Thursday, October 25, 2012

the first teenager

As of Tuesday, there is a teenager in the house.

I love this new stage (or at least the idea of it, seeing as we’re only one day into it). Put teenagers next to tots and I’ll take teenagers any day. They’re so much more dimensional, rational, fun, interesting. Big bonus: they don't poop in their pants.

But this stage makes me melancholy, too. The last day my boy was twelve, I discovered him sitting on the floor pushing around tiny matchbox cars with his man-sized hands. It made my eyes smart.


He’s not a little child anymore. Our time with him is fading.

There are no do-overs.

I never used to understand those mothers who made such a huge deal about their kids graduating from middle school or moving into the college dorm. And I certainly didn’t understand all the boo-hooing about babies learning to walk and talk. Kids grow up! It’s how it’s supposed to be! Life moves on, so YAY!

Actually, the real reason I wasn’t all that sad back then was probably because I was too flooded to care about much of anything except surviving. I had no space to grieve anything except my lack of space. I grieved that something fierce.

But now that I have some breathing room, I can ponder. And every now and then I get a glimpse of the future. I see that there are no gangly boys sitting on my carpet pushing around matchbox cars.

I try not to think too hard about that. The achy feeling hurts.

***

Our first day with a 13-year-old was relaxed and festive.


I declared a holiday from studies, and my son challenged me to a (very slow) game of Ticket To Ride. (It was my first time playing. So far I’m not seeing what the fuss is all about.)



We spent a perfect fall afternoon at the park with friends. (There was some not-so-perfect puppy puke in the van.)



There were bowls of dirt to be made and decorated with real flowers.



And more bowls of dirt with Legos! And matchbox cars!



And evil monster earthworms!
 
There were presents: books (this and this), lots of candy from siblings, a sleeping bag (because in the next few years you’ll be away from home more), and a tripod for his beloved video camera.


And now we have a teenager!

This same time, years previous: aging, buttermilk pancakes, the quotidian (10.25.11), cheddar cheese fondue, apple tart with cider-rosemary glaze, my oldest son's birth story

7 comments:

  1. my oldest turns 7 tomorrow. I feel the angst and we're much closer to teenager-hood than I like to think about. Your boy is precious.

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  2. We got a teenager exactly one day before you! I have to admit that I cried the night before his birthday when I was looking for a baby picture to post on my blog. How did this happen? I showed this post to my younger son who went to camp with your teenager this summer. Wish your guy a happy birthday from us!

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  3. Yes, this: "Actually, the real reason I wasn’t all that sad back then was probably because I was too flooded to care about much of anything except surviving. I had no space to grieve anything except my lack of space. I grieved that something fierce."
    That helps explain so much about early motherhood (for me at least).

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  4. Happy Birthday Yo Yo Man!

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  5. I've tried to reply on some previous blogs.. but well, I'm with MCC right now and as you will probably soon recall- the internet is a treat when they are available and work! Anyway, I'm thrilled for you guys about Guatemala. Didn't know MCC offered 9 mo. things- that's awesome.
    Also, was remembering when we had to write out thoughts down because we'd declared a time out from chatting in order to get our studies done. Sometimes I wish I could drop by or you could drop by much more often, to chat or to study and write down our thoughts in the same room.
    This comment is too long- but just have to add that it makes me feel a bit old remembering your teenager as a bouncy baby...

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  6. Oh my! Ticket to Ride! I do so adore that game. But then, I do really enjoy my tabletop games, even though I'm not as good at them as my husband is.

    If you want a really interesting, creative game, try Dixit. It's all about associating pictures with words and phrases. It's really great!

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  7. Happy Birthday to your son! I will have a teenager in January. It's kind of scary. I just can't wrap my mind around the fact that we here, at this teenage place, already.

    ~FringeGirl

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