Monday, March 31, 2008

Mindset and 13

Since I've been home so very, very, VERY much lately, I have spent more time with Kev, Sammy, and Joycie when she's here... because whenever they're home, I'M AT HOME, TOO. Spending more time with them has been the silver lining during my cloudy days.

Lately, I've noticed that I tend to take for granted that Sammy knows about things that I know about, only he doesn't... Such as recently when I mentioned a dimestore... and about five minutes later, Sammy asked what a dimestore was. I believe when he heard me say "dimestore" that he didn't relate it to money, but instead was trying to figure out what kind of stuff would be sold there. So I explained it was kind of like my generation's version of the Dollar Store.

Sometimes, Sam's questions crack me up. Yesterday he saw a sign advertising cantaloupe. We were in the car, and he turned to me and asked, "what kind of animal is a cantaloupe?" Huh? What?!... It took me a second, but I figured it out... Sam's Aunt Janet and Uncle Bob are going on a trip to Africa this year, and he's confused antelope with cantaloupe. I explained that a cantaloupe is a wonderful, orange melon and an antelope is an animal from Africa that's similar to our whitetail deer, only smaller and faster. After about 5 minutes and another mile or so down the road, he turned to me and said, "they shouldn't make the names so similar, it's too confusing." I got a good laugh out of that one. (Which I'm seriously hoping was his intent.)

Sam is 13 years old, and that's an interesting age. He's smart, gets straight A's and truly seems more mature for his age than some of his peers. He's also physically more advanced that some of his peers, being one of the bigger boys. He's tall and strong... he loves pointing out now that he's taller than me, and Kevin loves getting his help with woodcutting. Watching Sammy grow and grow up is wonderful for both Kev and I, and for Joycie, too. Some of the things that come out of his mouth, and some of the things he does.... from one end of the scale to the other!

For example, in February, in a haze, I paid our Verizon bill (online, as usual), and I noticed it was way more than it should have been, but I paid it and moved on. I suppose that's what I did, my recollection is dim. But the other day, being a great deal more alert, I freaked when I saw the bill. Turns out Sammy's friend, Morgan, does not have Verizon service, and it turns out Sammy thought the evenings (as in "free evenings and weekends" calling) with Verizon started at 7pm. They don't, they start at 9pm. With my being home and sometimes receiving and making so many calls during the day, usually using my cell phone because I'd be paying long distance charges on the land line or because the number was conveniently coded into my cell, or whatever... and then with Sammy's many, many conversations on his cell with Morgan, we went way over our 1,400 "anytime" minutes. Way over. Texting to Morgan was a hit, too.

We've been with Verizon for years and years, so I called 'em... long story, short, they rock. I did have to upgrade to a new plan for a few more bucks per month, but they credited me practically all the overage charges for the past 2 months. Whew. Bonus... all 4 of our phones now have unlimited texting, that includes pics & vids!

I've been having fun texting my kids. It'll be especially handy with Joycie on the road to Florida. I'm looking forward to the pics!

Last night, while Kev and I were watching "Ax Men" on the History channel (awesome show, by the way), Kev paused the TV, turned to me and said, "You know, you were right. Now that Sam has a TV in his bedroom, we're never gonna see him." Since I was the only one in our family opposed to the TV's in bedrooms idea, I dearly wanted to say back to him, "No shit, Sherlock!" But I didn't. Instead I texted Sammy. I told Sam don't even think about asking for a mini-fridge.

Sammy texted me back with a great message. A very mature message that made my heart heat up with pride. Earlier that evening, Morgan broke up with Sammy over AIM. Well, since they were never officially going out, I guess she couldn't officially break up with him. Anyway, Sam came downstairs and told me about it. I couldn't tell how he felt, whether he was upset or not, and then he mentioned they hadn't been getting along that great recently. During their phone conversations. Because that was really all the relationship could consist of... phone calls, texting and IMing. Because Morgan's mother had forbidden her to have a boyfriend. Then Sam didn't really want to talk about it; he wanted to go upstairs to his bedroom. Where he talked about it with his friends on his cell & AIM, and texts.

It has bothered me a great deal this whole time he was "going out" with her, and I explained to him that what Morgan was doing was flat out lying to her mother. And I told him that Morgan was making Sammy a liar, too... I had decided not to forbid Sammy to "go out" with Morgan because, officially, he couldn't "go out" with her. I let him know, though, that Morgan's duplicity with her mother was something I felt was just plain lousy, and Wrong.

I'd prefer if Sammy and his friends would all just lay off the going out thing, but you can't stop it. Nowadays, the "going out" starts in 5th grade... 5th grade! By my reckoning, though, "going out" is more of a communication thing, as in whoever you're going out with, that's the person you probably text the most.

So anyway, Sammy's text back to me was about how he was super ok with breaking off with Morgan, because he was sick and tired of the lying thing and of having a girlfriend he couldn't really see outside of school, couldn't do anything with... Not that my 13-year-old son would go on an actual "date," but it was more that everyone knew Morgan's mom wasn't letting her have a boyfriend, so Sammy was like a pseudo boyfriend. I'm happy and proud to report that it bothered him; he told me I was right. Going out with her behind her mother's back was wrong, and he didn't like it.

Then later, when Sammy came downstairs hungry, and I was making him fried eggs for a toasted fried egg sandwich, Sammy asked if he could have a mini-fridge for his bedroom. Ha!

Sometimes it is strange to think of the context in which Sammy has been raised versus my childhood. Like my family's once-per-week trip to town (oh, boy!) for groceries. Having 3 or 4 TV stations. Telephones all had cords, and we had a party line. Everyone once in a while, like with the dimestore question, I realize how much I take for granted.

I enjoy those lists that Beloit College puts out and everyone e-mails to everyone, at least all us old farts do... The Beloit College Mindset List that lists the things incoming freshman have always known or not known. The lists are a major slap of reality!

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