Susan's Blog

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Happy Family: This is Zit

Why is it, that we are driven to do things that we just know are not going to work? Case in point: a pimple is emerging under my cheekbone (why there? what kind of evil oil amasses in the soft, shallow cave below a cheekbone?) and I just keep on poking and pinching it, hoping to nail it, literally, before it erupts into existence. Ned just told me that there is a little smiling nail-mark on my face, below a very angry red spot.

I’ll tell you why: we need to feel we are doing everything we possibly can, like the good Dr. Rieux, to fight evil, or to improve outcomes. People are basically good, and need to always be working towards the good.

Yesterday, as soon as I had my full house, complete with Nat’s new buddy, Max’s girlfriend, and five of my girlfriends gathered around me, (I had had a “Clothing Swap” party, where we all brought things we no longer wore, drank a lot of wine, and ended up with “new” things in the depths of ugly winter. I now have two new pairs of designer jeans, deemed too low-rise for my lovely friend L; she took home a ruched tank top which had made me look like a tank; R made out like a bandit with my old Laura Ashley silk dress and several tops, etc., etc.) and I wanted to push it to the next level.

The next level. I want Nat to get to hang out with Max’s friends, when they all come over the next time. If they’re all just sitting in his room playing with the various amusing offerings (vintage Macs, flat screen TV with PS3, Wii, DS, Tablet, and Beanie Babies galore), why can’t one more person be there, sitting on the indigo bedspread, quietly talking to himself, a huge grin splitting his face? And Max and Ben will get to see that their brother is a sweet presence, after all, doesn’t talk much but just reeks of contentment. Please God, let it happen someday. Max and Nat hanging out. Oh my God. I will pick and pick at that challenge until it bursts open into a glorious thing on this family’s scarred but happy face.

And then, there’s Ben…


It’s ok for each boy to have their own friends. Why should one brother hang aound the other brother’s friends? My experience is it evens out when they are young adults, the friends meld onto one, but not as teenagers.

It is great that Max is having friends over, Nat should as well. But it is a stretch that the two should hang together, NT or not. Both are working towards pulling away from the family, but not forever. Brothers outlast friends.

And Ben? He is way too young to hang with the teens, he needs to have kids his own age. Or not, it is ok if he choses solidarity for now. He’ll need/want peers when he is ready.

And by the way, our house, to my initial disappontment and ultimate relief was not the “it” house the kids gravitated toward. Every age group is pulled towards one particular house; not because of parental leniancy but for inexplicable reasons. Maybe there is a new pool table, etc. It is a weird thing, and peaks the summer between high school and college.

My experience anyway. Hang in there, you are doing it all fine. And enjoy the friend who is a girl; I treat them all as potential daughters-in-law ’cause ya never know!

— added by Anonymous on Sunday, January 20, 2008 at 1:56 pm

Does Nat want to hang out with them? It seems that he is happy as is – no?

Seems like a good enough day to me. The clothing swap alone? Heaven.

— added by Drama Mama on Sunday, January 20, 2008 at 3:49 pm

Burt’s Bees blemish stick will knock out that zit.

I agree w/anonymous, my (NT) older sister and I never hung out with eachother’s friends, and we are only 2 years apart in age.

I think it’s actually more normal for sibs to have separate social lives, rather than share friends. That’s been my experience, anyway.

At any rate, slap some Burt’s Bees on that zit, or put a glob of toothpaste on it and let it dry. Quit picking!!!

— added by ASDmomNC on Sunday, January 20, 2008 at 5:43 pm

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