Today, on my birthday, I received the best gift ever. My boys wrote lovely and thoughtful notes in my card. I know my boys love me and we have a great relationship but they are typical guys who don’t like to talk about feelings and definitely don’t want to write about them. They just say ‘you know I love you and you’re the best’. And while it’s true that I do know they love me, I’m a sap and I like to hear about the hows and whys.
I love my boys but can’t say I’m not a little envious of the moms of girls who come home and tell them all about their days. I remember telling my mom all kinds of stories in detail. She knew all about my friends and what was going on at school. My guys do talk but it takes a lot to get them started. They don’t seem to respond to ‘what did you do today?’. That gets a response of ‘nothing’ or ‘I don’t remember’. It takes a lot of creative questions to get them in a comfortable zone where they will start chatting. Sometimes, then they keep talking more than I expected.
These are my favorite memories with them because I want to feel connected to them. That is not always easy when you’re interested in different things and spend most of the day apart. One night, my older son wasn’t feeling well and had insomnia, so I told him he could hang out in my room until he felt sleepy. That night, while the others slept, we talked for over an hour about all kinds of random things. We discussed sports and girls and books and life. I even got to give him advice without getting an eye roll!
They are growing up and cuddling isn’t enough. We have to communicate to connect and that’s not always easy. But I’m loving the little men they are becoming and enjoying their minds and thoughts. They gave me the best birthday with their very personal notes and their fun gifts. Wonder Woman earrings and a Lord of the Rings necklace…gifts based on things we enjoyed together and talk about often. I’m so grateful to be able to parent these loving kids!
We watched The Mummy movie that just came out this weekend. I wasn’t encouraged by the critic reviews but it seemed interesting from the previews and user reviews. We also generally enjoy Tom Cruise movies so we went. It was better than the reviews I read but definitely not a great movie. I liked the first couple of movies in the Mummy series but they were pretty bad later on. This one goes somewhere in the middle. There was no Brendan Fraser so that made it different as well. It was less campy and humorous than the old movies. The action and effects were good and Tom was good to watch. However, I thought it was much more gross and gory than the others. In fact, one of the gross scenes was completely gratuitous. There were also a lot of zombies which I did not expect and I’m not a fan of those. That being said, it was still a good big screen watch if you’ve already seen Wonder Woman and want to go to the movies. This movie also seemed like it was setting the stage for a franchise of Dark Universe movies with other monsters. It had Russell Crowe in an interesting and unexpected role as well. Maybe the future movies will be better!
This past weekend my family went to see the long-awaited Wonder Woman movie and we were not disappointed. We are a family of comic/sci-fi/superhero buffs so we were all excited and not happy that life interfered and made us wait until Sunday to watch it. I remember watching the Wonder Woman TV show as a child and playing her with my friends. I was and still am amazed by Lynda Carter so I had my doubts about Gal Gadot. I think she’s beautiful but I couldn’t imagine her in this role from what I’d seen of her in Fast and Furious. Luckily, I changed my mind after her cameo in Batman v Superman. She did a great job and I was impressed at how she portrayed the strength and innocence of the character.
I know there was a lot of excitement over the movie because it was nice for all the young girls out there to have a hero. However, it was nice for any gender I believe. My boys loved the movie and didn’t think about whether the hero was a man or woman. They just saw the strength and humor and cool action scenes. They know enough about DC Comics to know that Wonder Woman can fight alongside Batman and Superman with no problem.
For me, it was a thrill to watch since she has been my hero from my earliest childhood memories. She was strong, smart, fair, and gorgeous. It was great that the movie and the actors didn’t ruin those feelings for me and others.
As for how appropriate this was for younger kids. It was definitely a PG-13 movie. If your kids are a few years younger but have been exposed to other action movies with violence and some gore then I think it would be fine. However, I would not take a very young child or one who is sensitive to the violence. There is also a partial nude scene of a man. There is some adult conversation about sex that may go over a younger kid’s head or may be awkward to watch depending on your child. Also keep in mind that it is set during WWI so there are scenes of wounded soldiers in pain.
I think this was a very good movie and was impressed with the chemistry between Gal Gadot and Chris Pine. It had well-developed characters and a good story line. I think it would appeal to any gender and parents and kids alike. Hope you get to watch. Enjoy!
Posted in Entertainment, Fantasy, Movies, Parenting, Uncategorized
Tagged chris pine, Entertainment, gal gadot, good for boys, Kid-friendly, movies, Ok for kids, superhero, wonder woman
My son is in his early teens and it has been a challenge much like every other stage in his growth. No more infant sleepless nights, no more toddler tantrums or potty training or tween rage, but now this. Now he’s at an age where he’s starting to be more mature but yet he’s still a kid mostly. I miss the cute little kid he used to be but am enjoying this new young man. Now, we can talk about so many things. He knows what’s going on in the world and is more aware of people’s feelings too. We can watch more than just cartoons together and bond over our love for superheroes. He can help his little brother with homework or stick up for him at school. He can open a tight jar for me and reach the higher shelves. I watch him hang out with his buddies as they joke around and roast each other. He’s happy and it makes me smile.
There are times it isn’t so much fun or as easy to connect too. He still just wants fun and is not happy about chores and responsibilities. He gets angry and irrational and we have big arguments. He fights with his brother and wants everything his way. He’s also at an age where school is getting harder and more stressful and social interactions are more complex. I don’t always know what is going on in his head.
I keep trying though… not to be his friend, but a parent he can talk to and learn from. He still needs structure and guidance and most of all love. Some days that is not easy at all and I get worried that I’m losing the closeness we’ve always had. Other days, he cuddles with me on the sofa and shares stories of school or jokes from social media. It’s not always easy to get a boy to talk and share and even harder with a teen but I keep trying. I guess trying and being available is key. I’ve also realized that I need to show interest in the things he likes. Sharing fun activities with him leads to conversation or just good memories. I’m not athletic at all but I still go shoot hoops or play ping-pong for this reason. He teases me for my skills but still keeps asking me to play so I guess it’s a good sign. One day I will master the art of raising a teen boy and when that day comes…he will have moved on to young adulthood!
I’ve been parenting a teen boy now for a year and it’s been quite interesting. It’s often a challenge because the struggles seem to make no logical sense. However, it isn’t all bad. During the calm hormonal spells, we are able to have provocative discussions and have a friendly relationship. However when the tide is high, I’m the enemy and all bets are off.
I tried to explain to my younger son why his teen brother behaves the way he does by comparing it to Bruce Banner and the Hulk. I told him that when his teen hormones kick in, he can turn into a rage monster and even he can’t control it. That helped a little with the sibling issues it was creating. It also helped me to accept some of the crazy arguments we were having, such as why he needs a coat in sub-freezing weather or why sweats aren’t appropriate party wear. It’s very hard not to take the fights personally when you feel you’ve been the most loving and understanding parent you could be. But, you have to step back and realize it’s all part of growing and testing their boundaries. They want to be independent but still want to be catered to when it suits them. That makes me crazy since Mr. Know-it-all should certainly be able to remember his chores or give himself a snack. However, that is not what happens. It’s a constant tug-of-war between the things I feel he is mature enough to handle and the things he feels he is mature enough to handle. I want to equip him with life skills and the ability to take responsibility but I also know he’s still a child and needs more guidance than he realizes.
Though these years often leave me missing and romanticizing the sleepless baby and toddler years, it’s not all bad. Though I can’t completely control my teen or drag him around in a stroller to where I want to go, I’m finding new ways to compromise with him. Now, I have to reason with him and maybe bargain about going to a store he likes if he comes to the mall with me. We’re in a new frontier. As much as the love and trust we gave in the early years was critical, this new ability to communicate and compromise will build an important foundation. This will help define our relationship as adults one day. No pressure!
I’m nervously laughing to myself as I write because this is all still a work in progress for me and I could very well fail. But, I think it will be okay. When he’s not in a defiant mood swing, he will cuddle with me and watch movies or ask for a favorite food. We will laugh together at our silliness or he will help his brother with homework. I will hear from his teachers how he is such a wonderful and thoughtful kid. He will open up to me about his thoughts on politics – within the family or the world. He teaches me to throw a football and tries to control his laughter when I can’t get a spin on it. These things give me hope that my wonderful child hasn’t changed but is just going through some growing pains. Though these pains are painful for me as well, these too shall pass.