Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Two or three more years of this, tops, right?

Back in August, Youngest turned 13. But he's a young 13 and at the time it was more like still having a 10 year old boy. Maybe 11.

Lately, however, he is 13.

Very 13.

The attitude is all there. The grumpy, disagreeable, sour attitude of a teenager. Intact.

There is nothing I say now that can't engender an argument.

This is my 3rd time through the teens though, so I don't take it personally. It will pass. It always does. Only to be repeated during the late teens/early 20's when children once again feel the need to stake out the border between themselves and their families.

Today Youngest and I were at Barnes & Noble. I managed to piss him off somehow. It's easy. All I have to do is exist and that's enough to irritate the young man.

We walked up to get in line for the cash registers--only not quite together. He walked a few paces behind me with a studied "I am so not with her" expression on his face. He, of course, has no idea that I *invented* that expression 30 years ago in the presence of my own mother.

Letting go of the current argument (which was over his clothing--how classic and cliche' is that?) I tried to engage him by pointing out something I thought would be of interest to him. His answer was, "grmmmph." Which anyone could have predicted.

On the way out of the store, he instinctively held the door open for me and for the older gentleman walking behind us. The man, in his mid 60's, thanked Youngest and gave me a smile. That one expression and the twinkle in his eye conveyed silent moral support. He was telling me in one look that he'd been there, he'd had teens himself, and that my boy--the one who had been raised to be polite to other people and even to his contemptable mother--was going to be fine.

Thank you for the confirmation, unknown older dude. I needed that : )


Jen on the Edge said...

I am SO not looking forward to the teen years.

ajooja said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ajooja said...

Oh how I love this story. :)

My youngest is 14, and right now he's my favorite. He's moved out of that phase and is just so great. He's not perfect by any means but I'm glad to have my son back.

My daughter is an entirely different story. I hope to God she doesn't wait until she's 30 to complete her "asshole 20's." :)

Tink said...

Little Lillie will never have that tude when with grammie, will she?

countrymouse said...

I have to tell you, Jen, the teen years weren't bad at all. And I think Ajooja would agree with me--it's really the 12/13 age that's not a lot of fun and then again in the very late teens or early 20's. Before, between and after have been wonderful : )

You're so right, Tink : ) Lily is her mama's problem. All I have to do is be the everlovin grammy!

Whitenoise said...

I know that phase. My 14yrold drifts in and out. ;-(

Anonymous said...

i remember both the pre-teen and late to post teen age years and they both sucked and i'm pretty sure it did for you too :) but i'm better now and would like to think for the most part i'm enjoyable now