One year ago today, I started a new chapter in my life. The chapter is "Living with a Teenage Boy". What a ride it's been.
The house has become smellier, one room in particular, his. I am waging a battle on the smell. Not every day is successful. I've also had to buy extra shaving cream. For the past seventeen years, I've only had to buy shaving cream for one man in the house, now I buy for two. Granted, only one needs to shave every day, and the other needs to use Stridex every day. And I really shouldn't think there are two men in the house; it's more like one and a half.
I also now knock when I see a closed door. In the past the door was never closed, he wanted to make sure he was included and aware of the day to day activities of the house. These days, he'd prefer to be on his own, isolated from the rest of us. He's probably pretending he doesn't have annoying little brothers and a crabby sister. The annoyers and crabby want to buy him a present, because they still feel he's one of us.
The house has become quieter in the mornings on the weekend. That happens when someone sleeps until noon. I am sometimes startled when I hear a deep voice from another room around lunchtime. My first thought is usually the same as the little kids, "Dad's home? I thought he was at work."
Over the past several years, I've had to buy bigger and bigger shoes, and many, many, many sacks of groceries. But on occasion (and I don't think he would want to admit to it), I've been told about a really cool Lego set. I was also surprised the other day by a quick peck on the cheek for no apparent reason, not in public mind you. That would be embarrassing. No one kisses Mom in public. I'll have to wait until I'm shuffling along with my walker before that will happen. I won't hold him to the promise he made to me when he was 7 that he would never be too embarrassed to kiss me in public no matter how old he was. So I'll just have to treasure the memories of the sticky pancake kisses and the hugs made with chubby little arms.
But as he grows older, I'll have more memories to cherish. Such as watching him kick butt at a karate tournament, becoming second chair trumpet in the school band, and holding doors open for ladies without my prompting. I'll never forget finding him sitting at the desk computer with his 3 year old cousin on his lap playing a game that was only fun for the 3 year old.
Happy 14th Birthday, Weasel. I am so proud of you. I know life's road can be rocky, but I am positive you will navigate your way with confidence in yourself and kindness to others.