Category Archives: Parenting

Teenage Resistance To The Teachable Moment

Dr Brown's Cream Soda

Dr Brown’s Cream Soda (Photo credit: stevegarfield)

TechSupport was relaxing, drawing in his notebook to complete an assignment for his art class.

“Can I show you something?” my husband interjected. He used to be a pretty good artist back in the day. “I want to show you how to look at that can of soda and really see it.”

“I kind of just want to draw,” Tech said.

My husband pulled a chair over to the kitchen table where our son was sitting. “I just want to show you something,” he said. “Will you just look?”

Tech kept his eyes on his notebook. “I will.” His hands gripped his pencil tightly. “In a little while.”

I addressed my husband. “Not every moment has to be a teachable moment…”

My husband glared at me. “Don’t do that.” He held up one hand. “You’re always undermining me. I just want to show him something.”

Insulted, my husband pushed back from the table, scraped the chair’s legs against the hardwood floors, and he stormed off into another room.

Tech’s hand continued to move. He wasn’t really looking at his can of soda. He was just coloring.

“You know,” I said. “Instead of making a big stink, you could’ve just listened to what he wanted to say.”

Tech bit his lip and continued drawing.

After a while, Hubby reappeared. “Now can I show you something?”

I could feel how much my husband wanted to show our son what he knew. How he wanted our child to see the world differently. How he wanted him to see shadows and light. How he wanted him to see a different perspective.

Tech looked at me, then at his father. I could see he was biting the inside of his cheek.

I imagine he felt outnumbered.

There are always two of us, and only one of him. He tries so hard to please.

My husband started again. He showed our son how the eye can lie. How colors can be different, not uniform. How a brown can of soda isn’t really brown when you are drawing it. If you look, it is gray and maroon. Even orange in places.

“That’s all I wanted to show you,” my husband said with some degree of satisfaction.

After all, he got what he wanted.

“Thanks,” Tech said with a blend of gratitude and sarcasm in his voice.

My husband’s cell phone rang and he answered it.

And Tech continued to draw with his brown pencil.

Not gray, no maroon, no orange. He only used brown: a Good Son’s quiet act of defiance.

Tech’s completed drawing

What my husband didn’t know was that Tech and I had plans. We’d said that while he drew his picture of Dr. Brown’s Cream Soda, that I would write about the same topic.

I guess it didn’t go quite as planned.

Or maybe we all got it done in our own way.

Michel Foucault once wrote: “Where there is power there is also resistance.” Anyone experiencing any resistance lately?

When a Walk in the Park is Not a Walk in the Park

“A girl from school wrote that she was going to kill herself on Facebook.”

Up until then, the leaves under our feet made swishy, dry sounds. But I stopped moving.

I needed to sit down, but he didn’t want to so I had to keep walking.

“She said goodbye and everything. I didn’t find out about it until after it happened.”

I held my breath as we passed the trees that had turned gold.

Tinker Park. Henrietta, New York. Fall 2012

“Is she okay?” I asked, praying hard for this girl who was suddenly with us like the wind in the trees.

“Her friends contacted her mother or something. She’s in the hospital.”

“Do you know her?” I shoved my hands in my pockets.

“Not really. I found out from a friend.”

We stopped at the water’s edge and found each other’s eyes.

“I want you to promise me something.”

My son looked at me. He knew what I was going to say. But I said it anyway.

“If someone threatens to hurt themselves or someone else on Facebook or in a text or in real life, you have to promise me that you will take it seriously.”

“I will.”

“No matter where I am. You have to contact me. I’ll help you do whatever we need to do.”

My son tilted his chin. “Sometimes you can’t answer your phone.”

He had me there. Because when I am teaching, I can’t take calls. Or answer texts.

The wind blew cool air though my sweater.

“You know what I mean. You can leave me a message. I can check messages. If there is an emergency, I can always make time.”

My son nodded.

The sun was going down as we turned down the mossy path.

As my feet moved, I thought about the girl’s mother. How terrified she had to be.

I thought of a car accident that occurred just a few miles down the road: how a young driver had been speeding through a residential neighborhood and smashed into a bus. They could have all been killed, but they weren’t.

I thought of my son who has been quiet lately. How we don’t connect the way we used to. How I don’t know what he does for most of his day. How he is going on a trip to New York City on a school field-trip in a few weeks.

I won’t be there.

And what if he needs me?

“Mom,” Tech called. He’d stopped to inspect something on the ground. “Come check out this bug carcass.”

I looked at my son. I thought he was going to say thank you. Or run over and hug me. Or tell me how glad he was that we had talked. I thought a lot of things. But he didn’t do or say any of the things he used to do and say so readily.

“Let me take a picture of you,” he said, holding out his hand for the camera.

So I posed for him.

“You okay?” he asked, a line creased his forehead.

I told him that I was fine, but it was a lie.

Because 8th graders shouldn’t be thinking about killing themselves.

They shouldn’t be thinking about dying.

Back at the car, we noticed our shadows.

“My shadow is taller than yours,” my son smiled. “I’m catching up to you.”

I looked at the red and the yellow and the green around me. I looked at my son in his maroon hoodie which will soon be too small for him. A gust blew some leaves off the trees. They soared over our heads and then fell on the grass, quivering.

I know time is passing, but is it so wrong to want things to stay like this for a little while longer?

I’m not ready for winter.

When is the last time you slowed down, unplugged and took a walk with someone you care about? Do me a favor, call someone you haven’t talked to in a while. Or write that person a letter. Do something to show someone you care about them today. What is one beautiful thing you can do to show someone they are important to you? Or (conversely), what do you wish someone would do or say to you today. Let me be that person.

tweet me @rasjacobson

“Daddy, I Want a Vodka Tonic Nooooooow!”: When Underage Kids Demand Alcohol

Click to see more from Dave R. Farmer via WANA Commons

While attending a fancy-schmancy cocktail party before a big party, a gaggle of women wearing our prettiest dresses formed a loose circle to catch up. I stood closest to four women. We talked about apple picking and how a Trader Joe’s would soon be opening next door to our local TJ Maxx. We admired each other’s shoes and accessories, smiled and posed for pictures.

A stranger in a tight purple dress broke into our circle, and turned to one of the women I knew.

“Will you get me a drink?” Tight Purple Dress requested.

I wondered why she didn’t get her own drink.

And then I realized Tight Purple dress was Apple,* the 10th grade daughter of the woman she was addressing.

Let me tell you, Apple did not look like a fifteen-year-old girl.

Rather, she didn’t look like me when I was fifteen. When I was fifteen, I had frizzy hair and no boobs.

Apple had it goin’ on.

Apple’s mother shooed her away.

Because I am clueless, I didn’t know what the big deal was.

I figured if Apple was thirsty she could have a sip of my drink.

As I handed her my glass, Apple shot her mother a smug look. But after a quick swig, she pulled her mouth away from my drink with a frown.

“What is this?” Apple wrinkled up her face. “Sprite?”

“Ginger ale with lime.” I smiled, taking the glass back in my hands and jiggling it. “My signature drink.”

“I wanted…like, a vodka tonic or something.”

I shrugged and wiped her lipstick off the rim of my glass with a napkin.

Apple turned to her mother again.

“C’mon, mom. It’s a party.”

Apple’s mother turned her back to her daughter.

Good for her, I thought. She’s standing firm.

Meanwhile, Apple inserted herself into every conversation, asking every woman in the vicinity to please get her a drink from the bar.

The proposition was not enticing.

Photo from Sacks08 @ flickr.com

When Apple interrupted my conversation for the third time, I was pissed. Honestly, in that moment, I didn’t care if I made her feel less than.

I batted her away like an annoying little gnat. “Why don’t you go in the room with the DJ?” I suggested. “This is the adult cocktail hour.”

Undeterred, Apple flitted across the room where she found her father. I watched as he chatted it up with his buddies and, absently, handed his daughter his stubby glass filled with something.

I watched Apple polish off her father’s drink, and I tracked her as she made her way back toward her mother.

I figured she was sated.

Sucking on a piece of ice, Apple was relentless and started to beg again: “Mommy, will you get me a drink, now?”

Apple’s mother thrust her glass into her daughter’s manicured hand. “Take this and go!”

Women looked at their rings and adjusted their bracelets.

One woman caught Apple’s mother’s elbow. “What are you doing?”

“I’m doing what I need to do, so my kid will leave me alone and I can have a little fun.”

The circle broke apart then. Some women went to try the hors d’oeuvres that had been brought out; others went to find spouses. Some wandered toward the bathroom, ostensibly to check makeup.

And probably to chat about what had transpired.

I leaned against a wall, processing things.

When it comes to parenting, we do the best we can.

And raising children is not easy.

We all make decisions we wish that we could take back.

Meanwhile, I have watched this dance between Apple and her mother for a decade.

Photo from Roni Loren via WANA Commons

So where does this leave Apple?

Will she be a good Apple? Or rotten to the core?

Kids are programmed to test the limits set by the adults around them.

It’s their job.

But that’s when the adults in their lives are supposed to push them back and remind them where the boundaries are. You know, when they overstep.

So why do parents get stuck on the reminding about the limits part?

Because it’s not cool? Because it’s not fun? Because it’s exhausting?

Whatever.

Who cares if your kid hates you for a little while?

I don’t.

And Tech, if you are reading this if you suddenly feel the urge to drink something alcoholic while under the legal age, you probably shouldn’t come looking to your father. Or me.

But.

You can have as much ginger ale as you like. Bring your friends.

How would you react if your child asked you for alcohol in a public venue? Do you believe it is better to provide alcohol for your child (so you can oversee things) or that it is more important to uphold the law? Do you think Apple’s behavior is indicative of an emerging drinking problem or just harmless adolescent attention seeking? Am I over-reacting?

Tweet Me @rasjacobson

To the Pretty Girl Texting in the Car Next to Me

photo from poka0059 via flickr.com

Dear Pretty Girl:

I saw you today as I sat idling at a red light. You were in the blue Prius, and your blonde hair was pulled back in a high ponytail. You had long, thin arms and high cheekbones. As we waited, I noticed your smile. You threw your head back in an open-mouthed laugh. Your teeth were straight and white. You didn’t see me, but I saw you. You picked up your phone to send someone a text.

I kind of freaked out a little. Because as much as I like to think of myself as a rule breaker, well… when it comes to breaking rules that could impact other people’s safety, I guess I’m not so cool with that.

I wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt. Maybe you didn’t about New York State’s “Distracted Driver Law” that says folks are not supposed to text while driving. In fact, if you are even caught holding a cell phone in your hand while driving, you are subject to a $150 fine and 2 points on your license. But it wasn’t the practical stuff that bugged me.

See, I imagined my 13-year-old son sharing the road with you in a few years.

I pictured him, seated right where you were — in the driver’s seat — sending texts. Watching you, I got scared.

Like most parents, I want to believe: My kid would never do that.

But they do.

I mean, you were.

And you are someone’s daughter, Pretty Girl.

As red changed to green, I hoped you’d toss your phone aside, but your hot pink cell phone was pressed against the steering wheel as you rolled forward into the world.

So now I watch for pretty girls in blue cars.

I remembered a Public Service Announcement commissioned by AT&T that I had seen a while back that highlighted the dangers of texting while driving. I thought I would share it.

Because the kids are back in school.

And many of them are new drivers.

And the short film makes a pretty big impact about the risks of texting while driving.

Please watch this video and talk about the behavior as a family. Because we all know, it isn’t just kids who text and drive.

Adults do it, too.

I know it’s hard to ignore the thing that bings and pings and buzzes, especially when it is on the seat right next to you.

But we all have to try a little harder.

Have you ever sent a text while driving? Why can’t some people resist the urge to respond to a text message? Do you think texting is an addiction?

Update: I just learned my friend Stacey at transplantednorth wrote on this same topic a few days ago! If you are so inclined, check it out HERE!

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Celebrating 13

Tech’s 13th b’day cake • Yup, Kit-Kats & M&Ms & chocolate cake!

It should have been a day for parades and singing and whooping it up and flowers.

I was sure there would be balloons.

Instead there was a vacuum extractor.

It doesn’t surprise me that my son is as cautious as he is. His introduction to the world was of rough and tumble handling, of being ripped away, and I believe that it left its mark on him – though he knows none of the details.

In a hazy dream, I saw blood fill one of those pink plastic hospital basins and wondered: Whose blood could that be?

I am told that my son stopped breathing five times after he was born.

I think he innately senses that life is fragile, unpredictable and doesn’t always turn out as planned.

It was not in the birth plan for my uterus not to contract.

{Who knew I had a feisty uterus?}

It was not in the birth plan to lose so much blood. It was not in the birth plan to be rushed to away for an emergency hysterectomy.

Okay, so maybe I didn’t have a birth plan.

But I had plans.

I’d planned to go home with my newborn and revel in his newness. I’d planned to be up and around within 24 hours. I’d planned for people to marvel at us in the grocery store: “Up and around already?” they’d say.

I’d planned long, lazy, late summer walks with our fancy-schmancy new stroller. I’d planned to bring my son outside and show him the world, let him feel the August sun on his cheeks.

On my eighth day in the hospital, my OB-GYN stood beside my hospital bed.

And while a moyel read blessings and performed my son’s circumcision, my doctor sobbed.

What is it?” I asked. “You must have seen sixty-five bazillion of these.”

My doctor wiped her eyes and her mascara smeared over her nose.

I don’t know why I remember this, but I do.

“There was a point where I thought I was going to lose you both. I’m so happy you’re leaving the hospital as a family.”

And we did leave the hospital as a family.

{And we figured out how to get the $@%&! bucket in $@%&! carseat.}

And the sun went down and it came up again.

And thirteen years later, my husband and I have this fabulous son.

And I know it sounds all braggy and everything but he is incredibly smart, so we like to tease him how much smarter he might have been if he hadn’t lost all those brain cells in the NICU.

We are fortunate to be able to laugh about these things.

Because it could have ended in another, completely devastating way.

And now, as my ever-lengthening teenager heads out each morning, he still gives me a smooch — even in front of his friends.

He still thinks I’m cool.

{Sometimes.}

He still twirls my hair and tells me I’m pretty and that he’s glad I’m his mom.

{Right before he falls asleep.}

Who could ask for more?

I believe we will keep him.

Tonight he will eat something sweet.

We will push him up against the measuring door to see how much he has grown.

You know, on the outside.

People say 13 is an unlucky number.

But I feel so dang lucky.

And balloons or not, we celebrate his life every day.

Because why wouldn’t we?

What was the last thing you celebrated? Anyone else have a feisty uterus? Or a tough delivery?

Is it Wrong to Type Thank You Notes?

Rude!

I didn’t think it was a big deal.

In fact, in my view, it was a no brainer.

My kid’s handwriting is illegible.

Now that schools basically move kids from block print to the keyboard, very few students ever really master cursive. In fact, cursive penmanship is considered a “font option” in our district rather than an important life skill that children should be required to master.

No matter how you slice it, Tech’s handwriting sucks.

But he is a whiz on the computer, so he found a program which allowed him to create his own handwriting font, and he used it to type his bar mitzvah thank you notes.

That’s right.

I said he typed his thank you notes.

I figured he would be able to write more personal notes on the computer as opposed to the standard:

Dear Mr. and Mrs. So and So:

Thank you so much for the thoughtful gift and for sharing the day with me.

Insert illegible signature here.

I have to be honest, I was actually thrilled by the level of personalization Tech employed into his thank you notes. In many cases, he thanked people for little things like smiling at him while he was on the bimah, or dancing with him Saturday night at the party. He thanked people for the baked goods they provided for his Kiddush lunch at the temple, and he thanked other people for coming to our home on Sunday for brunch. He thanked out-of-towners for making the trip to be with him on his special day and he thanked people for funny cards.

But he would never have done all that personalization if I had him write every note out by hand.

I had to get Tech to write those notes while he was still feeling the magical vibe of post-bar mitzvah bliss as he was leaving for overnight camp on July 1st, just 8 days after his bar mitzvah. He was so wound up after eating so much sugar all weekend all the compliments he received, he didn’t even complain when I told him on Monday morning he’d need to write twenty notes notes each day in order to complete all his thank you’s before he went to camp.

The boy composed all his notes without any complaints.

He also addressed the envelopes (by hand) and affixed the stamps.

Still, I got the criticism and the hairy eyebrow.

“I can’t believe you let him type his thank you notes.”

I feel slightly guilty as I tap out this sentence, but it’s true: nearly every thank you note we receive ends up in the recycling bin 2.3 seconds after we read it. I save very few these days and only the ones that feel personalized in some way. Given that most thank you notes written after large events are extremely impersonal, what does it matter if the note is typed or hand-written? Aren’t the words the most important thing? Aren’t thank you notes all about expressing gratitude? Would you rather receive a dull, illegible note by hand or a personalized, typed one? Does it even matter?

I’m genuinely interested in your thoughts on this? In 2012, is it acceptable to type thank you notes? Or would you prefer a handwritten one? And if you want a handwritten one, can you explain why?

The Happy Hora

Hubby and I, up on the chairs in 1995. Do you not love my shoes?

In 1995, when my husband and I married, I remember dancing to the hora. At some point, someone brought out two chairs. As the traditional music played, we sat down as friends and family members held the legs of our chairs and raised us gently into the air, turned us in circles, together, my new husband and me. I remember staring at my husband from my chair. Noticing his wedding ring glinting on his finger, how foreign it looked.

Over the last several years, I’ve been to a lot more bar and bat mitzvahs than weddings. I’ve danced the hora at least nineteen-hundred forty-six bazillion times. To the uninitiated, the hora is a dance where everybody forms a circle and holds hands. You are supposed to step forward toward the right with the left foot, then follow with the right foot. The left foot is then supposed to be brought back, followed by the right foot. In my experience, almost no one dares to do the crisscross thing with their legs because dance floors are generally jammed so everyone mostly just goes around in circles.

Tech in the air!

At bar and bat mitzvahs, it is customary to raise the honoree, and sometimes his or her family members, on a chair during the hora.

The last time I sat in the chair was nearly seventeen years ago, when my husband and I were married.

Let me tell you something: the wedding hora is different from the b’nai mitzvah hora.

First of all, by definition, there are waaaaay more kids at a bar mitzvah than there usually are at a wedding.

I don’t think any of our friends had kids when we married so our wedding hora was pretty sedate.

During certain parts of the hora at my son’s bar mitzvah, I felt like I was in a mosh pit. All those circles going in all those directions. And then all that going in and going out. I was digging our DJ’s version of Hava Nagillah and feeling pleased that I was managing to move so easily in my four-inch heels when some kid gave me a pretty good elbow to the chin.

Whatever.

I wasn’t going to let a blow to the face ruin my night. In fact, I barely felt it.

As the mother of an only child, I knew I needed to pay attention. After all, my husband and I recognized this would be our one chance to experience everything. I watched friends pull a cushioned chair onto the dance floor. Surrounded by cheering friends and family members, Tech went first and made it look easy. He laughed and smiled as the strongest men in the room bounced him around in a circle.

“Hold on, Mom!” Tech warned as we traded places.

Holy shizzlesticks.

I now understand why some friends had warned me before the fact:

I don’t know who was holding the legs of my chair but who put all the tall guys on one side and all the short guys on the other? I was positively crooked. At one point, I bounced so high off my seat, I thought I was going to have an emergency landing.

Listen, I have no fear of being lifted by people who are scampered. I just wasn’t prepared for the “let’s-try-to-eject-the-momma-from-the-chair” thing that was happening beneath me.

This video is every Jewish mother’s nightmare:

Someone snapped this picture and posted it on Facebook.

Waiting for the ride to be over.

Someone asked me: “What were you thinking about while you were up there?”

You wanna know know what I was thinking?

That I needed to keep my legs together like two tightly twisted vines.

Because there would be no “junk” showing at my son’s bar mitzvah.

Would I do it again?

In a heartbeat.

That night, I couldn’t stop smiling.

I am pretty sure I was radiating something close to pure joy.

All day, my son amazed me with his comport, his flexibility, and composure; I could have danced all night.

And once I got off that chair, I did.

What is the happiest dance you ever remember doing?

What Do You Remember About Yearbook Day?

Last year, a few days before school ended, Tech received his yearbook. A person involved in several extracurricular activities, he was frustrated when he only appeared in only one photograph – the same individual photograph that we had purchased earlier in the year. This appeared alphabetically amidst a sea of faces.

I tried to soothe my son’s bruised ego by pointing out how tiny the thumbnails were and how difficult it was to see anyone.

He shrugged.

“Anyway, the autographs are the best part!” I flipped through the pages of his book. “Did you get any?”

Tech’s 6th grade year book.

Tech turned to the back of his yearbook where I was surprised to see that kids did not write in sentences as my friends had when we were his age. Instead, they simply penned their names. To be fair, my son collected mainly boys’ signatures last year, so I wondered if maybe it was a gender thing: perhaps 6th grade boys were inclined to communicate their feelings in words less well than girls of the same age.

[For example, someone penned “FAGS,” instead of “HAGS” — an acronym for “Have A Good Summer” — causing one teacher to haul out smiley-face stickers to cover up his unfortunate and oft-repeated abbreviation.]

Later, a friend and I compared notes.  She has daughters, and I was curious to see if 6th grade girls did things differently, but no, I found very much the same kind of thing. Kids just signed their names, sans niceties. I was looking for some kind of: “It was nice meeting you this year”; or “Have a nice summer”; even “Your (sic) a grate (sic) kid.”

Most surprising was that three of my son’s teachers had elected to pre-print their names on Avery stickers. I understand it is tedious to write out one’s name 125 times, but pre-printed stickers? Really? Only the music teacher wrote my son a personal note and took the time to scribble out his signature in his own hand.

So I was interested to see how things would play-out a year later.

This year, on the last day of 7th grade, approximately 3.3 minutes before he had to walk out the house, Tech pulled his backpack over his shoulder and announced, “Oh, we got our yearbooks.”

He was out the door before I had a chance to ask him if he landed in any photographs besides the tiny thumbnail. That night, we flipped through his yearbook together. He was in a few extra pictures but the autographs had changed!

Tech’s 7th grade yearbook.

For the most part, the 7th grade boys are still pretty hapless.

But.

I did see several nice, handwritten notes from teachers recognizing Tech’s hard work this year.

Which was nice.

And I couldn’t help but notice a few more signatures by people with names that certainly sounded feminine.

And some of these notes were composed in actual sentences.

Someone with curly handwriting penned in purple ink:

“I can’t wait to see you when you come home from summer camp. Maybe we can hang out.”

Hmmmmm.

So I know my son has discovered girls, but does he realize that a few girls may have discovered him?

What do you see in your kids’ yearbooks? What do you remember about yearbook day?

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How My Son Discovered The Opposite Sex

Around six weeks before school ended, Tech got glasses.

About two days later, he discovered girls.

I know this because at six weeks before the end of the academic year, I had printed out all the addresses and stuffed all the envelopes to be sent to everyone who was invited to attend his bar mitzvah.

“This is it,” I said, pointing to a 3-page list. “See that box over there?” I tilted my head towards a grey cube filled with envelopes. “Those are the people who are invited to your bar mitzvah. I’m taking them to the post office tomorrow, so you might want to take one more look. It’s your last chance to make any changes.”

I was thinking omissions. Cuts.

As in: That-kid-is-a-jerk-take-him-off-the-list.

Tech eyeballed the list and looked at me in horror.

“Where are all the girls?”

Had I handed him the wrong list? I peeked over his shoulder. No, it was definitely the same list we had reviewed two weeks before. The same list he had given his ultimate super-duper stamp of approval.

Tech’s voice went up two octaves. “None of my girl friends are on the list!”

Then he barfed out ten girls’ names I’d never heard before.

Ever.

“They have to be invited!” Tech waved his hands wildly. “Why aren’t they on the list?”

I wanted to tell him that he had never mentioned these girls, that the only girls he’d ever named in his life were the people connected to the families on the list.

But I didn’t.

We simply went through the school directory and gathered the extra names, addressed the additional envelopes, and affixed a few more stamps.

After we delivered the invitations to the post office, Tech and I sat in the car. His guard is often down in the car. I figured I’d give it a try. “That was a good snag on your part,” I smothered my son in compliments. “It’s weird that so many people weren’t on that last list. How do you think that happened?”

Tech had his nose in a book, so he spoke absently.

“I’m not sure.” He turned a page. “When I got glasses, a lot of blurry people suddenly came into focus. I guess I thought they were already on the list.”

He says he thought they were already on the list.

I say he had a testosterone surge with a side order of corrective eyewear.

Whatever.

In the end, nearly all of his friends – young men and young women alike — attended his bar mitzvah.

And he was beyond happy to celebrate with them.

How old were you when you noticed the opposite sex? And what do you remember about that time in your life?

How Having a Wedgie Made Me Realize My Son is Becoming a Man

Me in my Express Jeans. Size 2.

It was a regular day.

I spent a few hours at school, met a former student, ran to the post-office, stopped at the grocery store to pick up that one necessary yet missing ingredient for dinner — just like any other day.

On the way home, while sitting in my car, I noticed my jeans were a little… uncomfortable.

You know, they were a little… tight.

By the time I rolled into my driveway, I definitely had a… wedgie.

I couldn’t wait to get out of those pants.

As I yanked the faded denim over my knees, I saw them: little button tabs on the inside of the waistband.

I sucked in my breath.

Old Navy Boys Jeans, Size 16.

Because I realized I hadn’t been wearing my pants.

They were my 12-year-old son’s jeans from Old Navy.

I am horrified amazed that my son and I are the same size.

And yet, I shouldn’t be surprised.

We’re wearing the same shoes.

Or rather, I can wear his shoes.

When I hear the mail truck coming, I often slip into his sneakers: the ones he so conveniently leaves by the door.

Of course, I know what this means.

From here on out, he will continue to grow.

And soon he will pass me.

Eventually, I will look up at my child.

And that will be a whole new thing.

Although in some ways, I have always looked up to him.

Watching my son become a man is about so much more than watching him slip into and out of his different sizes of clothes.

Obviously.

He’s always known exactly who he is.

I’ve been the one who has had to adjust my expectations about who I thought he might be.

Just like I probably needed to let out a few tabs on his jeans the other day, now I have to adjust to the idea that my son is becoming a man.

With his own ideas.

And his own interests.

And his own methods.

Which don’t always align with mine.

Emotionally, Tech has always been an old soul.

But now the changes are physical.

I realize our state of equilibrium is temporary.

Like receiving an alert from my iPhone, it is a gentle reminder, that while I am still in him…

…he is out-growing me.

Do boys outgrow their mommas?

(NOTE: Clearly, we have to start being more careful with the laundry. Theoretically, Tech could make the same mistake and end up wearing my jeans. And that would be bad.)

I’m thinking this look would not go over well in the boys’ locker room.

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