So, here I am very early on Godzilla’s 17th birthday, resting on the corner of Testosterone Lane and Horsepower Road. Having two teen boys in the house means a lot of muscle flexing, boundary pushing, and territory marking. They wake with teasing exchanges that rapidly morph into the rat-tat-tat of suddenly flared tempers. And before long, like two elephant seals, they’re bumping and jostling each other over the most trivial of things. Left to their own devices, I’m sure they’d find a way to argue over two flies climbing up the wall.
No more streamers littering the floor.
No more shining cachous skittering across counters.
The fairies have packed up their bread and departed.
Saggy, flaccid balloons leer lecherously at disemboweled party poppers, as football and pirate cupcake wrappers tango in mismatched pairs.
What do you do when your 15 year old son comes to you with a problem you can’t solve?
What do I do? I do mental backflips. As a mother, I’m always quietly (or sometimes not so quietly) delighted when my teenaged sons decide to confide their deepest thoughts, troubles, and the issues they’re currently wrestling with in me. It’s a rare treasure.
Parenting teenaged boys is very like parenting toddlers. Or being trapped in a hall of mirrors. Neither adult, nor child, but both at once, they leap between fiery extremes, singeing me and leaving them confused.
Mornings are crammed with distractions and moving at glacial pace, while evenings are a tussle into bed, bathing-optional, clothes, the fallen soldiers strewn on the battleground of their bedroom floor, and emotions flung hither and thither on a hormonal bungee chord. Blue-blinking screens now replace the minutiae obsession of their toddlerhood. The tiny plastic accoutrement of Action Man, the pebble found, the filthy feather clutched possessively in chubby fingers, have given way to the phone or the game controller clenched in a vice-grip.
This post from the extraordinary Ijeoma Oluo deals with her personal experience of nearly losing her beautiful, clever, loving, sensitive son.
This is a story we all need to read.