Here’s the thing, which will not come as a shock to anyone who knows me.

I am bossy. I like to control whatever I can.  Sometimes so that it gets done right.  Sometimes because someone needs a nudge. Sometimes because it is security.

But it doesn’t always work out well or as planned. And that is a problem. It is exhausting. Beyond stressful. So I have decided to let go of what is no longer possible to control. For my own sanity.

Living with a 14 year old is a constant struggle, I have discovered, in many ways. But the one that irks me the most is the complete and utter lack of academic motivation.  This is a new thing, within the last six months. I have tried many methods to make her see the light – coercion, bribery, guilt, reason. Nothing has worked, or worked for long. Assignments get done, but not turned in. Tests are taken with no apparent studying, judging by the results.  She went from straight A’s to probably being unable to graduate were this high school instead of middle school.  So upon today’s review of The Source, the website where parents and students can track grades, etc., I officially give up.

I have read that this is common for middle-schoolers, but it is no longer worth my time and mental health to continue to nag and berate her. This needs to be something that she decides is important. I will, however, remove phone and internet privileges until things improve. Clearly she needs that time for school work and this cannot be a pattern that continues into high school. Sigh. Deep breath.

I also worry a lot recently about business – things have been off to a slow start at the bar. Alarmingly so. There is not much I can do about this. I post to our Facebook page, I maintain the website, try to make sure customers have a good experience so they will come back, but really, I can’t MAKE someone go there. I have to let that worry go. But it is hard. That affects more than just me.  Things have started to improve recently and I’ve got all my fingers and toes crossed that it keeps up.  Deeper breaths.

By letting go of these things that are beyond me, I am hoping to have more mental space for things I can control. Like my house. Mentioned many times here as being a disaster zone.  THIS I can fix.

I can make that part of my life tidy and peaceful. I can have clean surfaces and drawers with things I need, not 10 year old bank statements and empty envelopes. I can have freshly painted walls. I can have a garage with a path through it and a plan for the future. I can offload boxes and bags of dead weight.

And then I will have time for things like sewing and canning and making. For peace. I cannot wait.

great expectations

It’s been a struggle, people. A mighty struggle.

To put it plainly, I live with a 13-year old Girl and a 10-soon-to-be-11-year-old Boy. There is  a whole lot of stuff going on in their little heads lately, is all I can think.

The Girl Child has been busted twice recently for lying, and likes to be rude when she knows better. This morning she had not made her lunch when it was time to leave. I dared to  suggest she get up earlier or spend less time changing her shirt (40 minutes?! really?!), and then it was on with the rudeness.  I ended up saying nothing and leaving on my own, though I did wait at the bus stop to make sure she made it.

The Boy Child has unexplainable freak-outs. Yesterday, he showed me his birthday list, which had only three things on it, so I suggested he add some other things to it. Since, you know, odds are more than 3 people would like to get him a gift.  He completely lost it. Tore up his list, declared he didn’t want a birthday, threw stuff out of his room, rolled around on the floor.  It was nuts. A mark of how nuts: he threw NIGHT NIGHT into the hall.  Night Night slept with me.

I KNOW there are hormonal and pre-teen demons at work here. I’m reasonably sure they are good kids.  But GOOD LORD, this stuff is exhausting. I also know we are not the only ones with these demon children – I am pretty sure there is a support group for it, and it’s called vodka.

I know they are stretching new muscles and finding their way, dealing with stresses we know nothing about. I refuse to give in and be bullied by my own kids. I  expect them to be part of a family where we respect each other and try to be nice, for crying out loud. To be responsible for fixing the hurt they cause with the words they say without thinking.

I know the day will come when they turn into people who can control their emotions, maybe not say things that make no sense when you suggest a new morning routine or more birthday presents. I fear it will not be soon enough.

In the meantime, make it a double.

a family photo, back in the day