Lint-Trap 1/18/01: Having Fun

Having Fun


A situation has been developing between Diana and her eldest son, whom I'll call Eson. Having raised a few kids myself, I am, of course, an expert on such matters. After fighting a losing battle to say out of it, I finally suggested that Eson spend some time with Sam. This evening I helped to bring this about by picking up Eson after a session with Sam.

Lest you think Sam is unqualified for this kind of counselling, she raised two sons as a single mom, and is a hypnotheripist as well as having some more other relevant skills. And she knows the boys and likes them, which also seems like a real plus to me.

After an escalation or two, the situation now stands with Eson getting a D- in Geometry, and the Mom having banished the Sony Playstation to her ex's house (being a den of iniquity already, it fits right in...).

So Eson met with Sam, and then I made the pickup, and he and I talked in the car on the way home. The poor guy really does see his mom as the enemy. "I've never had a conversation with her where she has understood me!" This is of course male lament #1 -- "my X doesn't understand me", where X is whatever woman is central in your life right now.

Those who have read some of my previous entries realize that I don't have a lot of time for victims, despite (or perhaps because) my own struggle with victimhood. So if someone doesn't understand me, now I ask myself what I can do to communicate better. Or even ask myself if I want to be understood. But there was in Eson's complaint a sad quality--his mom, who not so many years ago could cause the planets to move in the sky, now seemed so far away. And even more pain because he is acknowledging his role in it.

A friend of mine once was filling out a psychological test in which she had to complete the sentence, "The most wonderful thing about being a child is..." She finished it with "... not nearly as good at the most ordinary thing about being an adult".

It is amazing to me what some people went through as kids. One woman referred to an uncle, whom she saw perhaps 5 times in her whole life, as "The only adult I can remember as a child whom I was not afraid of."

So Eson's father has made irresponsibility an art form, even to the point of attempting suicide. So Diana has had to become rigidly responsible to keep the family together. So Eson, responding to the rigidity, starts adopting patterns of irresponsibility. Which make Diana even more uptight. Not pretty.

They really do love each other, Diana and Eson. It shines from both of them. Diana owes her strength to the tempering she got from her own parents. And she has needed that strength. But perhaps, if she hadn't had the strength she wouldn't have needed it--she would have found some other way of being successful, of bringing people together.

It's not clear to me that Eson needs tempering. He needs loving, and nurturing, and to be played with and treated as a unique person with his own set of strengths. Diana can do it, sometimes. And other times, the report card or the undone chores or just the sheer tedium and pressure of her job get her down, and the pressure goes up again.

Well, like it or not, I'm into this situation now, and I'll be writing, I'm sure, about how it evolves. My prayer is for a light hand, humility, and love. All three are difficult for me at times (not to mention the prayer part...).

Thank you for reading.

Copyright © 2001 Pete Stevens. All rights reserved.