“Doritos and Mountain Dew!”
If that made sense to you (or if you at least recognized it–I don’t think I really understand it myself!), if you groaned and rolled your eyes, you just might be the parent of a tween boy.
Oh, and let’s not forget out about Pewdiepie, Sundee and Pizza Hut (and no, not the restaurant)… Household names, right?
Tween boys, I am finding, are a unique breed. Their testosterone goes into over drive, their sex drive rears its immature and somewhat awkward head, and all sense seems to go out the window.
It is an age of laughter (often derived from very inappropriate jokes), posturing if you’re lucky, and all out fist fights if you’re not, first crushes, first broken hearts–and the first time mom is shut out.
And I don’t like it.
As any mom of boys knows, there is a special bond between a mother and her son. Gavin was my biggest snuggler (and if you know Arabelle, that is really saying something!). I think I can say with confidence that I am his favorite person in the world. And I like it that way.
He might get mad at me, but within an hour he’s coming up to snuggle with me on the bed or sit on my lap (and that, these days, is quite the fete with his long, solid body that seems to weigh at least a ton! My legs, and the arm he’s leaning on, go numb, but I’m not about to tell him he’s too big. Soon enough he’s going to be done with snuggles and cuddles on my lap as it is. I’m not ready to let that go until I have to–numb legs and all!).
Almost every night he asks me to take a walk with him. And on those walks, he used to tell me everything: his frustrations, his hurts, his first crushes–but not anymore. Mom is being pushed out of his private world, and I feel a pang in the vicinity of my heart. My boy is taking some of his first steps, a whole new group of firsts, and this time mommy has to watch from the sidelines. The first steps of true independence, of creating an identity away from mom and dad are starting now, and he won’t talk to me about it.
I know he had a girlfriend for the first time. I know she broke up with him five days later. And I know she hurt his heart. But he won’t tell me why or how he feels or how he’s really doing.
I know he likes a new girl. I don’t know her name. I don’t know if she likes him. I don’t even know if I know her.
I know his latest pranks, the latest scuffles and which teacher is the newest to find her way to his crap list. These are the things he tells me.
But the things that matter…? These he is keeping close to his chest. Who he shares them with, I don’t know–but I know it’s no longer me.
This is a weird thing. An uncomfortable thing.
No. No, that’s not it.
Let’s call it what it really is–it sucks. It is completely sucky, and it hurts.
These are his first steps as much as those first wobbly baby steps so many years ago. And I want to be there cheering him on like I did then, feeling the mixture of pride and the bittersweet pang of crossing a threshold.
But I don’t want to let him go!
But I have to…
It is a tug of war between what I want to do, and what I need to do.
This is a bitter sweet season of letting go. Whereas, my girls and I seem to grow closer as they near adolescence, my son is growing away. And I know, boys, when they grow away, they really do grow away from their mums.
I miss him already, and he’s not even gone…I’m proud of who he will become, but…I don’t want to say goodbye to the little boy that was.