Now that the Teen is in high school, he has become very high maintenance, and not in a showering regularly and keeping his room pristine kind of way, but in more of a fiscally demanding kind of high maintenance.
Now, I really don't want to go off on a tangent about being able to take the bus to the pictures, order a popcorn and an ice cream and catch the bus home with change from twenty cents... I get that generation iPhone have a need for financial aid Far beyond what was acceptable when I was a similar age, and needed money for the soul purpose of being able to blow off school and smoke Dunhill's behind the public pool.
There is phone credit, Xbox live points, (whatever the fuck they are when they are not at home) iTunes funds, AppStore funds... The list really is endless, and all of these are crammed down my throat under the guise of necessity.
I NEED phone credit, or how else will I safely get home from the bus stop? (Yes.. He actually said that)
I NEED an iTunes card, because we have a music assignment and I need to download a song (tried and failed)
And the latest pearler came over the weekend I NEED Xbox live points, because I am in the middle of a game with my friends.
(Seriously... He isn't even trying anymore)
After this last request, I wearily looked out the back window, fruitlessly searching for the family chooks, lost somewhere in the long grass, and decided that enough was enough.
I told him that he was welcome to earn the money he needed, and he could start right away with the lawn.
After a short moment I could almost hear the cogs ticking as he was processing this new concept, work = money, and he promptly agreed.
An hour or so later, I was summonsed to the back yard, now with visible chickens to marvel at the teens handy work, and was greeted with, (in the words of my year nine woodwork teacher) "A very good first attempt".
I took in the thin strips of missed lawn, and the artistic criss cross pattern that on some level resembled the Union Jack.
He stood there, the crook of his arm resting on the now silent mower looking almost like a man, sweat beading on his forehead and his hair, greasy and scattered with wispy grass clippings as he talked through the complex process of mowing and moving the trampoline in order to get to the grass underneath like a seasoned tradesman explaining his work.
I almost split at the seems with pride.
I handed him a cold glass of water and a crisp $20 note, thanked him for a great job, and I could say nothing more, so I hugged him, tears threatened to spill over when he mumbled from beneath my hug that he couldn't wait to show dad when he got home, that mowing really wasn't as hard as he thought it would be, and it was then that I saw it, in his almost man face.
Not just pride, but a sense of self worth and accomplishment.
He looked at the $20 note and tucked it in his pocket, and asked how much I paid for washing the car?
He is remarkable every day this almost man of mine.
(Thanks for giving me back my BlogJo yesterday peeps, I needed it hard xx)