Friday evening the boys, Flyer and I piled into the car and headed west towards Elwood. It was an uneventful drive, but excitingly since I knew I would be home with family. We arrived shortly before 8:00pm and pizza was already waiting on us. Eric, my sister’s new boyfriend was there, and he was so nice. He has a great sense of humor which fits in beautifully with our boisterous clan!

It had not been one of my favorite weeks of parenting and I was weary from reminding both boys, my eldest especially, of their obligations to complete tasks at home before aiming their minds and energies at free time. This seemed to come to a head Friday evening with my eldest and I pushed a few buttons to get the emotional dam to burst. This is something we encounter at least two times a year – much better than every day as in the first year. Still, it is part of the emotional baggage that accompanies the teenage years, as well as some leftover issues from pre-adoption life. The moment came to a head in my mother’s kitchen. I am so amazed how much softer and crisper I speak when I am agitated – and by this point, I was very agitated.

Tears seldom work with me, and both boys know that any attempt to manipulate me is major grounds for privilege suspension. Knowing the consequences, I am always amazed at how one or the other of the two will even consider manipulating me… but I guess that is some manner of perseverance. After about an hour of dredging through the emotional mire of what was bothering him, my eldest finally began laughing at some of my jokes, which is generally how I finish “battles of the emotional bulge.”

Parenting is such a peculiar world… I truly have an amazingly easy job as a single father, but life is not without its glitches – and that’s what makes life so much fun.