I love Lucas. I really do. He is a total and complete piece of work. But there are times, like this morning, when I just want to strangle him. He reminds me so much of myself when I was his age and it is said that the qualities you don’t like in yourself are the ones that drive you crazy in others.
With Lucas, there could be no truer statement. He is me at that age, through and through. It hit me today like a ton of bricks. Realizing how much he is like me changed how I will deal with him. It was a true light bulb over my head moment. I GOT IT! I know how to work with him now.
Here’s the story…
Stan and the boys are road-tripping this weekend. They have been preparing for their little adventure since Monday ~ coordinating time of departure, how long they can stay and when they are coming home. Stan’s been asking the boys about school assignments to make sure they are on top of their work. This morning, at 7:35 Lucas says “Dad, what time are we going to be home on Sunday?” Alarm bells start ringing. Danger, danger, danger…something is wrong! Stan replies, ever so calmly, “Why?” “I just wanted to know, that’s all,” is Lucas’ response. Hmmmmmmmm….the questioning continues…in the course of probing a little deeper we find out Lucas has a project due on Monday. It was assigned on Monday. So he had Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to work on it. REALLY? Ah, Lucas! “Why didn’t you work on it on any one of those nights? You KNEW we were leaving for the weekend,” Stan asks with a deadly calm. Gotta love Lucas! “I FORGOT!” is his response. Now, it’s crunch time…how to work on it on the road?? Zach and Jan to the rescue…thank God for them! They will help Lucas complete the project while road-tripping.
Lucas and I got in the car to go to school ~ late ~ after our family conference on how Lucas was going to be able to finish his project AND go on the road-trip. It was then I told him my story and how similar we are, Lucas and I. I couldn’t remember up from down, right from left (still struggle with that one!) I couldn’t pull myself together to remember much of anything. My mom did so much of my work for me because I was so forgetful. I was dingy and spacey and I missed out on a lot because I tuned out the world around me when couldn’t wrap my head around things. What seemed to come so easily to my friends made me struggle. As I told Lucas my story I told him how much I struggled and sometimes felt ~ I paused and he said “Sometimes I feel so stupid.” My heart cracked a little for my little blond boy because I know exactly how he feels. I told him he is in no uncertain terms stupid but that he and I both have challenges we have to overcome. For me, I helped myself overcome my forgetfulness by learning to write everything down. I have list after list after list of things. If it’s on paper I am a-OK. It’s the only way I can function ~ my lists. I think Lucas will have to develop the same habit…write it down, see it in black and white. Lucas and I will have to work together to help him over come his challenge. I won’t be like my mom. I won’t do the work for him because it did me no favors moving forward in life (God love my mom for doing my work. It was how she coped with my challenges). What I told him I will do is help him develop his own system for over coming his ability to forget and tune out life around him. I dropped him off at school with a big hug, a bigger “I love you” and left with thoughts of Lucas and his struggles.
Lucas has been this way since he was an infant. He has been able to tune out life around him and has always been in his own little world. We have always said Lucas lives in Lucasland. It is how I imagine myself as an infant and young child. I think he will grow out of it and learn to cope in the real world. I have, so there is hope for him. Most who know me now think of me as somewhat organized, although Stan knows the truth. I can still be very scattered and spacey. I am so thankful for my light bulb moment this morning. It will help me help Lucas as he grows.
Lucas is my little blond boy and I say that without a hint of malice and with a smile on my face. Today I figured out he is me and I figured out I am the one to help him. And today I figured out I wouldn’t have Lucas any other way! Oh, for the love of Lucas…