tactfully. Another loved to tease and annoy his siblings. Another went through a lonely, melancholy stage and another was very negative and a bit resistant.
It gave us all something to think about, on a broader view than just the quirks of this particular 10 year old. And it was nice to stand outside and talk with the teens on a late spring evening, even though I had planned to make a long-overdue call to a friend….
Other things going on:
- Kevin and I went for two walks today, one in the afternoon (HOT) and one in the evening (much better except for the mosquitoes).
- Kevin played Huntsville with the kids. Sort of like one of those Highlight Hidden Picture puzzles. This is partly research (yeah, REALLY, he is a computer game programmer!) and partly just a good way to spend a half hour on a Sunday evening.
- Liam and I had our first writer’s conference — I told him some of the plot points of my so far unembarked upon story and he read me some of his. We intend to make it more Inklings-like next week by sharing hot cocoa etc.
- Kevin is listening to a Teaching Company tape — Famous Romans.
- Aidan has been testy and a bit demanding so I can tell he’s uncomfortable, but much less doubling over in pain. Still, I think we shall have to call his gastoenterologists tomorrow in the event they do not call us first.
- Liam and I did NOT get to the classical guitar lesson since Liam said he was still working on last week’s goals.
- Brendan finished Watership Down, is revising the plot lines of his new book and now that he’s read The Ratzinger Report, he’s reading Peter Kreeft Socrates Meets Marx.
Weather: bright and very warm.
Background music: Pirates of the Caribbean
Action: more swordfighting. Several swords were shattered in today’s battle so they ended up sawing up old rakes and brooms to make replacements. They want to include the local hardware store in our errand rounds tomorrow — when we usually go to the town library and to the market as well.