I'm not going to lie. This is a hard kid. Maysen is now (as of a few days ago) 12 years old. He reminds me a lot of myself. Hard-headed, mouthy, stubborn, and wants to be about 5 years older than he actually is. Although we butt heads at least at some point during the day, I still get kisses whenever I want them.
He is my traveler and loves anything with adventure. Mostly airplanes and trains. When I recently got back from riding the Amtrack to visit my sister in Portland, he was so disgusted that I didn't chose to ride in a "sleeper car", even though the train ride was 2 hours.
He and his brother fight constantly. Griffin can be annoying to him sometimes, but most of the time it's Maysen who is bored that goes looking for a fight. Griffin will be in the computer room quietly playing a game when I see Maysen wander around the corner, it won't be 10 seconds before I hear, "MOOOOOOM! STOOOOOP!" coming from him. I know Maysen can get rough with him sometimes because of the *thump* and immediate innocent look of "Oh! Are you okay?" when the tears form.
However, I also know that, even at 12, Maysen cannot sleep upstairs (or anywhere for that matter) without his brother near. He has a deep-rooted fear from an innocent-enough attempt at watching a "good movie" (The Signs with Mel Gibson) with him about 5 years ago. We watched only the ending with the aliens and ever since then - Maysen absolutely cannot sleep alone, let alone upstairs without Griffin. Also, last week at his birthday "get together" Masyen invited 4 friends over for a sleep over. I figured for sure I'd have to babysit Griffin all night to keep him out of their hair. Griffin got Maysen an XBox remote for his birthday (just in time to save the day because as the 4th boy showed up, they only had 3 remotes) and for the rest of the night, Griffin was included in Maysen's party.
He can be the grumpiest of all the grumpies and even bring down everyone's mood if he's not having a good time or he is tired. He is a pessimist, but he comes by it honestly, because I am as well. Most of the time, if you explain how is actions are making you feel or making other's feel, he will turn it around (... most of the time).
I have to say, though, this kid has a wicked sense of humor. That's another thing he comes by honestly. As many times as we butt heads, we can laugh until we pee our pants. On a recent trip to TJ Maxx to look for Halloween decor (kid likes to decorate too!), he spotted these creepy dolls and we laughed so hard at their faces. You had to have been there ....
Speaking of Halloween ... he thought he was "too cool" to dress up this year. He was going to hand out candy, but I knew secretly he wanted to still do some trick or treating. As a few of the kids came by he soon said "Mom ... what fast costume can you come up with?" And this was it! Notice the pocket filled to the brim with pencils. We crammed 398 pens and pencils in that hummer AND a ruler. It was awesome. Again, such a wicked sense of humor.
Determined probably is a synonym for stubborn but I'll take it! This year he did football again and although it was challenging he really pushed through and all with a smile on his face. He started out the season wanting to play running back and by the end of the season he was getting to try his hand at some of it. No matter how tired, how wet, how cold, how hot he was, I never heard him complain about practice. Never wanted to let his team down.
So, yes. There are many nights I have to go in my room for a "break". I can't handle ONE MORE fight with him. I want to wash his mouth out for saying "frick" one too many times, or slap his eyeballs out from his head because he rolled his eyes AGAIN. But then.....then something like this happens:
... and you realize you can handle ALL of that for just one of these.
Maysen. This son of mine who melted my heart all over again because he is THAT kind of good-hearted kid.
And now? Now I have to drag him down from upstairs to practice piano. One of us will leave the piano room bleeding ....