My Music Man

Hugo works hard. It isn’t his innate nature, but he does. He has become one of those people who hits his stride best when his life is taut with activity, like a rubber band that is stretched, but doesn’t risk breaking.

His activites cost money. He’s in three choirs, at least three bands (the number changes regularly, usually in the plus column), goes regularly to Buddhist teen retreats in Vermont. I pay for a good part of it: band, vocal and guitar lessons, ACT tutoring. But so does Hugo. He pays regularly, a lot and doesn’t complain.

It’s my opinion that the junior year of high school is far and away the most important. The work is the hardest, the college entrance exams happen, and the grades really, truly matter. Three weeks into the first semester, Hugo was averaging 5 hours of sleep a night. Not okay. Read this. After his employer repeatedly disregarded his request that he not be scheduled during the week until marching band season ends, Hugo gave his two weeks notice. I’m so relieved.

This is the kid who takes 80% of my parenting oxygen. He’s worth it (and, yeah, people tell me he’s a lot like me). His father is afraid of him because Hugo always calls everything like he sees it. I’m not afraid of Hugo, but he regularly makes me wear my big girl britches and hold my seat as the mother.

When people talk about parenting being hard, it’s about doing what is right even when you  are worn down. You don’t give in to the whining. You don’t let them stay up late. You don’t let them only eat white carbohydrates. You do make them put their things away. You do make them do their homework and chores. Even when it takes more effort than it would to do some of these things yourself. And in the very long end, most kids are grateful you did.

Rise up and be the mama bear or dada bear your kids need you to be. You won’t regret it, I’m here to tell you. More on this later. For now, here’s a tune from my Music Man, whose every cover sounds better than the original: 


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