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.
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 : )