We are into the the lazy days of summer. These Jr/high school school creatures that consume food and drinks at my abode are back into a routine to late nights and sleeping in.
It was kind of nice to wake-up this morning, have a coffee, check out a few headlines and return some e-mail minus the helter skelter rush of four other people getting ready to start the day. No line-up for the shower, no bickering back and forth. This is a great time to soak in the feeling of calm.
Unlike the typical school day morning which resembles a coffee commercial - the boys are in their own beds,not ours. There is something so peaceful and angelic about sleeping children. It touches me so deeply to watch the deep rhythmic breathing, the relaxed expressions on their faces and the stillness. These are the moments I like to keep in mind for those hectic times when they are tormenting each other and driving me crazy!
The big question on the boys mind was when are we going to St. Bernard's. This year the boys opted to join Soccer, Rugby and some Summer Hockey Camps which is seriously going to impact the amount of time and frequency in which we can get out home to nans and pops. My schedule is not going to free-up either.
We have always offered hands-on-guidance and tried to teach some independence and responsibility. The boys have chores and tasks which the share ranging from cleaning, washing dishes, unloading the dishwasher, sorting and storing the recyclables, cutting the grass and making their beds. The routine will take a hit this week.
Aidan is 15 and he sort of wants a job. He has been cutting grass and earning a few extra dollars but his wants (I can not say needs) are outpacing the supply of discretionary income that can be devoted to one kid! At 15 he needs our permission to work and is limited in opportunities. This is further complicated by Shallaway's 2015 tour to the United Kingdom which runs from July 05-15th.
I remain a little torn on the officially working front, there is a lifetime of opportunity for that, but only a short time to be a kid and enjoy it! However, he needs to "fly solo", practice, fail, grow responsibly independent and find his own way. One report I read suggests the independent-yet-dependent stage (picking-your pocket) lasts on average to age 26 (and much longer for many).
We have been experiencing the developmental individuating that every person goes through as a teen. Aidan is becoming his own person, growing independent, becoming a moral free agent and gravitating towards his peer groups.
Time waits for none of us, my three little boys are fast becoming little men. Our roles as parents are probably tested more at this phase than ever before. These adolescence and middle adolescence phases are going to be full of challenges as they reject hobbies and cast away things that link them to childhood and we get displaced by close relationships with their peers.
Parenting is demanding, challenging and rewarding work. Instilling moral values, responsible behavior and a strong work ethic is the foundation that we are laying for our boys. Our role is to ensure that this foundation allows them to capitalize on their strengths and be in a position to succeed in life.
They have been taught respect and responsibility.They need to know how important it is to know what is going on in the community around them by watching the news, discussing the issues and getting involved in community and charity opportunities. They have to know they will be held accountable for their actions and the suitable consequences.
All I know is that I love my family and being a father is the single most important (and daunting) thing I have ever taken on.
Watching them sleep, with out a care in the world reminds me how finite our time together really is.