My 14 year old son came back from his dad’s with an elecrtic shaver and an additional inch of height. He now towers over me by an amazing-yet-disgusting 8 inches. 8. I can see my authority over him waning with every inch he grows, and fear that soon he will be ordering me around as if I am his personal servant. Of course, there is still the fear factor, which I will continue to take advantage of as long as I can. I am not sure I am prepared to be the mother of teen boys; I have gotten him several rather graphic sex-ed books (not graphic in the sense of porn, that is a whole different post that I am not even close to writing about yet!) that seemed to pretty clearly and correctly explain different things, and I offered to go over anything with him if needed-this was last year, and he very politely and shamefacedly declined-and God help me, I was a little bit GLAD. We have talked about such things as condoms and STD’s and a variety of other things, but I can’t help worrying about what he might ask me, or worse, how I might respond. Yikes.
I went home on break to see how the boys were faring (just this once, Eli stayed home with both Owen and Sam; tomorrow will be back to daycare like normal but O. was really, really missing his big brother!), and while I was there a friend on his stopped by. His name is J., and is one of those huge, lurking boys whose nose and feet are HUGE. He is tall and gangly and has that clumsy, goofy look of a boy who just doesn’t know what to do with himself. I can’t quite decide whether I like this boy or not, and his shirt today just left me more in the dark. It said, “Viagra is for pussies.” Which, okay, that is funny, and I understand the appeal to a 14 year old boy. But still. What was his mom thinking? J. has spent a lot of time at the house, and he isn’t a bad kid by any means-I think part of the reason I am not sure I like him is because he is so huge. He also says some things about what kind of a driver he is going to be, and the kinds of girls he is going to date, and while part of me thinks, “Keep dreaming, big guy,” the other part hopes that his attitudes don’t rub off on Eli. I know well that boys of that age are basically just a walking touch-guy hormone, and I am not naive enough to think that my Eli is any different, but it is still a little daunting to think that he is like J. That he has the same idea about life and women and fast cars and, let’s face it, says things like pussy and lusts over young girls.
So I am feeling a little strange, and slightly out of my league. I know I have posted about this before, but it bears repeating that at this point, and because of our circumstances, Eli is well aware of the consequences of sex, and knows that even if she tells him he doesn’t need to wear a condom, he should. He has been raised solely by me for over 14 years now, and he knows how hard it is-he doesn’t want to become the kind of father his dad and step-dad have been. He doesn’t want his own kids to grow up feeling the way he has about his dad, and he doesn’t want them to have so many struggles. These are GOOD things for him to learn and know about himself, though for his sake I might wish the lessons had been less difficult for him.
And he is still a 14 year old boy; there are lots of years ahead of him, where he is going to be exposed to a plethora of different ideas and feelings and people. I could be in for a lot of trouble, it is too soon to tell. I just hope I can be the kind of mom he NEEDS when he starts having things crop up that he doesn’t know how to deal with. I hope he keeps his strong mindset and opinions. I hope-well. I hope we make it.