I Am Still Harboring a Hope.
Shane never had temper tantrums. His biggest flaw as a toddler is that he climbed up onto things, and I was afraid he’d fall. He has always been sweet, entirely angelic, speaking softly when spoken to, lost in thought much of the time as he grew. I’ve never had reason to doubt that he would always be angelic.
Before school one morning, I went into Shane’s room. We talked for a minute about something – I can’t remember what – and as I was leaving, he mumbled something.
“What?” I asked, not having heard him.
“Wrdmo,” I thought he said.
“What did you say?” I asked again.
“THE RADIO!” He bellowed at me with such a force, I almost fell back against the wall.
I was so stunned, in fact, that I actually left the room to get my bearings before saying anything to him. A few minutes went by before I went back into his room.
“Shane,” I said calmly, “you really screamed at me about the radio. It wasn’t very nice. In fact, it was almost rude.”
“Well I didn’t think you could hear me,” he said, a bit surprised.
“I’ve just never heard you talk like that to me, and I wanted to make sure you knew that it was not very nice.”
“Okay,” he said. And we went about our business.
He’s going to be a teenager soon, I realized. He’s going to get rude and unconsciously belligerent before my very eyes.
The truth is, and in spite of what I saw happen with Dylan, I am still harboring a hope that Shane, unlike all the other teenagers in the world, will be different. I know that friends will become more important to him – as they already are – and I know that he’ll keep more to himself, and not share as much with me.
But I kind of hoped he would never get mean, in that way that teenagers do. I hoped that he would just stay sweet.
After what I’ve already gone through with Dylan – some wild, horrible days – and seeing him come out on the other side, I am hopeful. I think kids can grow up to be – well, adults – without totally tearing apart their relationship with their parents.
I read somewhere that adolescence is bound to be more painful for parents who are exceptionally close to their children, because the children need to have that kind of huge and awful break in order to grow up. They have to break away harder if they feel too close.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t have been any closer to Dylan when he was a child if I’d tried. And with the exception of Dylan stealing some of my thunder along the way, I couldn’t have been any closer to Shane, either.
I am in for a very long ride.