Long day. It started with trying to get the Sun to Karate, him screaming and crying and saying he didn't want to go. My friends rag on me about the fact that I trek all the way to Yonkers with him; some say I'm a good mom because I do--that if it were them the kid would never go. Some say I'm crazy. I'm sure that the ones who know me really well think it's all about ulterior motives, but it isn't, and I'm crazy certainly, but two things... one is that he bitches and complains but once he gets there he always thanks me later and tells me what a great time he had. And two, MOST of the friends who tell me I'm crazy for making the trek have some form of life partners. And to be fair, in my honest opinion if I had a partner who was an active participant in the Sun's life, I probably wouldn't make the trek.
So I take him. Other than Poppy, who we really haven't seen much of since school started, there aren't a lot of men around the Sun on a regular basis. There's only one male teacher at his school, one male co-teacher (who isn't in his class) and one male para (who is, but is attached to another boy). Everyone else is female. Most of the parents who hang around the school to help out are female. The guy who helps out with the after-school daycare is cool, but the Sun doesn't really stay ALL that often. So the Senseis come in handy. Particularly when the Sun is being oppositional. I have no problem threatening to tell Sensei about his behavior... and the best part is that when I DO tell, one of the two of them will call him on it. Sweet! But they are also extraordinarily kind to him.
And he needed them today; although it was just BigBrother Sensei today. We missed the Sun's age group class, so he did the teenagers class, and afterwards stayed another 45 minutes or so with two grown-ups, to practice katas. One was a white belt, and one a yellow, and so the Sun being an orange belt, outranked them both. So it was sort of a level playing field.
Friday night when we got home there was a package for the Sun from his dad. His Christmas present. I told the Sun that if it was wrapped, out of respect for his dad we'd wait till at least Christmas eve to open it. We cut open the box.
There was a statue... one of those soapstone looking statues of a father and child, and the negative space between them was a heart. It was nice, a nice sentiment expressed in the card. There was also a Toys R Us gift card--$20. Yup. $20. Now see... I DON'T keep Christmas in the family; we don't have a tree, we don't exchange gifts. But I like giving presents, and I always say Christmas is a good excuse to find something cool for someone you care about. For the Moon, who is pretty much getting to be my "other" child, I go out of my way to find things he'll like or that I know he's into and this year alone, what he's gotten from the Sun and I equal AT LEAST $50. And it's not the money that bothers me. It's the principal.
My Sun, though, is a grateful kid, and was happy to get a gift card (which by the way... a few years back when TF still spoke to his relatives, one of his cousins had given the Sun a Toys R Us gift card for $100!!!) and he liked the statue. When his father called this morning (as we were making our trek) to say that what he got was because "Daddy didn't know what to get you--you never sent a list!", the Sun merely said "Thank you. I love it." And then turned to me and said "You see? I told you we should have sent the list." But I'm still convinced his father was playing games. I'd bet a $20 Toys R Us gift card on it.