Saturday, November 25, 2006

NaBloPoMo, Day 25 - A day with the kids

Saturday afternoon. Today was fun. I spent five hours with the kids and I left wishing that it could be longer. Alcott decided at the last moment to join us but I think that was only because I told him that I'd drop him off at his girlfriend's house out in the sticks. Still, if it took driving 20 miles out of my way to spend a few hours with him, so be it.

My Top Five list today is the Top Five Reasons Alcott is the Best Teenager Ever:
1. He actually enjoys spending time with his younger siblings (he "moooo"d his 11 year old brother today because he was drinking chocolate milk)

2. He is so vain about his appearance that it's laughable (except that he broke my heart today when he told me that he didn't need to worry about his hair around his girlfri4end anymore because she was so close that he could be himself)

3. I can always get a reaction out of him when I threaten to buy him something silly (today's candidate was a Diego sheet set for his bedroom)

4. He has an uncanny sense of direction (before I had my navigation system for the car, I'd just tell him where we were going and he'd give me turn-by-turn directions)

5. He acknowledges his faults (today we were talking about his mom and how stubborn she can be and he said, "And you wondered where we got it from.")

He's an awesome kid and I love him so much that sometimes, if I look at him just as he's smiling, there's this vice-like feeling in my chest and I feel as though I'm going to burst. I was the first adult that never let him down who wasn't paid to do so and I'm still here even when he doesn't need me, even when everything's going perfectly. Every child deserves someone who thinks they are the most special thing in the world. Parents love their kids, of course, but they are also shackled by the practical things they are required to do for them. I have no such obligations with Alcott - I exist solely to brighten his life, to ensure that no one hurts him if I can help it, and to create a powerful vision of what his life can be like given the choices that he makes. And he gives me the brightest, happiest moments in my life just by being a typical teenager.

When I think of where we started together and how far we've come, I know - without any hesitation or doubt - that our relationship redeems my life. There is nothing I've ever done that cannot be cleansed and made new again by the bright light of his happiness and I'm born again a little bit every time I see him.

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