Boys just want to have fun…
I have been exploring what makes my inner spirit soar. Playing musing is one that has presented itself as being pretty obvious but taking to opportunity to help others is also a really strong. To share my experience so that others may benefit, to allow them to be honest with themselves so they can come up with their own solutions, basically doing what I have been doing here in a way and doing what my (ex)partner [oh I hate that] is assisting me in: a greater self awareness and understanding to allow myself to live the rest of my life congruently.
Anyway I had such an occasion under the circumstances of one of my friends being away from home on business for longer than he’d hoped. I talked to his son and asked him if was more hard work for his mum when his dad was there or less and what he could or was prepared to do about it in order to give his mum an easier life of it during a time which is obviously difficult for her.
Everything during our telephone conversation highlighted issues in my own life and I could help but think if I’d started understanding at his 15 years rather than my 46 years how much less pain I might have endured and how much less pain I would have given those that I care deeply for.
Ok, ok it’s the IF game and has no validity whatsoever, but I did have the thought so in my blog it stays as I’m not trying to impress anyone.
Being HARD WORK has come up for me and has been given as one of the significant reasons why my marriage is breaking down.
Being CREATIVE with solutions also – having FUN. Having `EXPECTATIONS is a biggy and PRAISE is another, I could go on.
I asked him what he could do to make her life easier, he pointed out that going out socialising with his mates was a source of conflict so maybe not going out as much would be a way.
“How would you feel if you did that?” I asked.
“Pretty rubbish really!”
“Well you better not do that then because you won’t be able to keep it up and when it fails you will be in a worse position that before.”
No let’s stop here. WTF am I on about saying this to this unsuspecting lad from my standpoint of childish immature behaviour, blubbering tears everywhere like a flippin’ two year old. Who do I think I am?
Anyway, I continued in a similar vein as my spirit was busy soaring away and I was on a role!
“If you go into the kitchen to make a cup of tea and take a biscuit, do you bring it in the front room and just get on with it rather than ask if anyone else wants one or make them one anyway, and if you did do that, what would you expect?”
Now this kid is honest, very honest (to me anyway)
He said, “I wouldn’t do it, or if I did I’d only do it for a short while because I would not get the gratitude I think I’d deserve for doing something like that or be allowed to go out or anything as a pay off.”
“So how about doing it without ANY expectations? Just do it and see what happens and look at your own reaction whatever happens. Yes they will be shocked at first but after a while they’ll get used to it and stop wondering whether or not you’ve gone all weird on them. If they show their appreciation then great; if they don’t then fine as that’s their problem because you will be doing it without any expectation.
“Tell me, when your mum prepares dinner for you, do you think she expects praise and gratitude? If she didn’t get it, what would be your reaction if she just stopped?”
It was long before this stage of the conversation that I realised I was talking to myself and my little friend was almost just an observer, poor lad, even so I had asked his permission to continue our conversation and he seemed keen about it the second time I asked – I didn’t wait for an answer the first time I asked!
“How does that idea sound to you then: just doing something without expectation, just for the sake of doing it, because it’s kind and not for what you want people to think of you or allow you to do something as a trade off? What do you think?”
“Sounds good but I don’t think I’d be able to keep it up.”
“Why?” I asked, “What would it COST you?” Silence. “It would cost you NOTHING! What would the VALUE be?” Again silence. “EVERYTHING! Do you think it might make her life a bit easier and make her feel appreciated and loved and all that stuff that’s so difficult to do as a 15 year old boy?”
He got to repeat this a few times in order to get it and then I asked him about where he put his clothes.
Honesty slipped a bit: “In the laundry basket!”
“What ALL the time?”
Honesty returned: “No, I usually throw them on the floor!”
“What would it cost you to put them in the laundry basket all the time in order to give your mum an easier life when she’s going through such a difficult time with your dad being away? Nothing! And the value? Everything!
“IT’S A GAME.” I said.
OK, this is not a verbatim transcript but you will get the picture, WE WERE BOTH GETTING IT!
I thanked him profusely and he seemed willing to play it as a game and give it a go.
I promised to do the same and we would compare notes sometime in the future.
There was a poignant moment during our conversation when I asked him how his mum and dad were coping with these regular and often extended separations though his dad’s business needs.
My young friend said his dad needs to do it in order to provide for the family and volunteered quite unexpectedly, “I think their marriage is strong enough to cope.”
Mmm. I speak to myself here: Don’t you believe it kid. Play the game for all that it’s worth – it’s worth your life.