Lucas decided early in the season that he was done with cross country skiing, which for a couple of years has been his big thing — he’s really good at it, it’s something we all enjoy to do as a family, and we just plain figured it was going to be something that was part of his life. But, no. Done. Dee Oh En Eee. Done. Slapped up an edict on his wall, Martin Luther style, declaring that he was fed up, it was boring not fun not his thing no way no more. Problem was, he’d committed to this earlier on, we’d paid the program fees and we didn’t just feel he could bail — particularly when it transpired that his real reason for bagging skiing was really so he could spend more time being one with the couch and hanging out with his buddies. While that’s all well and good now and then it can’t replace a bit of physical activity. We’re still trying to get used to this change — Lucas used to be Mr. exceptionally active, every sport under the sun, on the move all the time — for him to want to just veg is quite novel.
Anyway, we managed to convince him to at least to go ski practice on a regular basis and just bag the races on the weekends. That, however, didn’t last long, and soon he had it his way: no practices, no skiing at all. Now what? The other night, Mom decided she’d had it with this, and got back on the nag wagon. Normally I would have joined her, but I’ve drunk the cool-aid, and we’re in button mode right now, so I asked her flat out: “which of your buttons does it push when he decides not to go to practice?” And as if I’d turned on the spigot she let loose with a heartfelt, “I resent that he’s not taking advantage of the opportunities he’s given; I never had any encouragement to do sports as a kid, my parents didn’t care if I watched TV all day and I just think it’s wrong for him to do this…” Wow. She realized what was happening, and we enthusiastically moved on down the road. “So, what do you think it says about his parents when he just bags sports like that” and “can you come up with a narrative where it isn’t the end of the world if he decides not to go to practice?” It was rather remarkable — he’s still a schmuck for going back on his word, and it’s still not okay for him to trade in an active life for one-on-one time with his Playstation, but. We made huge progress right there and then in our attitude towards this whole situation, and I for one could suddenly find it a lot easier to face him without instantly having that creeping, “oh, yeah, you’re that miserable kid that I can’t figure out and can’t really trust and that I sort of resent for making what I consider a bad choice.”