Reeboks, fruigert, and a parenting tip

Tonight it is a struggle to write. No reason in particular. It’s been a long day and I just don’t have much energy.

One of the reasons I’m tired is that I had to take my 15yo shopping for shoes at the mall this evening. Don’t get me wrong, there’s almost nothing I’d rather do than go to the mall with Jay. But we had to go to three different stores before we found the ones he wanted. Plain black Reeboks, believe it or not, in size 13. Yes, he wears Reeboks.

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I really meant it when I said there’s almost nothing I’d rather do than go to the mall with my teenage son. Not only is it a chance for some one-on-one time, but he is at his most witty entertaining best in places like malls. Because nothing escapes his sardonic eye. “Mom, doesn’t the word ‘fruigert’ make you shudder?” he says as we are getting smoothies. “Even the fact that the sign is in Myriad doesn’t alleviate my disgust.” And I wish I could reproduce what he said about the horrors of velour.

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I had a little parenting moment with him the other day. Teenagers, who can predict.

“Hey Jay, I want to ask you about something,” said I.

“What?” said he.

“How did that D&D character sheet you were working on turn out?”

As soon as I asked the question he visibly relaxed. It showed in his face and his posture, and I realized then that he gotten all tense and wary when I said I wanted to talk to him about something. So many of our interactions are negative these days, because after all he is fifteen. But when it turned out that I was merely starting a conversation about something that we are mutually interested in (yes… I am interested in the design of Dungeons & Dragons character sheets… please don’t tell anyone…) he not only relaxed but engaged in the conversation with great enthusiasm. I felt so happy afterwards, and so did he. It was so easy!

Note to self: start more conversations on topics that interest him.

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  1. That totally warmed my heart! :)

    I just wrote for two hours straight earlier this evening on that write up I’m working on BUT I’ll muster up something. Thanks again for the inspiration!

  2. Oh my gosh, conversing with a teen is fraught with tension sometimes. Glad you could find a relaxed moment with your boy. D&D interests me. Do you think it’s appropriate for an eleven year old?

  3. This hit home with me. My teenage daughter is SO easy to converse with. My teenage son, not so much. It definitely takes more effort with the boys, but it is so worth it when it all works out well.

  4. Dorothy — I’m sorry for the heart-warming. ;-) Once upon a time I was the Girl Who Never Cried. I mean never. And then I had kids and the whole world changed and I’ve been riding the edge of maudlin ever since. Parenthood will do that to you.

    Kim — It’s totally appropriate for an 11yo! I know most people picture D&D being played by pimply teenage boys in the basement, but believe it or not it’s actually a great family game. We play together with another family and our kids have learned: how to use an index; statistics & probability; algebra; teamwork; leadership skills; morals & ethics; geography; myths & legends from many different cultures; and the list goes on… Plus it is fun to kill bad guys. ;-)

    Terri — hearing that about your daughter gives me hope. :-) Mine is going on 12 and she’s still fairly sweet and childlike but I know it won’t last much longer.

  5. Thanks for the parenting tip ~ I can use all the help I can get! Our oldest is 13 and just starting into the teen years. I will have to remember to make time for conversations about things that interest him and not just conversations that begin with, “Did you get all your homework done?” or “Your room looks like a tornado went through it” ~ LOL I also learned a new word …. I had never heard the word ‘fruigert’ :)

  6. You’re welcome! I need all the help I can get, too! (Btw, Fruigert is the brand name of a fruit-flavored frozen yogurt that they make into smoothies; we had ours at the snack bar inside a Macy’s. And perhaps I should also have clarified that Myriad is the font that the menu was printed in.)

  7. I’m really glad I’m done with all this stuff. Oh, wait … my son, daughter and son-in-law still act like teenagers sometimes!


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