I Learned About a Defining Moment in My Son’s Life … As Usual, I Had No Clue

Dude is not much of a talker. He only says something when he has something to say. (I wish more people were like that, quite honestly). I’ve spent YEARS trying to coax my oldest son to open up, to confide in me, to tell me something, anything, that’s going on in his head or in his life. But I’ve failed – I am not his confidante. To my knowledge, he doesn’t have a confidante.

But I’m the mom, what do I know?

So when he talks, you listen. And when he offers something about his life, you REALLY listen.

Like at dinner the other night …

As usual, we were sitting around the dinner table, having dinner, (because yes, we eat dinner as a family every night because I think it’s terribly important even if we’re not talking, we’re sharing the same space for a small amount of time and that’s good enough for me. I’d rather be available for those time periods when the kids have something to say than not), and Dude was in one of his rare sharing moods.

Jazz had just showed us his mid-quarter grades – straight A’s. And we asked Dude how his classes were going – what sorts of grades was he receiving? He shrugged, as he always does and I jokingly said, “You ARE going to class, right??”

*insert nervous laugh*

(Because honestly, I wonder sometimes. But I guess I’ll find out for sure when this semester is over and we demand to see his transcript. *gulp* I mean, I’m SURE the kid is going, but there is a tiny part of me that wonders …)

He just grimaced (I get that look a lot), and shrugged. (I get the shrug a lot, too). But there was something different about him – his expression softened and I knew he was about to share something with us. I held my breath and prayed Kevin wouldn’t scare him off by saying something awkward.

“I’m doing okay,” he said. “I got a 10 out of 10 on an English paper the other day.”

(I can’t help but preen whenever I hear how the boys do in English because I’ve honestly worked them TO DEATH over the years on how important it is to learn proper English. That, and I’m a word geek and I can’t help myself).

The assignment? Write about a turning point in your life.

I tried not to look too interested. Because you know how that goes – look like you’re into it and the kid shuts down.

I shrugged. “Oh yeah?” I was dying to know more.

I don’t remember who exactly told me the subject of his paper (I think Kevin might have mentioned it and then Dude elaborated – which sort of hurt my feelings a bit because Dude confided in his dad and not in me … but then again, I’m not around much nowadays what with working full time now), but Dude had written about the time that Kevin was in the hospital in Columbia Missouri to have his pelvis rebuilt after his motorcycle accident.

(We had to go to Columbia because there wasn’t a doctor in Springfield who specialized in pelvis reconstruction).

Kevin was in the hospital for two weeks – I lived in the hospital with Kevin for two weeks.

With my mother-in-law. Which sounds worse than it was.

When we ran out of clean clothes, we went to Wal-Mart and bought sweats. When we couldn’t stand the smell of each other anymore, we rented a hotel room for the day to take a shower. (Later, one of the nurses took pity on us and told us where to find a shower in the hospital).

And the boys? Lived on their own at our house for two weeks so they could continue going to school (though they really weren’t all that alone, relatives fed them and kept an eye on them, but still, they were parent-less).

I never really thought about HOW that experience affected our boys. I mean, I worried about them, of course, but I had my hands full with Kevin (like getting up at 2:00 in the morning and holding a trash can steady so he could puke his guts up – that sort of thing).

But they were 16 and 14 at the time – I knew they would be okay. My sole focus was on Kevin and making sure the the nurses didn’t overdose him with pain meds. (Hey, it happens. DON’T LEAVE YOUR LOVED ONES TOTALLY ALONE IN THE HOSPITAL – just sayin’).

That time period made Dude grow up. He said that was a defining moment for him. Not only was he responsible for his little brother, but he became the “man” of the house while his dad was working through his pain and recovery.

I had no idea he felt that way. I had no idea Kevin’s accident had affected him that way.

I also wonder how many MORE life events affected him over the years?

Maybe one day, I’ll find out.

Movie/TV Reviews

Movie Review: Alice in Wonderland

Believe it can be done. When you believe something can be done, really believe, your mind will find the ways to do it. Believing a solution paves the way to solution. David Joseph Schwartz

And that, in essence, is the message behind this adaptation of “Alice in Wonderland.”

A 19-year-old Alice journeys through Underland, where she experiences strange ordeals and encounters peculiar characters, including the vaporous Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter and the sadistic Red Queen.

I admit it, the only reason I wanted to watch this movie was because it had Johnny Depp in it. And one of the biggest reasons Kevin DIDN’T want to watch it was because Johnny Depp was in it.

He’s not a big Johnny Depp fan, (nor a Robert Downy Junior fan). Why, you ask? Because he feels like both of these actors make their money on acting and looking “grungy.” He says they look dirty and unkempt and since we’re being honest here (when am I not, really), I’d have to say that that unkempt, “dirty” appearance is sort of what attracts me to them.

Not that I want Kevin to adopt that look, per se, but it IS sort of sexy – as long as I don’t have to live with it. Ha!

But I digress …

Have you noticed that a lot of “blockbuster” movies nowadays are all about the CG and/or the special effects? It seems like the message behind the movie (IF there is one), gets buried behind all of the other gunk that is going on within the “story.”

Not so with this movie. In fact, even though 85% of this movie IS CG, it somehow takes a back seat to the message: It’s okay to think outside the box.

Too many times, people stifle their creativity, or are afraid to go against “the norm,” (which really, what does that even mean nowadays??). The message in this movie is telling us, it’s okay to be weird, odd, or “different”, sometimes the weird, odd or different people are the best people.

They’re certainly the most entertaining, that’s for sure.

I think this message, especially, is important nowadays. It seems like more and more people are so willing to accept what is told them, or to go along with everyone else and no one stops to ask questions.

I’m all about asking questions – remember the “old” saying? “Question authority?” Yeah well, that’s me in a nutshell.

The message in this movie is “it’s okay to believe in something because sometimes believing in something is what makes something happen.”

Can you imagine going through life and NOT believing in anything? What a sad way to live one’s life.

I really appreciated how the people in the Red Queen’s court all took it upon themselves to exaggerate some portion of themselves. They did this in order to make the Red Queen feel better about her over-sized head. They changed some part of themselves in order to “belong” or not to stand out too much. Again with the conformity. Why are people so afraid to be different? Especially nowadays when “diversity” is seemingly “acceptable?”

I mean, if people were truly more willing to embrace diversity then why are so many people so determined NOT to be diverse?

This movie was also about not being afraid to find oneself. I think too many times, people get in a hurry to belong to or conform to society’s expectations. Whether that’s to a group, an organization, or even to another person. I thought it was refreshing when Alice turned down the marriage proposal so that she would have the time and means to follow her own path. She refused to conform to other people’s expectations for what she “ought” or “should” do with her life. Life is short – take advantage of the time you have and EXPLORE who/what you are or are capable of becoming.

Alice showed true strength and ultimately didn’t care what people thought of her; I think that’s a lesson that a lot of us can learn from.

Rating: A-

*Interesting side note: We were watching the special features (by the way, did you know that a growing number of Netflix DVD’s do not have the special features? That’s because the movie production companies are trying to get you to buy, as opposed to rent, the DVD’s. Which, I GET, but still – BOO), and Johnny Depp was talking a bit about the history of “Mad Hatters,” they really existed. The ladies who made hats, back in the day, would use a glue high in Mercury. After a while, the mercury would start to poison the minds of the “hatters” and they would go insane from the poisoning.

I love how there is almost always an element of truth in fiction.

Abundant Life

Teaching: Salvation is Permanent for Christians in this Administration of God’s Grace (Eph. 3:2 & 9) – Part Four

Every Sunday I provide videos and valuable links to the Truth or Tradition teachings. We’ve been following the Truth or Tradition teachings for many years now and they have truly blessed our family. We have found peace and happiness through our beliefs and we walk confidently for God. My hope, by passing on this information to you, is that what you find here, or on the Truth or Tradition website, will guide you to a better, more blessed and abundant life.

If you would like to read my views on religion and how we got started with the ministry, you can read this.

Let’s get started:

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