Saturday, March 26, 2011

I'm Not Wonder Woman So My Heart Can Still Hurt

We had a rough evening last night at the Potts' house.

It started out well enough.  The boys were fine on their last weekday of spring break and once I realized that I wasn't Wonder Woman and tried not to squeeze fifteen hours of work into eight hours, all was calm.  I really need to remember that more often; however, as I sit here and type this I'm beginning to hyperventilate looking at my dining room table (unloaded shopping bags from yesterday, seat cushions tossed willy nilly on the floor, cookbooks and recipe cards everywhere, and the biggest offender - a picture frame so crooked that I must completely stop typing for a moment and remedy the situation...fixed.).

Ok, last night.  My fifteen year old is an avid reader.  This is a blessing.  When he came to live with us at six years of age, he didn't know his letters or his sounds.  He was so behind in school from being shifted around from one foster home to another that we ended up having to hold him back in second grade.  Now, he reads like there's not enough books to consume.  He just finished The Odyssey by Homer for school in a matter of days and he totally "got" it.  So, with his Christmas money, instead of clothes, music, or video games, he chose an ereader; a handheld device which can download as many books as his little (big) brain can absorb.  Wow.  I'm a proud mama!  This is the good stuff. 

Here's the tough part...William doesn't take care of his things very well.  He put the ebook in the front pocket of his camouflage pants without the cover.  While he was helping to carry in groceries last night, something cracked the screen.  He was upset - devastated - tears, bloody nose, you name it.  Austynn started crying.  The dogs started circling.  It was one of those moments where Eric and I had to split up and negotiate the terrain.  While I was holding a cold compress to William's nose and trying to keep the dogs away from the bloody floor, I could hear Austy screaming at Eric through his tears, "Why don't you just buy William a new one?"

Why not?

What a tough question and what a tough answer especially when I'm listening to William's heart breaking through a wet compress and a bloody nose.  Sure, Eric and I could afford it...on our credit card.  We were just looking at TVs to replace the dead one in our bedroom.  We held back though.  Over the meager Costco dinner of cheese pizza and $1.00 sodas, we were just explaining to our boys about priorities and responsibilities, that we didn't have the money, and that we would love to buy a new TV but we were not going to charge one.  We had bills to pay.

Our boys.  They came from having nothing and we could make our son so happy by replacing something that is basically a really good thing...a book.  In this world of watching children receive everything they want when they want it, our hearts were breaking. 

Crisis averted.  Nose bleed over.  Austynn's tears wiped dry.  Dogs given a healthy treat.  Conversation...

William:  Mom, do you think you could loan me the money to get a new ereader?

Mom:  Dad and I are doing bills tomorrow.  We'll figure out how much you're getting for allowance after your phone bill is deducted.

Dad:  Yeah buddy, you can start saving for another one.  It shouldn't take you too long since you haven't been able to use your phone (Will's phone was taken away due to below average grades).

William:  (through new tears) It's going to take me forever, that's all I have left!

Mom:  (starting to feel her heart break again) We'll take you to the library tomorrow.  In the meantime, we'll let you play the PlayStation tonight.  Will that make you feel better? 

William:  Really?

Dad:  You can stay up 'til 10:00 tonight.  Be sure to lock up, ok?

William:  Ok!

Mom:  Don't bleed all over the carpet (smiles).  I love you, William.

Heartbreak just a little less painful.  Just a little...


Leigh Ann said...

I am so impressed. Truly, I am. I so want to send William a new ereader right now!

Brenda said...

I do too! LOL You are great parents. It's wonderful. Your ability to stick to what you believe is right is oustanding! You guys are showing the boys lessons that they will carry throught their whole lives. :)