Becoming a Grownup

I’ve talked a lot recently about what a punk Declan has been. In fact, today over at Mile High Mama’s I talk about some of the tough (and some of the lovely) moments from our Ireland trip that went hand in hand with dragging a near 7 year old all over a foreign country.

But, I can see glimpses.

This weekend, we hung out with some close friends down south near Chatfield Park. Local favorites Opie Gone Bad were giving a free show, and we had settled into the grass with hundreds of other families to enjoy the last snatches of a summer sunset in Colorado.

Declan was running around with his friend Vaughn and a few of Vaughn’s other friends. Running and running and running, as it was a big field, it was a big family event and the boys had energy to burn from excess Twizzlers. Our kids toppled over other kids, everyone was having a great time.

And then you could see it – the first strings of discord. One kid took their ball and ran away for a while. Then he came back, but wouldn’t return the ball. Then he edged away again. Our boys asked repeatedly for their ball back to no avail. The ball stealers thought it was all some grand joke and started running around and throwing the ball this way and that, eventually ending up on their side of the field and playing toss with their big, burly father.

Our boys were discouraged. They ran back to us, complaining. They had asked, then demanded for their ball back and the other kids WERE NOT BEING FAIR. You could see frustration etched on all four boy’s faces, who – if you lined them up – would cascade like Russian dolls from Declan on down.

I was very, very, very close to walking over and solving it for them. Especially after watching the dad take the ball and never question its origins, never wondering what child was missing it.

But, I turned to Declan and said, “You’re the oldest. Can you go ask for the ball back?”

And damned if he didn’t.

He actually had to force his way into the man’s line of sight, make him pay attention, and explain no less than 3 times that the ball did not belong to them and he wanted it back.

I know, because I watched. Watched him gesture with his hands flip flopping around just like his mom’s do and his brow furrowed with nervousness.

But the man finally stopped twirling the ball around and listened. After a pause, he reluctantly handed the ball back to Declan.

Have you even noticed how asshole parents raise asshole kids?

But then my kid turned about and burst towards us with a triumphant face, grinning ear to ear. He tossed the ball to Vaughn and plopped down.

And as we told him how proud we were of him, he whispered, “Wow, I felt just like a grown-up.”

This article has 19 comments

  1. Laurie

    I love this post. Go Declan!

  2. Tree

    Go, Declan!!! Good job.

    You are raising an awesome boy into an incredible man.

  3. Sue at nobaddays

    That is awesome Aimee!

  4. GeorgeGSmithJr

    Declan is an amazing kid. Seriously – amazing! This story just fuels how amazing he is!

  5. The Bug

    He’s braver than me. I can talk a mean game, but when it comes down to it I would talk myself into believing I didn’t want the ball after all. Go Declan!

  6. zipper

    That’s a great story.

  7. zenrain

    Aww! good for him!! and for you!!

  8. Sizzle

    Go on little man. That was awesome!

  9. The Casual Perfectionist

    Aimee, that’s awesome!

  10. Oz

    Yay for Declan!

    That dad sounds like a butthead.

  11. monstergirlee

    That was so amazing, for both of you. I totally would have gone over there myself.
    And I also would have asked where the ball came from. Hope the Dad learned something maybe?
    Good going!

  12. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Thanks all – of course we had the night from HELL last night to completely spoiled our aura of peace and love.

  13. aussiechic

    Good on him!!!! Well done kiddo. I tell you – you are so right about asshole parents and asshole kids. What a dick that father was, and how well your son handled himself in the face of such intimidation. Nice. He should be proud of himself.

  14. mapsgirl

    Yay! Way to go, big guy!

  15. Anonymous

    Go DEX!

  16. Julie @ The Mom Slant

    Oh man, that story is awesome. Good for Declan – and good for you, resisting your urge to fix it.

  17. Angela

    Kudos to Declan!! I spent a day at a water park watching asshole kids cut in front of my kids. I then had to teach my 5yo how to put her hand out to prevent 10yo punks from cutting in line. Of course the asshole parents were no where to be found.

  18. Anonymous

    Oh I loved this. Thank you for sharing him with us. – m

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