children, family, motherhood

The Living, Breathing, Walking, Talking Contradiction

T.Puzzle brought home an assignment.  He needed to read an article, write three facts he learned and give his opinion about the content.  I thought it was an ambitious task and asked him how he felt about it.

“I think it will be easy except I don’t really remember what an opinion is,” he replied.

“That’s ironic since you are full of them,” I said as I went on to describe what it means.

That’s T.Puzzle for you.  Full of honest feedback all of the time, whether you want to hear it or not. Most of the time not, but even in the moments when he is shockingly honest, I admire his ability to speak his mind.

For example, in our house, if a parent asks you to do something, you are expected to do it the first time.  T.Puzzle has yet to master this.

“T.Puzzle, please take the dogs out,” Mad Dog asks.

“I thought the dogs were YOUR dogs,” is his reply.

He says stuff like this all the time.  The words roll right out of him with no thought of impact or consequence.

He is a wonder to me.  When it comes to sports, he is such a passionate competitor, that he is often yelling at his teammates (he even gave his coach a talking to after letting the opposition score in a practice scrimmage!) or stomping out of the backyard as not enough plays fall his way playing football with his brother.

On the flip-side of this often impertinent, highly competitive young man, lies this ginormous well of empathy.  You have to watch him closely and for days at time to catch glimpses of it, but when you find it, it’s spectacular.  While he likes to see others fail at something finding it hilarious, if he thinks someone is being hurt, it deeply touches him.  Whenever we watch a movie where it seems as if someone is being injured, he needs to sit by me and we have to talk through in detail how it is all make-believe.  Recently, on a trip home with Mad Dog and Full Speed, there was a very bad traffic accident.  Having seen the smashed up cars knowing people had been in them made T.Puzzle quiet for a long time after.

In the mornings, on the days Full Speed works out with Mad Dog, T.Puzzle and I sit in silence.  We seem to be on the same wavelength.  In this perfect silence I sense the totality of him.  He is one-third Mad Dog, one-third me and one-third of something else entirely.

How will this wonderful mash-up of a personality unfold?

I have no earthly idea, but am so grateful to be a part of it however it turns out.

One minute frustrated over losing a game…


Snuggling with our dog in the next…

LOVE this kid!

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