Anonymous

It was deep.

It was weird.

It was much better performed than what I expected.

It was … Anonymous.

Our first real youth play. As part of his acting class at the local theater, Braden was part of the cast of this modern tale based on the Odyssey. I’ll give you a moment to put those together in your mind.

The Odyssey.

Modern.

Deep.

Twisted.

Confusing.

Here’s a summary:

Separated from his mother, a young refugee called Anon journeys through the United States, encountering a wide variety of people — some kind, some dangerous and cruel — as he searches for his family. From a sinister one-eyed butcher to beguiling barflies to a sweatshop, Anon must navigate through a chaotic, ever-changing landscape in this entrancing adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey.

Originally he was only meant to be the owner of the sweatshop, but the one-eyed butcher quit, so he took over that part as well.

I spliced together the clips I took of both of his parts … and I’m sharing it here for your enjoyment (I’m also not allowed to share to social media lest I incur the wrath of the 15-year-old).

Grab yo’ popcorn and have a seat ….

(also please note that the first few frames start out sideways and the rest runs correctly. amateur mom video footage here.)

What’d ya think? Academy Awards material?

Small Victories

It started with a small bowl of potato chips.

But it quickly became a knock down drag it out with the teenager.

Of course, as with everything else in life with a teenager, it was about so much more than that. And so much less.

The boy was unyielding. Relentless in his defiance, defending and excuses.

He was utterly disrespectful and bordering on rude. Henry talked to him. I talked to him.

The boy didn’t budge.

We even went to bed frustrated and without any pleasantries. It was truly one of those fine mom moments.

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And then this morning, like a miracle, he got up and I happened to be in the laundry room right outside his door. Without hesitation, he came and gave me a hug, apologized for being so terrible, and told me he loves me.

Say what?!?

Let me restate that – he apologized for being terrible. And he gave me a hug!

This from the child who, in the course of his life, has rarely apologized for anything. Ever.

And unsolicited displays of affection? Let me reiterate that he is a teenager. And a he.

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via dfiles

We are not the worst parents ever. (Yet.)

Maybe we are doing something right.

I won’t get ahead of myself, but it is nice to know that as he seemingly grows inches every day, his voice continues to sound more goose-like and less little-boy-like, and the hair on his face thickens, he is maturing in other ways too.

And maybe, just maybe we’re doing something right.

There is hope for us all yet.

Phew!

I think I’ll reward myself with a bowl of potato chips 🙂

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Thoughts from the Baseball Field

In general, the process of growing up happens so gradually that we barely notice, until a picture or a memory reminds us of how much has changed between what was and what is. But every so often a real-time moment occurs and the reality of life’s inevitabilities smacks you in the face so hard that you can barely catch your breath.

It’s not just the birthdays or the passing of the school years. Sometimes it’s buried in the everyday.

Like when he comes down looking like he grew inches while he slept.

Or walking onto the 90 foot baseball field for the first time and pitching spectacularly.

Or just the way that he walks away so big and so confident.

And when all three of these things happen in one day? Oh my.

Sometimes I think growing up is harder as the parent than it was as the child.