I'm beginning to look for more ways to connect with Jack. He prefers to talk to Paul about sports, his friends about girls, and noone about school. Lately I find that my conversations with him resemble, well, nagging. "Have you practiced your guitar?" "You can watch TV after you take the time to tackle that math." "Could you please help me set the table for dinner?" "Don't forget to brush your teeth." Recently I chaperoned his middle school field trip and I had the nerve (in front of his friends, the agony!) to ask him to walk down the aisle of the bus instead of climbing over all the seats to get to his spot. In Jack's mind, "Mom" is synonomous with "Fun Crusher." I know this because he told me so.
When I heard about Run-A-Muck, I decided this was the perfect opportunity for a little mother-son nag-free bonding time. We asked our friends Allyson and Lane to join us to make a team of 4. Then we headed to Target where we let the boys pick out the most outrageous get-ups they could devise with a $20.00 budget. They found lots of bright colors on clearance and Team Neon was born.
When the race bagan, the boys immediately took off together at a much faster pace. Allyson and I talked as we ran behind them. Yes, we had planned to stay together. But to do this, we'd have to spend the entire event reminding them to slow down, be careful, pace yourselves...it sorta sounded like nagging. So we let them run ahead into the unknown without us. And when we got to the final mud pit, they were there, already covered in mud, cheering us on to the finish line.
Even though Jack and I didn't exactly run together we had a lot of laughs. He's already talking about next year. Have I gone from "Fun Crusher" to "Coolest Mom Ever?" I doubt it. But it's a start.