My teenage son is many things. But he is rarely caring or responsible.
He’s not a bad kid by any means, but he’s a typical teenage boy – a bit grumpy, uncommunicative, sleeps at the wrong times, nicks far too many biscuits out of the cupboards and is on a one-boy mission to make his brother and sister’s lives a misery.
Like pretty much all teenage boys the world over.
Every morning at 7.15, I make my first attempt at getting him up. When he started secondary school, nearly three years ago now, he used to get up at 7.15. By the end of year 7, it had slipped to 7.25. By year 9, it was 7.40. For an 8.05 departure. I basically pace the landing endlessly from 7.15 to 7.40 in an increasingly desperate attempt to get both boys out of bed.
How would this work with an additional teenage boy in the house?
We agreed before my son went to bed that I would get him and the French boy up at 7.20. But I envisaged my usual battle.
He got out of bed immediately.
I offered to wake the French boy.
No. He would do it himself.
After a week together already, they’d already got a strong bond, which meant that my role in parenting the French boy was pretty much restricted to making his packed lunch.
My son woke up the French boy. Not just one day, but every day. My son got out of bed immediately he was called and went to wake his friend.
When they came to the kitchen, I again found myself redundant, as my son showed the French boy the selection of cereals, then GOT A BOWL OUT AND POURED THE CEREAL AND MILK IN.
I was gobsmacked. He does it for himself, but hell would freeze over before he did it for anyone else.
Over the course of the week, I saw a whole new caring and responsible side to my son. A side I really liked. He completely took it upon himself to care for the French boy – to offer him food and drinks – something he would never usually do, even do for his own friends.
The French exchange is all about independence, new experiences and new skills, but I never would have guessed it would turn my son into a good host. I don’t know whether it would have happened with any French boy or just with this boy, with whom he seems to have a close bond. All I know is, it’s worked its magic on my son.
I’d love it if this new, improved version of my son was a permanent thing. But even if it isn’t, I’m very proud of the way my son rose to the occasion and took it upon himself to care for the French boy.
Are you feeling Loud ‘n’ Proud of any achievements, big or small, this week? Add your posts to the linky below and don’t forget to check out some of the others. Next week, Loud ‘n’ Proud will be hosted by Mama Owl.