Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Two ears and one mouth

A major thunderstorm just went through the neighborhood with lots of rain, lightening and thunder....kind of scary as the thunder boomed overhead.

It's over now and all clear for me to exit the house and run the errands.

It's my last week before I return to work and I want to cram as much relaxation in as possible. But how does that happen? I can't tell my body and mind to relax AND the more that I think about it, the more stressed I am....

Speaking of stress, my big kid is unbelievably stressed out. Besides being exhausted with work, working out, and physical therapy, he got a message from the coaches that there will be a series of endurance challenges. They will not share what that means but word is that there are 44 guys trying out for 35 positions. Through the endurance challenges the coaches want 5 guys to drop out. Then the battle will begin for the remaining roster spots.

When Buddy shared this with me, I asked why he was worried....his answer was that he is always worried. Why? You are in better shape than ever. Why do you think that you will not be able to handle the challenges? Worry about the other guys who have made the sofa their home this summer. They should worry as they begin to drop on the obstacle course. Dude...let it go....

Naturally, he cannot. Therefore, he is worried, stressed, and a tad bit salty. Yes, I said salty. We have not had a decent conversation in days. It's not that I am trivializing his worries and fears BUT the kid is in amazing shape. He takes one day a week off for his body to replenish so what is in his mind...besides some dust, neurons, and gray matter? I dunno...what the heck?

What can a mom do when her son is so worried that his personality changes from wacky to salty and he closes himself off to the people who can help? How do I penetrate the barrier of angst? It's pretty thick so I have to be creative.....let me see....if it was me, how would I want someone to help me through the turmoil of life.....

OK, here is what I would want:

1. Someone to listen and not offer advice
2. Someone to hang in there when I turn from Dr Jekyll into Mrs Hyde.
3. Someone to tell me that I have a flattering hair style that takes 10 years off my age.
4. Someone to give me a hug when I need it.
5. Someone to watch a chick flick with me without complaining.
6. Someone who loves me no matter what and shuts up about their experiences as a college tennis player.....

Ahhh...now we have it. In order to penetrate the layers of self pity and worry, I have to be myself.....offer support when needed and back off when it is not. In other words, look for clues that he wants to chat and stop whatever I am doing to listen....just listen...the power of listening can be the most invaluable tool when dealing with a person whose emotions are frayed. Keep silent....watch for nonverbal behaviors...and offer an ear when necessary.

It's cheap and I have two ears. I don't have to take him to his favorite Mexican restaurant (although that would help)....all I have to do is offer myself as a tool and not a weapon.

I think that I can do it. yep, this should be easy....all I have to do is keep my mouth shut and open my eyes and ears....easy right? Uh, yeah...maybe...now I am stressing....

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