Wednesday 4 March 2020

This is 14

This is 14.
Long long legs and arms.
Size 10 feet.
Feet that need new shoes every few months.
Smelly feet.
Smelly socks.
Grunts and mumbles masquerade as conversation.
(He used to be more verbal when he was 2!)
Big hands.
Clammy hands.
Taller than me.
Taller than dad.
Doesn't want you to enter his room.
Or clean up his room.
Does laundry.
Can chop vegetables.
Doesn't know how to open a milk carton.
Doesn't listen.
Hears every word when parents are whispering about him.
(Damn that Vulcan hearing- for fans of Big Bang Theory!)
Armpit hair.
Face fuzz.
Hates it when you hug him (you give too many hugs!)
Needs that big hug from you.

This is 14.
Selfish. Careless. 
You lie on the couch in high fever and he steers clear of you.
He doesn't need you. 
When he's hungry (always!)
When he needs new pants (every month)
When he needs a ride 
When he has a small corn and my goodness, the pain that he's in!

This is 14.
He wants to know if you've saved enough money for his college.
He has trust issues.
He is aghast when you threaten to join the PTSA.
14 doesn't tell you the names of his friends.
Now you are clueless.
You are uncool 
and embarrassing. 

This is 14.
Heartbreakingly handsome.
You wonder how many of his schoolmates have a crush on him.
You'll never know.
Your deepest desire is to be a fly on the wall as he goes about his school day.
He lounges on the couch.
For a second you mistake him for his dad.
What is going on in that brain? 
Neurons firing, hormones raging.

This is 14.
More bewitching and confusing than you ever thought it would be.
The awkward entanglement of boyhood and manhood. 
Those terrible twos and threes?
You laugh at how hard you thought it was then.
When you thought they were testing your patience
and your strength.
Those were just little hurdles.
Mere prep
for the teenage years.  
In 4 years he will leave this roof. 
You swat that thought away.

For now,
It is enough
That he walks a few steps ahead or behind (never with you)
That you can watch him while he sleeps
That you can still impress him with your cooking 
That he will bike to the nearest Dunkin Donuts
and buy you a doughnut for Mother's day
and eat it all by himself 
That he will draw 3 balloons, write Happy Birthday, and call it a card
This is 14.
This is beautiful. 

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