The language of love

20140813_181946I have an amazing relationship with Quinland. Just had to start with that. He is awesome and I love him.

We had the nicest time together tonight. He had persuaded me to take him to get his hair cut and to get his two-year phone upgrade. We managed to sneak in to Great Clips with 6 minutes to spare, so “haircut” got checked off the list. The phone upgrade did not happen, as he’d forgotten to back it up before we left the house – and he needed to turn in his old iPhone 4s to get a rebate – so we left the mall and decided to go get dinner together.

The whole time, we talked about relationships:  love interests, past and present; the excitement of being in a relationship and getting to know the other person; the five love languages and how important it is to express love in a language that the other person understands and values; the importance of good communication.

It’s interesting to think about where Q’s relationship style comes from. His own innate love language, temperament, experience? My relationship with David, and his experience of seeing that throughout his life? Some combination of these things and others that I cannot even imagine? Probably the last option, I know. But it was interesting to talk about how David and I communicate verbally (extremely well) and how we demonstrate our love (not nearly as well, since our love languages are very different and we each need to make herculean efforts to overcome our natural tendencies); he may or not have been aware of some of the ways that his dad and I relate to each other, even if he’s been around us his whole life.

I just thought it was so cool that we could even have this conversation. High school relationships and dating can be such a minefield of emotions and decisions and stress, and I’m glad that Q feels comfortable talking with me. I’m sure I don’t hear everything, but that’s to be expected as he grows up and separates from us to become his own autonomous self. I just feel lucky that there is so much he is willing to talk about, at his age.

I feel like my time with him is running out. The thought that he’ll be living on his own in less than three years is too scary to even think about. I’m going to miss him like crazy.

Watch the evening tire

Late-night screen time is a problem at our house. All three of us can be found on screens before bed: David on Board Game Geek or Blazer’s Edge, Quinland texting or doing homework online (or doing both simultaneously), and I… well, let’s just say I have fallen asleep clutching my phone one too many times with a half-read Jane Austen fan fiction story on the screen.

I’ve rationalized it away in the past: we’re all reading! That’s no different than reading books! It’s a great way to relax before bed! But my studies at the University of Google Medical School have shown that the light emitted by electronic devices can actually disrupt our body clocks and delay the production of melatonin, which helps people fall asleep. No wonder we are all feeling sleep-deprived!

As always, this inspired a new Family Scheme. My solution was simple: no electronics after 10 pm. But I decided to add an additional wrinkle as well: going electricity-free at 10, lights out, electronics off. Up until now, we haven’t been able to change through willpower; perhaps we will be able to change through countless evenings of boredom.

fireplace by shay sowden

We’ve only done it one night, but it was a rousing success. Quinland built a fire in the fireplace, and we all sat around in the firelight reminiscing about our Europe trip, reminding each other of little details and comparing our favorite places. It was wonderful to have that time together, and rather than being upset about losing his phone for the night, Q was thrilled to get to build a fire, something we rarely do.

Q’s rehearsal for the play has gotten in the way since then – it’s their Hell Week right now – but I think the experiment has merit. We all relaxed, spent quality time together, and got to sleep at a decent hour. I’m so convinced, in fact, that I’ve stocked up on firewood for the week and talked with a neighbor about sharing in a cord of wood. Bring your marshmallows the next time you come over!

Many thanks to shay sowden for the photo.

Hanging on to my “mom credibility” … by my fingernails

Q eyes

See that kid? I love him. And guess what? He loves me. I know this without a shadow of a doubt. He’s an amazing kid, I’m an awesome mom… all is well.

I also know, without a shadow of a doubt, that he finds me ridiculous. Part of this is because he is almost 16, but part of this is because – let’s face it – I am ridiculous. Continue reading “Hanging on to my “mom credibility” … by my fingernails”