This is the five dollar apron I found on Etsy last week that improved my day by at least 300% just by being in my mailbox when I came home after work. Why, yes, I am wobbling on the side of the kids’ bathtub because I don’t have a full-length mirror. That big can of beer was totally helping me keep my balance, though.
Yesterday morning when I merged onto 101 N, I was listening to one of my favorite albums from when I was just a scootch older than Lex. I guess I had a little cabin fever to get out after two days working at home with sick kids, because I got all Mario Andretti on the freeway with my stereo cranked up really loud. Anyway, I was thinking about my kid and my own self when I was about his age and how radically different those two personalities are but, even so, how well he and I get along now. He’s much, much more mature at 13 than I was. Don’t get me wrong, he still has a 13 year old boy sense of humor (like, he *really* wants to get this tshirt), but he’s far more aware of both himself and the world than I was back in 1983. He’s motivated to study and do well in school because he knows that it will be a big huge deal later on in life. I did alright in school, but I was so wrapped up in where I was that I didn’t really think much about becoming an adult. And then I was one and found that really quite often I was thinking, Damn, I wish that I had _____. I don’t think Lex will be doing as much of that.
I can never remember exactly what year it will be when he graduates from high school, so as I drove, I counted off on my left-hand fingers: eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, twelfth; and the right: two thousand eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen. . . and my stomach sank because that’s only five more years. I already feel like I don’t see much of him; that when he is around his sisters take up all my time. I try to talk to him as much as, more than, I ask him to do things like take out the trash or vacuum or clean the bathroom. He either still likes me some or he humors me and sits down to talk with me, but a lot of times a couple minutes into a conversation I can tell that he’s dying to go text his friends or watch Hulu. And I get it. It doesn’t even really hurt my feelings. In fact, if a 13 year old boy would rather hang out with his mom than his friends, no matter how awesome she may be, then he’s probably not going to be the happiest kid in school, you know?
It’s amazing to watch him navigate being a teenager. He’s so much better at it than I was. He’s, well, he’s capable. I don’t think he’ll be kicking himself in the ass when he’s grown as much as he will be kicking everyone else’s and taking names.