But its not easy. I would rather let Jonathan be Batman. You know, the one from the best Batman movie ever? The one with the really awesomely creepy and scary Joker?
At the end of the movie (if you need a recap) we find out that the town hero has turned bad and done bad things- so all hope in Gotham will be lost when everyone finds out. But Batman (read this in a low raspy voice) says “Blame it on me, I can be whatever the city needs” and so he lets everyone think he is the bad guy by doing what is necessary.
So- anyway, we all had Batman on the brain since we had an awesome Dark Knight Marathon just a week before Scott and Jonathan were leaving on their 50 mile backpacking hike with the Scouts. Scott has always gone along without any problem on the Scout hikes so I thought it would be another replay of this trip 2 years ago where he and his dad had raised their fists on top of half dome:
One of my favorite pictures! But this summer Scott did not want to go and, for the first time really, was pulling out ALL the teenager stops. Wait- maybe in order to protect the privacy of certain individuals I should change some names- so let me start again.
There was this kid…. Jason. He was mad at his Dad for making him go on a big long hike that was going to be “the worst week of his life.” His dad tried to get some of his friends to go- no luck. His parents tried telling him over and over again that they really wanted him to go and it would be something he would always remember. The angry teen antics didn’t stop. Somewhere in his teenage mind he thought being so unpleasant would make them want to keep him home. (?????) He was just so mad his Dad wouldn’t listen to his opinion (the one where he didn’t want to go) and then he was mad at
ME his mom when she said she wanted him to go too. (Ok I give up, I think I am not very good at this disguising technique.)
For our first big teenager rebellion it wasn’t bad. Scott is such a good kid. I really would not complain- it was just a big FIRST for Jonathan and I. We would call each other for updates and reactions, “so here’s what he said now, this is not acceptable I’m taking his phone, can you talk to him? what did he say to you?” We knew the hike would be hard but we wanted him to know he could do hard things!
Finally, a day before the hike, thinking that it would not be very fun to have a grouchy kid on his hands Jonathan went up to Scott’s room (where he was sulking) and said “I’ve been trying to be nice but you need to change your attitude. You just have to trust me that I know the trip will be worthwhile and I don’t want you to miss out on it. Even thought I know you are going to be mad at me for making you go I’m still going to do it. I can be the bad guy-I’m like Batman, I’ll be whatever this family needs me to be.” And then he laid out what Scott would miss if this attitude continued. He came downstairs and we waited with baited breath- (“did you really say you were like Batman?”) would THIS work? We really didn’t want to make him miss the other activities- ack! Would this be a parent win or fail??? Oh if only they knew the hoops they put us through!
But- success! Batman saved the day. For the rest of the time until the trip we had our nice boy back. I’ll take it even if it came under duress. The next morning when they were leaving this is the best photo I could get-
The photos Jonathan sent also had an unsmiling boy but he said Scott was doing great, just being “cool” for the photos. And look at that background!!!
And then finally, I got THESE!
When they got back from the hike- in great spirits, Scott was in the kitchen with Jack who asked “Hey how was it?”
Jonathan and I were in the other room and both turned and listened wondering what we would hear him say…. “It was fun but it was super hard.”
Later when he was telling me about it Scott said “I am never ever going to do that again, it was SO hard!”
I had recently read a really touching tribute about fatherhood and so I asked him would he go if his son wanted to someday? “Well…..yes.” 🙂
I like being the good batman that swoops in and saves the day but I guess, I can be the “batman this family needs” at times too. Good thing I just found this shirt to wear at the appropriate moments…..