I am an expert and I'll be here for you.
Rule No. 1:
You always have to clean the toilets. It's a guy thing.
"So I missed by 6". I was close."
Rule No. 2:
And this is so important.
Be firm and protective. Tell them "I don't like having to do this but I am doing it because I love you." Being overprotective is not such a bad thing if you explain to them why you are doing it.
Rule No. 3:
Always tell them that you love them. Never, ever let that be in doubt. It's corny but it is important.
Rule No 4:
Never doubt there ability to understand.
There are many more rules to follow. But hell, 7 and 11. They are pretty much cast in stone by now. Doesn't matter. If you need advice just ask. The teenage years are a blast.
That sounds like great advice. I'd love to see the rest of the rules. My wife and I are in our early 60s and raising three grandchildren, ages 11, 10, and 4. They have their own El Toro and the two older ones are scheduled for sailing lessons when school is out.
On another note, I am very sorry for your loss. I hope I am not intruding on your grief or being insensitive by asking about Spike's illness. As soon as I read he had a "viral infection" on another forum I thought "that sounds a lot like what I had." I went into the hospital last May 6 and spent over two months there with an additional six months of physical therapy. I am almost fully recovered now but the doctors are surprised that I am alive at all. I started out with flu-like symptoms. The hospital eventually diagnosed CMV (cytomegalovirus)
and treated me for that but I got worse. I went into heart failure, lung failure, kidney failure, etc. The doctors were kept busy putting out fires but couldn't find the source of the problem. I got worse and worse. My family made the decision to transfer me to another hospital (U of M). After several weeks there and after a lung biopsy they found the problem to be a combination of CMV and BOOP (Bronchiolitis obliterans with organizing pneumonia) and were finally able to treat it with very high doses of steroids along with two dozen other medications. I eventually got better but when I was released from the hospital I was pretty much an invalid: on oxygen, unable to walk w/o a walker, etc.
I'm sorry to bore you with my problems; they are nothing compared to the loss of a child, no matter how old. I just thought Spike's illness sounded strangely similar to mine.