Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Getting in the Game

Perhaps it is because we are both female, or because we are just very similar in personality (and temperament, although I have a hard time admitting that sometimes), I find it very easy to be interested and engaged in Tate activities. Not the soccer/gymnastics stuff - that's easy - but the art, the tape (goodness the tape!), the figurines, just about everything. That doesn't mean I like it all; honestly I would rather read her 30 stories in a row than play Playmobil or Barbies - I find it hard to be "present" for that but am working on it. It's not about me, after all. But our conversations and interests are similar, in general.

With Smith, while I love watching soccer, we have similar book interests and both love to be outdoors, I am finding it difficult to connect with him on his computer side. As luck, or genetics?, would have it, he and David are quite similar in their interests. Smith is creating servers with Minecraft, making podcasts, watching tutorials on YouTube. Honestly, the thought of doing or watching this stuff is so beyond me. 

I need to figure out a way to be engaged with him more. As it is, I don't spend much time with just him - and that makes me sad. David and I are working on special time with the kids - him with Tate, me with Smith - with the first time being them going ice skating and us going to see The Hunger Games. The second time was them going to the gymnastics open gym and us going to dinner and a play at his future Middle School. This is good. But still - guess what the conversation mostly was? Minecraft. Podcasts. Servers. 

Part of me thinks that he needs to branch out in conversation and meet me part way, but the bigger part remembers that he is 10, and this is conversation, a good quality give and take, which is great practice for discourse with others. He does ask me about interests in my life, he does listen, and yes, I see his interest wane after the first couple sentences. But really, how much does he want to hear about knitting and book club and what Heide at work said?

I guess this is all to say that this computer interest of his is not going away, so I either get in the game and learn about it because it is his passion, or I let this one go and just let this be something of his and David's. I think there is middle ground...I think me being interested in something so important to him is important to me, too, and worth the time and energy (and willpower to stay focused when he's talking about the server) for the relationship results. It is worth it to me to find a common ground. Another thing we talk about. Another door that is open, fostering communication when he's older and maybe not as willing to tell me everything (EVERYTHING) about the details of his day. 

He is a very special human - funny, KIND, empathetic, smart, silly. I think a lot of this goes back to the basic need for balance - stop and smell the roses, be present in your life, do what you're doing when you're doing it - don't think about laundry when having a conversation about computers, HAVE A CONVERSATION ABOUT COMPUTERS, dammit. Oh, and cut myself a little slack, too. That never hurts. 

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