Monthly Archives: April 2017

Daughter’s Sleep Overs

I grew up with three younger brothers. Didn’t have any sisters, so I never understood the nature of girls and the things they needed or wanted. Let me break this down much more because it’s about my second oldest. That’s Alexandra (aka Lexie), if you’re just now tuning in to these stories from home or work. Growing up, I never had friends over for anything. The closest my friends got to my house was when we walked the same way after school, and on the weekends, if I hung out with my friends, it was because we all met up somewhere.

Maybe it was because the houses we lived in, during my childhood, were very small. Now let’s talked about Lexie, since this post is mainly about her. I’m finding that girls are alot more complicated that boys. All Cameron needs is a couple snacks, a bag of chips, and his video games. Once he’s in possession of those few things, I might not see him anymore that whole weekend. He doesn’t care to have his friends over, or go to their house. If he can reach them through the Playstation Network, that’s as good as real company.

But seriously, let’s look at the complexity of Lexi. If it were up to her, she’d have all of her best friends over every Friday evening through Sunday night at 8p, with just enough time to brush her teeth, shower, and go to bed. So she asks me if she can have two of her friends over one weekend, and two others the following weekend. I just looked at her like she was crazy.

“Heck no, you can’t have your friends imposing on my tranquility for two full weekends in a row. Hell no. That shit is not happening,” Is what I thought, but I didn’t say it. I told her that her request wasn’t very well thought out because there was no way that was going to be granted. (haha)

And of course she wants to know why. I didn’t answer her, but I said, you can have them over this weekend or next weekend, but not both.

Let me tell you why I gave her even that much. Girls are loud, obnoxious, and they laugh at everything. Everything seems to be a bunch of inside jokes and secrets, and when you check on them, they make you feel like you just walked into the wrong restroom. But hold on for a second. The situation gets a bit strange. She asks if her friends can come over, and then when they’re all here, somehow it becomes my dilemma as to what to do with them all. She’s like, “Dad we’re bored. Can you take us somewhere?”

“Uh hell no. What were you guys planning on doing when you invited them here?” I say.

“Well there’s nothing to do,” she says with her reinforcement team standing behind her, observing my responses, totally silent the whole time.

“Well Lexie, do your friends want to go home since there’s nothing to do?”

Suddenly, like a choir, they all speak up at the same time and say they don’t want to leave.

At that point, I look at Lexie and tell her she’s the host. As I’m getting ready to walk down the hallway to my room, I reminded her that I don’t care how bored she and her friends are. I will pick them up, drop them off, and even feed them in between, but I’m not going to bus you guys around spending my money. Enjoy yourselves here and have fun.

So they all go back into her room, and it’s amazing how fast they start giggling again.

Start Planning your life

“Cameron, I need you to start planning and thinking about your life. No, I don’t mean go out and land a job or anything. I just mean you need to begin thinking about what your interests are and start looking into them to see if they still interest you or not. You’re getting to that age when every second will start to count in favor, or against you, because there are alot of things you can choose from, and it can be overwhelming as to which path to take. So start now. Every decision will also begin to affect you, too.”

This is the level of conversation that I am quickly approaching with him. Not that the kiddie gloves have to come off now, but the language I use is more aligned with the real world. I remember my dad telling me that a young boy doesn’t go to sleep one night and wake up a grown ass man, but that behaviors and the choices made will foster results that affirm that he is indeed coming into manhood.

I wonder if Cameron is ready for that world of cold hard truths about life. Or maybe I’m more concerned than I should be. I think it has alot to do with my expectations of him, rather than let him be a young man who will reach the standard of a man that will become more than what I believe he can be; for himself.

He’s interested in Robotics, and computer sciences, but he also likes cars, and tinkers with the idea of becoming a high end certified mechanic, which is not what I thought he’d pick since I’m always telling him to think about going to school to become your own boss, as opposed to going to school to potentially get a job working for someone else. Then he tells me he’s interested in Sports Medicine. Well that’s a good direction too, since he likes to tell me about muscle groups and how they perform. It’s really interesting stuff.

Like I said, I’m not telling him specifically what to do. No laser-focus here, but again, as a parent, I think it’s a good idea to have him begin looking into his interests alot sooner than what it appears he’s doing.

I’m sure sometimes he thinks I’m rushing him to grow up, but actually all that I’m doing is equipping him with some basic knowledge. Like boiling pasta, washing clothes-which I did when he was probably ten or eleven years old. Things like paying for shit at the grocery store. Using measuring cups, Browning ground beef for different things. I could go on and on. So I don’t think it’s about raising him up too fast. It’s about equipping him with a little know how.

For example, he’ll ask me a quick question about something, and usually I’ll answer, but sometimes I’ll ask him if he checked with google first. I could answer him in two seconds, but I challenge him to be resourceful, to be creative, and think through possible solutions to some things. TO THINK!! That’s what I’m doing here. Training him to get by with at least some knowledge, because the rest he can figure out however he chooses to.

A parent who is really invested in a child’s wellbeing-in my opinion-will challenge that child to discover; but without reckless abandon. In the animal kingdom, those animals are brought up quickly to hunt and survive. I understand that it’s a tough example, but the idea behind it all is that we equip these children with a few basic know-how’s.