Apparently, if you are searching for “Baba O’Reilly” on Spotify, and your kid is trying to wrestle the phone out of your hand so he can search for “Swedish House Mafia,” the search term morphs into “Swedish Bobo.”
Little Dude – is not so little anymore.
He’s 12, in middle school now, and he has LOT of opinions.
For one thing, he’s prefers electronic dance music to rock music. I like EDM when I’m wasted in a club, dancing at 2 am (which hasn’t happened a lot lately), but for purely listening purposes? Not so much.
He also listens to whatever is on Spotify’s Top 50. It ranges from “please pour battery acid in my ears” to Twenty One Pilots. I know they are puppets of a soulless music industry, but I like them. They appeal to my inner angsty eighth grader.
I made Little Dude listen to Brian Eno, one of the pioneers of ambient music in the 70’s. Some might argue that ambient and electronic music aren’t necessarily connected, but too bad. I wanted my kid to know who Brian Eno is so I connected them.
Little Dude has braces now. They make him look like a little teenager and are a constant source of torture for both of us. I don’t always spend money I don’t have, but when I do, it’s $5000 on braces for a kid who accuses me of ruining his life between bites of jello.
He wears AXE deodorant. It smells horrific, but according to its last ad campaign, should have him kicking car doors open in no time.
HE SLEEPS LATE NOW.
He always woke at 6:30 am on the weekends, raring to go. I spent years teaching him to entertain himself and not wake Mama up until a more civilized hour.
When he was five, I had him convinced that those early Saturday am hours were HIS “alone time,” and he was free to watch movies and eat snacks and do whatever it is that five-year olds do when they have “alone” time.
I woke up at 8 am on one of those Saturdays, patting myself on the back because he let me sleep in. I stepped onto the top step of my stairs and tripped on a pencil that was rigged to protrude off of the step. It was tied to an empty soda can which I rolled over, and I tumbled down the stairs.
Little Dude had watched Home Alone early that morning, and decided to copy Kevin McCallister and booby trap my house. Did I mention he was FIVE?
A few months ago, I woke up at 8 am and my kid wasn’t up. By 9 am, I was in his room, putting a compact mirror under his nose to see if he was breathing.
Now, he sleeps sometimes as late as 11:00 am. Last Sunday, I celebrated by making myself a mimosa and listening to the local police scanner on my phone app and it was AWESOME.
His hormones are kicking in, which means he’s often moody and unpleasant. Normally, I don’t tolerate that, but this is different. He’s experiencing emotions he doesn’t even understand.
He simultaneously has the worst hygiene of his young life, while still managing to disappear upstairs for an inordinately long time when showering.
I don’t even want to think about that. EW.
He got an email from a girl the other day, a girl he’s told me he likes. When I asked him if she was pretty, he said, “Why does that matter? She is, but that’s NOT why I like her. She’s smart and nice.” I wish some boy in middle school had liked me, despite my braces, glasses and frizzy hair. I was in an awkward stage that lasted until 2015.
This girl had actually emailed him a copy of some Harvard admission essays. They’re in SIXTH GRADE.
Little Dude still enjoys spending time with me, one on one. Over spring break, we did a bunch of cool stuff together. We saw “Deadpool,” which was a little mature for him. How did I miss that it’s rated “R”? Luckily, he’s so innocent, all the sexual innuendos went right over his head.
At the end, he insisted we stay until the end of the credits. He was convinced there would be some kind of “bit” at the very, very end.
He was right.
As we left the movie, LD impulsively grabbed my hand in the parking lot. I acted like it was no big deal, but it was. He’s still very affectionate with me, but never in public.
Sometimes, he asks if we can talk, to help him sort through feeling lost or confused. We have talks that last hours.
Thank you Lord, Buddha, and All The Gods, that my kid still wants to talk to me about whatever is troubling him. Any day now, he’s going to become a Teenager, discount my opinion and silently plot my death.
He’s in such an odd place right now; no longer a boy, but not yet a teen. It’s a complicated, confusing and probably scary place for him.
It’s confusing for me, too. I want to hold on and let go all at the same time.
Most of all, I want it to slow down.
Slow down, baby boy. I don’t want to miss a thing.
“I’ll Come Running” by Brian Eno. I can’t even tell you how much I love this song.
Do you ever wish you could slow down your kids’ growing up? How much longer do I have until he stops thinking I’m cool?
Talk to me. I’m listening.