Monday, May 17, 2010

Hugh Hefner and the Double Digit Household

Wow if that is not an interesting title for a blog entry, I don't know what is. I think it has more meanings than I intended.

May is a frenetic month in our house. And I mean frenetic in the exact definition of the word: wild and uncontrolled. We are going here and there, doing this and that, living day to day with little time for reflection on the fact that birthdays are happening, Little League playoffs are coming, and summer is looming just over the horizon.

There are precious little moments when I can think rather than do. This goes for the whole family. Sometimes this kind of distraction can be welcoming but in May it is always a little much, and it happens every year.

My list of things going on is dizzying. Two boys in Little League, one husband coaching and working several full-time jobs, one boy in soccer, one just auditioned for a musical with rehearsals starting (gulp) tomorrow, one doing cross country, volleyball, and softball at school, one starting choir, end of year homework projects, building boats of cardboard and duct tape (I just figured out this is PE homework), Gold Rush Day, art show at school, it could go on and on. Add to that two birthdays; my middle and youngest turn twelve and ten. It is the end of single digits. We are now permanently in the double digits in this house. And now, thanks to a birthday gift, we have Hugh Hefner living with us. More on that later.

In May our normal healthy family fare is thrown out window and we are using the Little League snack shack, with it's substandard nutritional content, as our personal restaurant. I actually had a dream the other night that my boys started eating candy for breakfast, lunch and dinner, all from the snack shack. I woke up feeling irritated and guilty. I proclaimed that the eating of candy shall end, which shall be honored . . . until . . . until the next visit to the snack shack when I feel a craving for a Reese's to get me through the evening until dinner. I mean REALLY, I'm not the one with braces in my house. Then I went into my kitchen late in the night and made hard-boiled eggs, homemade yogurt, and whole wheat blueberry muffins to assuage my guilt. Nutritional snacks are in the house! For a day or two anyway.

In all the goings on this month, I have noticed something happening that has produced the most curious mix of emotions in me. No, it's not the candy consumption. It is the awareness that love is in the air. It must be spring. My older two boys are thirteen and almost twelve, and they are becoming more aware of girls. Or vice versa.

It's the vice versa that is getting to me, particularly in regards to my middle son. One day recently I noticed that there were some girls at his baseball game. I was pretty sure they were not there because they are avid Little League fans, but I didn't know why they were at the game. Then I overheard them talking to my youngest and suddenly I realized what they were doing there. They were there to watch my son. Gulp. Are these groupies? Since I was certain that my middle had no idea they were even there, I didn't worry much. He was blissfully ignorant. But how long will that ignorance last? With my youngest fully aware of the situation, I don't think it will be long.

Then, at a recent family event at school, I was observing my middle son from the fringes and was mildly surprised and pleased to see him dancing. Yes, dancing. Even a little break dancing. When and where did he learn how to do that? Then, still watching him out there having fun, I became aware that there were quite a few girls around him. I stopped watching him and watched the girls. WAIT a minute, there are not only 6th grade girls hanging around him, there are 7th grade girls too! I wanted to run out and tell those thirteen-year-old girls to get away. I momentarily became an overprotective crazy mother with a wish to preserve the young innocence of my little boy from the brazen attention of make-up and brassiere-wearing, hair-flipping teenage girls. But clearly he is not a little boy anymore, he is a handsome almost-twelve-year-old, who as one friend recently told me, looks fifteen. And any day now he is going to be enjoying, instead of being annoyed by, the attentions that are directed his way. Much like his thirteen-year-old brother is experiencing.

I have an overwhelming sense of "Oh here we go!" We are on the rollercoaster of adolescence and starting to pick up speed. I have picked up my copy of Your Ten- to Fourteen-Year-Old by Lousie Bates Ames and intend to read it cover to cover now as it spans all the boys in my house. The subtitle says it all: from peer pressure to sibling rivalry to sexual awareness. There is a whole chapter on mother-son relationships. I'm scared to read it.

All this going on in our house is why my husband and I think it is so funny that our youngest has the new nickname Hugh Hefner. Unlike his brothers, he is still a little boy, roaming the house all day in his new bathrobe. It was number one on his birthday wish list and he wears it any time he is home. He also wanted a fan for his room, which he feels is often too hot for him. So he sits in his room, in front of the fan, wearing his cozy bathrobe, perfectly happy. A mini Hugh with his own personal wind machine, a force of personality his brothers will begin to appreciate when they realize he is already talking to the girls they want to talk to.

It's going to be a wild ride. Wait, it already is one.


eric said...

Amber -

My wife, Chris, and I are working with Beverly and Dave on landscaping their San Clemente house and she referred us to your blog. We also have 3 boys, 13, 11 and 4. She first sent us to the internet porn blog and then the blog in general.

Chris (who's been up since 6.30am taking our oldest son to a Volleyball tourney in Anaheim, racing back for a birthday party for our 4 year old, then needs to go to Vans to get shoes for a Bar Mitzvah my son is going to tonight and stop and get a gift, all before 4 pm when my 11 year old son is pitching in his Little League game... hopefully he starts because we have to be at a party at 5pm... if our babysitter doesn't flake. On my side, I've taken the 4 and 11 year old to Ruby's for breakfast which was right next to Sea Schwinn because my 11 year old's bike has a flat tire... well, my 13 year old's bike also has some repairs needed before Junior Lifeguards starts, but I can't fit both bikes in the Suburban, so I guess I'll be heading back later. I need to go to Anaheim to watch my 13 year old play VB and I can probably stop by and drop the bike off then, but I also need to get the office to cut a check for a vendor who won't start work without a check and that will delay a project. I have to drop the check in Orange, which is only 20 minutes from Anaheim, so I'm sure I can squeeze it in somewhere. But, I do need to be back by 3 to get my 11 year old to baseball for his game. I'm hoping they mercy or get mercied in an hour or less so we can be vaguely on time to our 5pm party....

Fortunately, it's Saturday, one of our two days of rest, so we can relax.

All I can say is that we 150% relate to what you're going through. It's crazy. At times you think you're going to collapse! But, you can't because you have to be at the next game, haircut, school play, math tutor, pitching coach, etc. in 10 minutes!!!

Eric Fenmore

Amber said...

One thing is for certain, life with three boys is never boring! Hopefully we can find a way to enjoy all the craziness because you know we are going to miss it when they are grown up and driving themselves around . . . or are we??