Monday, October 19, 2009

The moral of the story

[Firstly, I'd love some input on the topic of horror films. Do any of you have a favourite horror movie? Any recommendations? I'm not a horror fan myself, but at the same time...I'm not very squeamish. What makes a good horror film?] p.s. Your help with the question about the non-swimming American was fabulous, thank you!!


Apart from that I have a moral tale for you:

My son's best friend is a boy who lives across the road from us. This boy, let's call him R, is actually three years older than my son but they have been buddies for as long as I can remember. In fact, we have lived across the road from each other ever since my son was born.

For the past year or so, R has been coming over to our house every single Saturday night. The boys order pizza, play on X-Box, rent DVDs and generally have a great time until they fall asleep. I do NOTHING during that time, in fact, I am often out watching a movie with Mr. C. I don't cook, I don't serve, they even make up the bed themselves, and then put the bedding away the next morning. I basically leave them alone and occasionally get on their nerves by asking R how he is.

Last Saturday R's mum came over with a little card and present for me and Mr. C, to thank us for all those Saturday nights. She specifically repeated that R always talks about what a great cook I am!! Then R came over and asked me if I like the present, he said that his mum had asked him what I might like and he said to her "They're always reading," so she got me a Borders voucher...R hoped I like it and he said how much he liked coming over and how he thinks of my son as his brother.

I was deeply moved by this teenager's appreciation and tenderness. I was also incredibly surprised that I got all of this recognition for basically doing NOTHING.

So, dear reader, the moral of this story is:

Do not think that you, as a mother, have to always DO A LOT OF STUFF, to make kids happy. Just being there occasionally with a welcoming smile is often more than enough. Isn't that amazing? So no more guilt.

No.more.guilt.

11 comments:

A Wren said...

I am truly the BEST at doing absolutely nothing. In particular, I excel at doing nothing when children are involved. One might call it a gift. Never been rewarded for it, though.

PS-I like the way you keep absolving me of any guilt with regards to child-rearing.

PPS-You have nice neighbors. But then, I think you already knew that.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much. I am just now starting this whole friends over thing and your input will save my LIFE.
Paola

kim at allconsuming said...

You're hilarious. And isn't that relationship between the two of them awesome. AWESOME.

The boys have started hanging out with the boys across the road and I too do nothing. Sometimes even forgetting to acknowledge they've come over (such is the frequency of the coming and going).

You know how to the two bigger boys went to my Dad and Sue's for a few days last week? I made them pack their own bags. Didn't even check to see what they'd packed.

And not one shred of guilt about it either.

Tuli said...

No more guilt you mums! No more!

kmkat said...

Absolutely! You just validated my whole theory of child-raising. (And I'm here to tell you it seems to have worked -- my boys are mostly grown, 20 and 24, and appear to have turned out fine.)

Yay for no guilt!

eurolush said...

Okay. Now I'm thinking you need to write a book. "Eleanor's Guide to Child-Rearing."

It would be an instant best-seller. You'd make millions. Mothers everywhere would rejoice. Then you'd come visit me all the time in Germany. With your millions. And all the beer would be on you.

And on me. 'Cause I spilled it, donchaknow. Hick!

Frogdancer said...

Kids are lovely, aren't they? I don't know why so many people act as if adolescence is a terrible thing....

Jodie said...

Oh man ! I EXCEL at doing nothing...and I would certainly buy your parenting book and give it to all my friends who have teeny kids.
Mine are a lost cause ....but they raised themselves quite well..

Badger said...

Okay, I love the story, and I have the same philosophy on child-rearing that you seem to have, but NO ONE ADDRESSED THE HORROR MOVIE QUESTION.

Because really, on the subject of horror films, I could go ON. The different categories -- monsters? ghosts? demons? psycho killers? -- the classic vs. new, the show or don't show, the importance of a good sound track. Honestly. We'd be here all day.

Stomper Girl said...

Ah, you say you did nothing but really you were quietly welcoming and relaxed enough to make this boy feel as though your house was a good place to be. And may I applaud the lovely manners of your neighbours? Everyone likes to be appreciated, good on them for demonstrating their appreciation of you.

I can't help with horror movies. I have a brain that keeps horrific imprints for ever and I seriously don't want that kind of scary crap flashing up on my psyche. I once got sucked into watching Carrie when I was a teenager (there were boys involved natch) and when her hand shot out of the grave I screamed and then the boys got very angry with me for making them jump.

fifi said...

I'm envious.
I do nothing all the time, I think the neighbours could at least send me some chocolate...

No, I thikn you are awesome, and you don't even notice the nice things you DO.


Horror movies?? I never recpvered from reading the Exorcist. Ever. I read it at 14 and even when I had to watch it at Uni for film studies, I was still terrified...