Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Oh yeah...Gary is here too

Gary starts school tomorrow. He is the normal combination of excited and anxious. He wants to get there early so he can find all his classes in advance. We did that with his first schedule, but there have been changes.

Gary has difficulty staying committed to one thing. He admits this. He wants to do everything, or at least he thinks he does. He wanted to do football until he experienced the coach yelling at them. I really think that was the part he couldn't take. He has been yelled at enough in his life, he said. Now he wants to study some form of martial arts. He has a friend who takes classes at this one place on the bus route. So he wants to go there three times a week, maybe right after school. He will visit his friends after, and concentrate on his homework the other nights.

Of course first he has to find out what the class schedule is.

I want him to watch a lesson. If the teachers are the sort that require, what is called, discipline? I don't know. I just want him to understand whatever the atmosphere is before he starts, because I want him to stick with the next thing he does.

He gave up on the idea of going to his grandfather's memorial. Since his father lied and told him that there wasn't going to be one, he figures he really isn't welcome. It was his decision. I know he wanted to be there initially, but the thought of experiencing any rejection was too much. His dad doesn't talk to him as much on the phone these days. I hope it is a coincidence, but it seems like he stopped calling as soon as he was told that the state worker said he could visit Gary here under our supervision.

The agency worker has agreed to take me out of that loop. She has tried to call him again to set up a dinner or whatever else would work for him. She may also tell him that it has been decided that I won't be supervising visits and making judgments/recommendations. If she does, and he starts feeling like he has to jump through a hoop before he can see Gary, he might call more.

That is unkind of me. What has also happened is that he has finally got work locally. It does not pay as well and is not as interesting as what he did out of state, but it is local. It also means that when he gets off work he comes home to his family, not to an empty apartment. He is trying to do what his wife wanted him to do -- spend more time with the kids. So he doesn't have as much time to talk to Gary. Gary might also need to figure out what is the new best time to call him.

Gary told me that he is trying to readjust his sleeping schedule so that he can make it to school. He says he has been up late. I asked what he was doing, and reminded him that he did need to stay in his room, not wander around the house. He said that he lay in bed reading our child rearing advice books.

You know, my first impulse was to feel worried, like he would learn all our secrets and they wouldn't work any more, or that he would feel more entitled to evaluate me as a parent. That impulse did not last very long though. I think reading them is helping him process his own childhood. Maybe. Anyway, he says he finds them really interesting.


  1. Yeah, for some reason, I like child-rearing books, too. It's probably baby-itis, but in Gary's case, you're probably right. He's probably getting another perspective.

  2. Anonymous9:10 AM

    I've found martial arts to be extremely fufilling. There are two things that will affect a person's enjoyment. 1) The quality of the teacher. Some are fairly strict on ritual, others are more laid back. 2) What does Gary want out of it, and does this match up with what the school teaches. I tried one place that was very competition focused, and hated it, because I had zero interest in competition.


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