Photo: I am in so much trouble.
Two disappointments today: I didn't get the job I wanted, and my son is a 10-year old turd.
Never mind the job thing, because it's a load off my mind--I just wanted to know, either way. The real disappointment is the turdy 10-year old kid; he has reached That Age. You know, THAT AGE, the one that will drive you to drink in the middle of a Thursday afternoon. It doesn't matter if you're a parent or not--I know you've all met a kid who is funny, adorable, and PAINFULLY ANNOYING. I'll bet that kid was 10-years old, and also related to me.
Oren has decided that he is sarcastic. It was driving me up the wall yesterday. If you are practiced in the ways of sarcasm, then you've got, at the very least: tone, timing, delivery, vocal inflection, and a deadpan stare to accompany your sarcastic content or commentary; if you are ten, you have the words 'NO DUH' and 'WHATEVER', plus an endless amount of un-funny fart jokes. This is not sarcasm. I don't know where he got the idea that he could out-do me in this department, but the real issue here is: who is to blame? Having a sarcastic father and a sardonic mother couldn't have helped the matter, but I blame 9/11.
I remember the first time Oren delivered a tiny verbal touchdown, and it was directed at me. He really wanted pizza for dinner, and I said something like, "I'm just not feeling pizza right now." And he replied, "Which is something Hitler might have said." I laughed out loud, mainly from connecting HITLER, PIZZA OVENS, and MY HALF-JEWISH CHILD; then I laughed louder. I remain unconvinced that Hitler had an interest in pizza, unless 'human pizza with a large side of genocide' counts.
I realized that what Ten-Years Old represents right now is the Fall of Mom, which is a lot like the Fall of Troy. Here is the most amazing child you've ever seen: he's beautiful, hilarious, intelligent, kind, creative--and lucky to be alive, since his Mom spent most of the birthing process brokering deals with God around keeping him in utero. Now imagine that child is your personal Trojan Horse, like Oren is mine; he's all of these amazing things on the outside, but everything on the inside is programmed to one day defeat and leave you. It's human nature, and totally heartbreaking. But if our parents had made everything exciting and fun in our teens, we never would have left.
If I was being really honest, I would say that Ten-Years Old was when my parents ceased being cool to me, and that is how Oren sees me now; that is my greatest disappointment. It's my own fault, really, for falling prey to the type of thinking that I thought only "other parents" did: I won't be like other parents, and then I will always be cool to my kid. I seriously believed my own bullshit. I've met some pretty awesome parents: ones with sweet tattoos and piercings, ones that are rock stars, young parents, people who travel the world constantly, or work in the theatuh, or say the word 'douchebag' in just the right context... and I've thought, I wish my parents had been that cool. But their kids never see them that way. That's how parenting works: it's a lose-lose situation, and nobody gets what they want. But hopefully, later on, the relationship between older-parent and adult-child will find new common ground, like bonding over the Next Generation of ungrateful brats--like I did with my mom.
Speaking of my mother, I'm supposed to print a retraction about her age: in the blog post, Letters From Heaven, I said my mother was 62-years old, and she would like everyone to know that she is really
It was wonderful seeing my kiddo, even if his attitude, actions, and words were less than ideal. "Oh YEAH, well YOU'RE--NYAH. Stupid. Poop. Wah-wah-WAH. Cry me a river. Hrmf. I don't WANNA. I HATE THIS FOOD. YOU'RE A TOWEL." It's as if Oren became quintuplets overnight, the kind that suck the life blood right out of your soul and your marriage (hint: ALL OF THEM DO). There's a saying out there, something about an apple not falling far from a tree, but that's something my grandma would say; I need something with a little more... F-word appeal. This is karma, plain and simple, coming home to roost directly upon my face. My totally old, totally un-cool face. Let the growing old begin.