I know, I know…Umbrella Corporation? Resident Evil? Sparkles? What has happened in The Village? I understand that the Umbrella Corporation and Resident Evil are not what you expected from Sparkles on a Sunday morning, right? I get it. Just hold up on firing off until you finish reading. Trust me. Life has not turned completely upside down…yet.
Life is funny. Life is a myriad of changes lately in our home and it’s been a crazy last few months. The highs, the lows, ups and downs. It changes from minute to minute. The Spectrum Kiddo is in high school now. Our first semester of our freshman year and, yeah…it’s been a bit of a wow thing for mom.
Wow…we’re in high school.
Wow…my boy is as tall as me.
Wow…is that a moustache or dirt on your lip?
Wow…look how far we have come since that SPED kindergarten class.
Wow…when did I BLINK?
Wow…YOU got an A in ENGLISH?
Wow…you got an F in TYPING?
Wow…you ate lunch alone?
There have been many, many wows over these last few months.
Our school also prides itself on the dynamic variety of groups on campus that kids are encouraged to join. There are oodles of clubs for kiddos to connect with in order to enhance their high school experience and bolster friendships for ALL kiddos. It’s a great system so it wasn’t surprising that the Spectrum Kiddo and I had this conversation this week:
Mom: Buddy, have you checked out any groups on campus?
My boy: Why?
Mom: They have lots of groups. Anime, comic books, robotics….lots of different groups you might like.
My boy: Mom, really, I’m fine. I have friends. I don’t need the groups and you don’t need to worry.
And he did…he put me in check and I had to take a step back and let my Mom-Worry-Machine take a breather and let him be who he is. Don’t think it was easy because it wasn’t. The Mom-Worry-Machine wants to grab back some control and set up some play groups and force the boy to have F-R-I-E-N-D-S….right? Yeah…I had to step back. Way back..no matter how much that ran counter to how the Mom-Worry-Machine is designed to operate. Deep breath…
And then today, this happened…and it changed the Mom-Worry-Machine forever….
Spectrum Kiddo: Look what my friend gave me.
Mom: A shirt?
Spectrum kiddo: Yeah. He out grew it and I’d always admired it so he brought it to school and gave it to me.
Mom: Wow, buddy, that’s pretty cool. What’s the umbrella corporation?
Spectrum kiddo: It’s from Resident Evil.
**And here it is. The moment when we let go as parents. The moment when we stop splitting the hairs and keep focused on the big picture lest we miss the point of life as a whole. The very moment when I had to let go of the mom-speak that confines life to the appropriate, the PC, and the do-the-right-thing rule repetition. This is the moment when I had to let go of the speech that begins to line up all the things wrong with Resident Evil for a 14 year old spectrum kiddo and, instead of reminders and admonitions, my response went something like this…..**
Mom: Resident Evil? Really? I like that umbrella.
Spectrum kiddo: I really like it.
Mom: Me too. What a great friend.
And despite the fact that the game is rated M and is not a rating allowed in our house, I didn’t say one word to my boy about THAT because the Mom-Worry-Machine was smiling pretty pretty darn big because, despite the fact that the shirt is from a game we don’t play and covers issues I don’t particularly embrace, the bigger picture fact that can’t be missed is that MY BOY IS CONNECTING AND HAS FRIENDS and my boy is cultivating friendships and that’s a big old win-win for this momma. And despite my personal views on the game I’d even have to throw a big Thank You out to the Umbrella Corporation for offering this wholly unexpected connecting point for my boy.
And here’s the bigger truth:
My boy isn’t joining the campus groups.
My boy isn’t following the mandated path and he isn’t always going to take the easy route BUT
….my boy has friends.
And they may not be the typical friendships and they may not follow the accepted “rule” book but these “other” friendships are what works for HIM. So the Mom-Worry-Machine is going to take a few steps back and let the boy live HIS life HIS way even when I may not always see the forest for the trees.
So thank you, Umbrella Corporation, for being so much more than just an M rated game that I banned in my home. So. Much. More.
Sparkle On, my friends.