He checked the mailbox and asked me every day that week just to be sure. "Did the Lego magazine come?" Josiah (age 10) said. It hadn't arrived yet, and you could feel the build of anticipation. It's exciting to get the old snail mail every now and then. Both of my boys, who are completely unaware of time, only look at the calendar once a month to start the great wait.
A play date is a great way to break up the time in the summer so Josiah and Jack headed off to Charlie and Sam's for awhile. Hours of Lego's, complicated sword battles and snacks filled the time and both boys returned happy as clams. Dinner and bedtime reading closed out the day and all was well until the next morning. I got this e-mail from another ten year old.
We had a little mix up with my lego magazine last night. I thought that Joshia brought a lego magazine to our house. Know i now that it was a mistake because my mama told me that i got it in the mail yesterday.
Could you drop it off if you are diving by.
I casually asked Josiah what happened and he instantly looked nervous, eyes shifting, voice shaking.
"He thought it was mine. I was confused." He said, even seeming to struggle with his own story.
"Okay, let's just get the magazine back to Charlie." I replied.
Only moments later, I checked voicemail and heard a message from an almost teary Charlie starting to wonder how this mix-up happened in the first place and why Josiah took the magazine home.
"Josiah, Charlie just left a message, he's really upset. I'm wondering if there is a little more to this story." I said and the gentle shakedown started. He resisted at first, I think because part of the story was true, he was confused when Charlie originally thought the magazine was his. It seemed though, Josiah deep inside knew it was not, and saw an opportunity which he took.
I was kind of mortified honestly; to think my kid would lie, borrow/steal, that my kid could have a really jerky kind of moment. I could hear him crying from his room.
"What kind of friend am I mom? How could I have done this?" he wailed. All of the judgment in my heart was instantly gone. My boy with long thick hair stained with tears was feeling the weight of his heart, the weight of hurting someone you really care about.
"Oh Josiah, everyone makes mistakes and how sad you are feeling right now shows how much you really care..." I said and the speech went on.
Josiah rode his bike to return the magazine and threw in a coveted silly band as part of his making amends (his idea). I sighed, one moment feeling disappointment and the next seeing the whole boy with a touch of pride.
How do you handle lying at your house? At what age did you start to see these kinds of life lessons start popping up? I'd love to hear your thoughts and share with each from the big bag of parenting tips in the comments. What do you think about kids and lying?
I can remember it like it was yesterday. I had a black felted baller hat with a bow, just like Debbie Gibson. I wore it to a concert and felt, so, so cool. Almost as cool as my older sisters who were driving around town listening to Bon Jovi in their Naf-Naf outfits that they bought with their first paychecks working retail at the mall.
Even at my coolest, it was all still so awkward. My body lanky, long, waiting to grow into my forever legs and arms. I was at least six inches taller than most of the boys in my class, which helped as I was still too petrified to even think about a boy liking me. There was so much to navigate, so much to try on to discover who I was. I don't think I realized how important all of it was, especially that hat.
So here I am with my own boy, feeling right back at the start of all things tween. It started with his hair. He told me over a year ago that he was growing out his hair. We did this when he was four so I didn't think too much about it. I forgot I trimmed it then, easing it all into this beautiful shoulder length little boy beauty. This go around there would be no trimming.
No trimming and a LOT more shag. To say this drove me crazy would be an understatement, at one point I even resorted to bribery which still didn't work.
"Josiah, I will give you $20 if you let me take you to the salon to get it trimmed." I begged.
It's pretty horrifying on my part, I know. Everywhere we went he looked a little messier, with that thick mane in his face. Around the same time, it was as if we hit the sweaty, smelly boy stage too. Welcome to the tween years.
"Mom, you gotta let the hair thing go." he said.
"I think he's right. That hair is awesome." Jorge later said in private.
I sighed and knew they were both right. This boy was growing just like the hair, just as thick and crazy, just as awesome. This one small way of trying something different on, even if someone close to you doesn't exactly approve was the perfect way to flex some independence muscles. As he makes his way I learn how to accept, to even embrace knowing there are much more complicated decisions than hair ahead.
While shopping the other day we passed the men's hat section and Josiah wandered over. It was if every hat on the shelf was calling to his head. Not just one but pretty much all 20 looked completely rad with his crazy hair. We were both out of our minds over how cool he looked and I was so proud of all his tween goodness. All I could think of was that Debbie Gibson hat, and the beginning of so much more.
Do you have that one little independence step or decision your kid has made that makes you a little crazy? How have you navigated these new steps and stages? Tell us and all the uptight tween parents everywhere.