Elliot has only 3 1/3rd months to go until he’s 13, an official teenager. In his mind, he’s been a teenager for 2 or so years already, as is evidenced by his comments like, “We teenagers…(fill in blank).”
He looks like a junior high kid. His voice is husky and cracks; his feet stink. His hair went from curly to afro. Best of all, from his point of view, is the faint ghost of a moustache beginning on his upper lip and the patchy, itchy dots on his jawline.
He likes girls, it’s obvious, but he won’t admit it. The other day, one of the leaders of his youth group sang a song at church. I leaned over and began, “She has such a pretty–” meaning to comment on her voice, but he interrupted me with a shocked “MOM!” (Oh and what were you thinking?) If I ask him the name of some girl his age, he never ever knows.
He’s awkward and obnoxious–standard for junior high. But he still likes it when I come up to say goodnight, still pulls me down for an extended hug. It’s not much longer now, but for the moment, he’s still my little boy. He still hugs frequently, asks our advice on things, likes to talk to us.
I’m not one of those women who adore children indiscriminately, especially in large numbers. I knew I wanted kids, but had no idea what it would be like.
So I was pleasantly surprised at the fierceness of emotion that overtook me when Elliot was born. And I have to say that I have loved every single age. I loved newborn, when my babies were tiny, and I didn’t even mind when it took the twins 3 months to get to 10 pounds because I loved how teeny their onesies were, and their skinny little legs (plus, it made carrying two car seats around a bit easier). I loved 15 to 24 months, when they really started talking–even when they wouldn’t shut up. I loved having little kids. I loved having older kids.
Believe it or not, I’m looking forward to this next stage. My confidence comes not just from having enjoyed it all so far (okay not ALL of it), but from the fact that older kids are fun. They are more independent–they can bathe themselves, if forced to, and can do dishes, and can make sweeping motions with a broom across the floor, even if they leave so many crumbs in their wake that it’s basically an exercise in futility.
Best of all, at this age kids are fun to talk to. They have thoughts and opinions on things. They hear things and begin to form their own outlook on life, but still check back with their parents to see what they think.
So I’m not afraid of the teenage years, although I know it will involve a fair amount of eye-rolling from everyone involved.
To completely change the subject, I do realize how much I’ve been neglecting my blog lately. My goal is to post more frequently, starting today. So check back–you never know.