the 15 year old called me out. recently he admonished, "you have forgotten what it's like being a teenager." and he's right seeing how i am quite far from the angst and debilitating insecurity that comes with the onset of puberty.
so i've been mulling over this admonishment. and the word angst has made its way into my vocabulary. i feel it. he feels it. we are on different sides, but we both feel it.
i've been dredging up the past and calling all those ghosts forth to sit and spin and remind me of what it was like to have my father embarrass me. to recall how it hurt my mom when i corrected her grammar. i've winced at flashbacks to fashion choices and hair styles. but i have really pontificated the delicate balance between burgeoning independence and profound sense of dependence. i've been sitting in the stress that plagued me when i wondered about AP exams and ACT prep. how humiliating were my scores. the future seemed so unknown.
i try to remember that, but when i see my boy sitting with his friends unaware that i am watching. i want to know what he is laughing about. but i do not walk over to his table in the cafeteria. i pause. and let him have his space. his space. i try to play it cool (not my strong suit. have you met me?!)like i remember doing once upon a time when i was a teenager. playing it cool, but now i am the mother not the kid. it's hard, y'all. when you want to skip over to the cute boy (who happens to be your kid) and say, "heeeey, jaaaaack. what's going on?" only to have him turn around, shake his head and quietly ask, "what are you doing hhhheeeeere?" (that happened once. i learned my lesson. from hence forth, i keep my distance when i am at his school. but somehow he still manages to find out whenever i am there.)
the other night we attended an awards ceremony for our first born. he was being recognized for many wonderful things. it was an exciting time for me his exuberant mother. he was incensed by me. the Mister was incensed by him. "i would have killed to have a mother like yours". i know he said this from a sincere place of love and not of one from flattery. but nevertheless as life would have it, the Mister didn't have a mother and our boy does. a mother with a camera. and a blog. and mother who wonders. a lot.
with the end of a school year upon us, we've been thinking a lot, the Mister and me about what our lives will look like in 3 short years when the oldest leaves high school and perhaps our home. the man i married can come off to some as being all business, but he is even more of softy than me when it comes to our lads. he often comments, "every day that i have all four of them under one roof is special." and i get it, but seeing how i have been with them almost every day of their entire lives, i feel a little less sentimental. i would be more prone to check the exhausted box.
so yesterday the freshman came home as he has everyday since the onset of his first year of high school, with a smile on his face. i met him at the door. how was your day? his response consistent as is his temperament, "good". i prodded, "what made it good?" silence. why did i need to know? isn't there some things that are just his? a mother doesn't have to crowd into rooms too small especially ones that are made for one.
there is so much truth that comes out of the mouths of babes. i think they are the last ones around who when asked will give you an honest answer. and i listen to my babes. and i try to hear them. really hear them.
i'll be thinking on that today. along with trying to remember what it was like being a teenager-in hopes that i do not mortify the kid when i show up at his school. i am, after all, his mother.