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My Turn to Strike Out!

Temper is a funny thing; it spoils children, ruins adults, and strengthens steel.  ~Unknown

Kyle at Chad's Wedding 8-31-02 Aunt Heather Piper
Me & Kyle at Chad's wedding. I dressed him in a suit. 8/31/02

Well, usually when Kyle acts up and I have to get mad, he straightens up.  But then again, not always.  I will say, Kyle has not been feeling well, with the ear infections and his allergies kick’in out of control, but that’s no excuse for being difficult.  But when I am in the wrong, I will call it out and show that Kyle’s Whining, Stubborn, Difficult – Strike Out! is not the only one who can strike out.  Two weekends ago Kyle continued where he left off from that Wednesday.  Well, to be fair to him, not entirely, but it was I who was still simmering.  My fuse had already been partially burned.  Kyle was pretty good, he even walked to the local store with me on Friday night and he took a walk with me and the dogs on Saturday morning.  Now I’m not saying he started off walking with speed and gusto, but he did make the effort.  We went through the usual complaining about the socks, and then he complained about his boots, and he didn’t want to wear his hoodie, even though it was in the 40s -50s on Saturday.  This is all pretty standard, but when my fuse is already almost non-existent, it doesn’t take much.  I will say I did make a resounding observation during our journey.  Across the board, during our expeditions, especially the longer the walk, Kyle’s attitude straightens up.  Maybe it’s the endorphins or maybe the quality time, or just being around nature.  Whatever the reason is, I love it and it makes for a more enjoyable walk.

When we got back to the house, we made lunch for everyone including roasted vegetables.  Kyle volunteered to help, he was a peeling machine.  The rest of the day went pretty straight forward, we watched the Green Lantern, ran to the store to pick up a birthday gift for Kyle’s friend, he worked in his workbooks when I asked, and later in the evening Kyle went to the grocery story with dad to help him out. Kyle and I even had the opportunity to start the next Harry Potter book, The Half-Blood Prince book.  Now was Kyle the perfect child, no, but when asked by my mom to load and unload the dishwasher he ignored her and he didn’t practice his instruments.  However, in the scope of things, he really impressed me.

Now moving into Sunday and how I completely struck out.  Since mom was not feeling well, actually most of the weekend, Kyle and I went to early mass, followed by CCD class.  He was really good in church.  Before hand, we did have an issue with buttoning of one of the buttons, which by no means was even close to his neck.  Then there was the standard argument about wearing his hoodie, which he always drags along beside him as if he’s so completely tortured by the piece of clothing.  This time Kyle didn’t serve mass and he was very attentive and the most reverend child sitting in the pew.  He participated in the hymns and when I asked him what the reading was about, I was surprised by Kyle’s attentiveness to some of the details recited in the literary.  Impressed!

Kyles-First-Holy-Communion-Aunt-Heather-Piper
Kyle's First Holy Communion. He was allowed to pick out his tie, but he had to wear a suit.

As lunchtime crepted upon us, I knew we had to leave around 1:00ish so I could drive Kyle to his friends birthday party, a good 45 minutes away.  Not that I mind, not at all, but when Kyle doesn’t appreciate and expect things, it sometimes wears on me.  He was getting ready to leave and the one thing that really bugs me is Kyle’s appearance.  It has drove me crazy for years now.  He always looks so sloppy and unkempt.  He can wear a variety of cloths and still not look so sloppy.  Not to mention, there are appropriate cloths needed for different occasions.  Now I was the one who was insisting on him wearing nice slacks.  Ok, I was going overboard since I already knew Kyle doesn’t like buttons and zippers on pants and this was a birthday party for boys who were planning on playing outside.  Well, he just had a complete melt down by my mention of the slacks.  I told him I would take him to the store to get new, “nice” pants and a matching shirt for his birthday party, but he just sobbed.  Later, I found out that he thought I was going to make him wear church cloths.  I mean the absolute horror of the thought. (sarcasm)

Once we got to the store I was still completely ticked.  In fact, I told him, you’re on your own, you find your own cloths.  He was excited and nervous by the gesture and now the time was flying past us and he didn’t want to miss any part of the party.  Not that I blame him, considering the boys were planing on having a Nerf war in the birthday boy’s backyard.  As I was acting like him, and walking extremely slowly I realized, ‘Now who is acting like a spoiled kid.’  Yes, I’m embarrassed to say I was acting like Kyle just to show him how it feels.  As he was trying to make small talk with me, I was just saying “Ya, No, I don’t know.” etc. just like Kyle does.  I was kind of being mean, certainly not one of my finer moments.  He was even being considerate and went to the sell rack, he said “Aunt Heather this way if I get dirt on them it really doesn’t matter.”  Now what a sweet kid, which you would think would melt my stone cold heart, but nope not yet.

Then as we drove to our final destination, I started going below the speed limit, which anyone who really knows me is aware of my led foot.  But then I realized Kyle might be late, and that bothered me more than making a point.  You see, I had being late even if it’s not for me.  I can’t stand tardiness, no matter what.  Then I noticed the excitement in Kyle’s eyes, knowing he has been waiting for this party for a few weeks now and it was a beautiful day.  Not to mention the patience Kyle was exemplifying.  Yikes!  How could I be so mean?  Well, I got him to the party just on the money and gave the house mom my cell phone number  just in case they needed to get a hold of me.  I left and found a local park, since I lived about an hour away and the party was only two and a half hours long, I decided to do laps, making the most out of the beautiful day.  When I picked up Kyle, I heard he was polite and well behaved, but he clearly didn’t want to leave, as he slowly worked his way to my car.

Scooby-found-a-bone-Aunt-Heather-Piper
Kyle watching Scooby as he found a bone c. 2012

Kyle was such a happy boy the rest of the day and I apparently was not.  We usually leave my parents house around 8:00 or so on Sunday evenings to go back to my house.  This particular Sunday I was working on SpyRing and Kyle came to me bugging me to leave, I said, “It’s only 6:00?” and then I went into a rant saying “O I have to leave when Kyle says so, everything is revolved around Kyle and when he wants to do things, without taking others into consideration” and so on and so forth.  What I didn’t realize Kyle just wanted to spend some time with me and he wanted me to sit and read with him.  Ok, totally my turn to strike out!  After I collected my thoughts and started thinking like a rational person, we left.  In the car I apologized for my behavior.  To lighten the mood and not make him feel so bad, I found a few fun songs on the radio, turned them up really loud, and sang along in the worse tone imaginable, while I threw up my hands around and poked Kyle in the side.  He just sat there and laughed, probably thinking, ‘There’s something wrong with my Aunt Heather.’

The minute we walked in the house, Kyle quickly grabbed the book and directed me to the chair to commence reading.  He sat along the side of the chair, partially leaning on me and reading along as he always does.  I’m glad he suggested the reading, it gave us much needed peace and time together.  When we read like that the TV is never turned on, we get completely engrossed in the story.  After all Reading Brings Generations Together.  That’s the joy of a family, after all is said and done, a little quality times makes everything perfect again and all is forgotten and forgiven.

Published inBooks, Movies, ShowsChurchCommon SenseEducation & LearningFamilyObservation & ImaginationPatience

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