April 6, 2012



When you're a grown up, sometimes you forget what it's like to be a kid.  That is, until you have kids of your own.  

My oldest son, Kaden, is eleven.  While it is even hard (still) for me to fathom that I even have an eleven year old in the first place, it is even harder to deal with this age. 

I have not been in middle school for what seems like a hundred years, but living with a soon to be middle schooler certainly helps jolt your memory.  

My eleven year old is in that really awkward stage right now where he is insecure about everything.  For the past two years, he has refused to wear shorts because of the hair that has started to grow on his legs.  

He has had little "girlfriends" (you know, the pass you a note and check yes or no kind) and that, of course, brings its own drama.  So and so broke up with me, the girl I like likes someone else, my "ex-girlfriend" is now going out with my friend, etc.

Everything is the end of the world--you don't get asked to a dance,  you get in trouble at school, you get grounded, etc.  Every time something negative happens, you feel like you will never get through it.

And, of course, your body is changing.  And it's confusing and private and awkward and different and kinda scary.  In fact, a few weeks back, his school held the "puberty talk" (the preface to the "sex talk" in middle school).  To which he told me that it was about time because "his voice was getting dark".  

And your tastes in things change as you transition from child to teen.  My son's favorite things of late include things like mp3 players and his cell phone and PG-13 movies (not all of which he is allowed to watch, mind you) and girls.  Disney movies are now "childish" and the simple treats that used to appease him like ice cream after dinner or a trip to the park or a surprise cup of hot cocoa are now so blahze.   

I'll tell you what, folks.  It's bringing me back.  It's bringing me back to always thinking that my house sucked, my parents didn't listen to me or understand me, our car wasn't cool enough, my little siblings were a pest and I loved nothing more than escaping to a friend's house or the mall or pretty much anywhere that I could be with my friends because they, of course, were the only "normal" beings in my life.  

I remember having crushes on boys and that flutter I used to feel when they so much as loaned me a pencil.  I remember staying up until all hours of the night with my girlfriends daydreaming together with them about how me and said crush were just so "meant to be".  And being crushed when I found out they liked the rich blonde girl with stick straight hair that sat in front of me in English class.  And swearing that for the rest of my days, I would never find anyone as cool as he was.  

And I remember going to friends' houses and feeling so jealous that they had Kudos bars (name brand!) that they could just eat at their leisure.  The Sega Genesis that they had that I didn't.  The name brand clothes that they would have that I wouldn't.  I remember the insecurities. 

But what I most remember at this juncture with my eleven year old is my mother telling me that I would understand one day how difficult it was to raise three kids.  How she understood me more than I thought.  That she did the best she could with what she had.  I think of how hard she must have worked saving money for those Hawaiian themed birthday parties.  How much work and thought she put into taping all that crepe paper to the wall to make it look like grass.  How even after a sleep deprived night of listening to 13 thirteen year old girls crying because two of the girls had gotten into a fight that was the end all of the group, she got up early and made donuts for us.

And how despite all that she did for me, all of the time, I never once took notice to it or appreciated it the way that I do now that I am a mom.  And I also remember her telling me that I would understand one day when I had kids of my own.  And she was SO right.  Thanks mom for not only for being my best friend, my cheerleader, my chauffeur, my events planner, my maid, my cook, my personal assistant, my teacher and my mom, but for also putting up with allllllllll the dramatic, stubborn, ungrateful nonsesne I was as a tween.  And, you're right about something else: karma is a bitch.    

White Cotton Button Down Sundress-gifted; Denim Blazer-Ann Taylor, thrifted; Buckle Boots-No Boundaries; Aquarius Necklace-Target; Earrings-gifted

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