I have accepted fear as part of life – specifically the fear of change… I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: turn back…. ~Erica Jong
Turning the page to another year, I’m happy to arrive at my little man’s fifteenth birthday! As Kyle ages, one of my biggest fears is the person he will become. However, in actuality, he’s already been a huge success and I couldn’t be more proud.
What stresses me about his character? You see, when he’s with the family, he’s a bit of a smarty pants, curt, sarcastic (which I appreciate), stubborn and even a bit negative. Granted, this isn’t a constant, and it seems to be more heightened when he hit his teenage years, but a fear regardless. I don’t want Kyle to act disrespectful with his friends, friends’ parents, teachers or even strangers. I don’t ever want Kyle to be labeled as such (I’m not concerned about the stubbornness unless it’s a hindrance), and I want him to be happy and have friends and experience life with love in his heart and a positive outlook. However, while investigating Kyle’s behavior, I’ve been proudly informed time and time again, he’s a kind, polite, and a typical teenage boy. (Yes, I do constantly check up, things change and quickly.)
How do I know? Simply, I ask and pay attention. Really? Yes, I do care for Kyle that much that I take the time to inquire, and I’m not talking about a passing comment. When I get the chance to speak with a parent Kyle recently spent time with, I ask how he’s acted. Usually, you can get a feeling when a parent is telling you the straight up truth or whether they’re sugar coating. Asking the right questions also helps. While chaperoning the band, I watch from a distance. Again, my observations with the way he interacts with friends and fellow band members shows a lot about Kyle’s outside behavior and the real person he is.
You see, I was told once that teenagers need a means to get it out. They’re hormonal and finding themselves, and they need a safe place to act out and dump everything from the inside, out. I was also told a child will only do this with those he loves and is one hundred comfortable with. Yeah for us. (sarcasm)
What would I do if I saw appropriate behavior? Tell him. As his aunt, and anyone who loves and respects him, it’s our job to call him out. Perhaps he’s not aware of his actions, or if he is, it’s our job to correct bad behavior. It’s in his best interest to shape into the person he will one day be. I know no ones perfect, we’re all human, but it doesn’t mean we don’t try.
I am very proud of Kyle. He’s always been my inspiration, and even if he longer believes it, we’re still a team. I’ve always got his back no matter what.
Happy Birthday buddy!