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Friday, January 2, 2009

She's not MY Mom

Aside from the fact that I walked around with my zipper down all morning today, I had a pretty good day. I'd like to think I did it intentionally, you know, sort of like spreading holiday cheer, making people laugh. But, I think it's because my pants are too big and the zipper doesn't lock well. Not a good combination.

These sort of things don't bother me. I can laugh things off pretty easily. Not so, my Young One. Perhaps it's just this age, but I feel as if we've entered a whole new planet. Pre-teen Pluto. Didn't they take away Pluto's planetary status, though? What a bummer that must have been for all those poor Pluto-ites.

I can't do much that doesn't embarrass him in public. I won't hug him, smile, tell jokes, or in any way show that I have a relationship with him. It's sort of an unwritten rule we have. Privately, at home, I'll tease him on ways that I could embarrass him if I chose to do so. Or, I'll reminisce about the time my dad picked me up from school wearing his 1957 letter jacket (ripped, torn, and worn to shreds), his pull on muck boots, complete with assorted muck, and his underwear showing through the tear in his pants (This, before that was the style. These were the Preppy years of plaid skirts and argyle). I was mortified.

At home, however, he still calls me Mommy. I love that.

I remember this age very well. Feeling so self conscious about everything. Your feet are too big for your body, it seems. You're awkward and trip or knock things over easily. Perhaps it's just that you're humiliated at the normal bumbling that comes with being a human being. Heck, I drop things, fall down, and am just generally clumsy and I'm almost forty! I don't know, though. It must be more like your body is growing disproportionately and just when you think you have your spacial relations figured out, you grow out of them.

Remember that age? When you start noticing people as more than just that guy in your math class, but he's THAT guy in your math class. Remember, after your health class on reproductive health, when you realize that your parents have had sex? It's about this age. Remember blushing at everything? Remember feeling like you walked around with a spotlight focused on you and that everything you did or said was under scrutiny by all your peers?

There's nothing easy about it. You just have to slog through and be mortified and embarrassed and sensitive. It's part of figuring out who you are. I have to admit, I'm both enjoying and sympathizing with Young One as he goes through this age. Every day that he gets older, the problems become bigger. A slight by a good friend at a party can wound deeply. Then in the next moment, he's trying to impress our neighbor's son (who's OLDER) by speaking with a deep voice.

A friend that I worked with long ago told me that your kids need you more as they grow older. She was so right. It's nice to know I'm still needed. Just please, give me wisdom to say and do the right things.


  1. I'm right there with you girl!!

    We take direction from our heart, that's all we can do.

    As mothers we want to make it all better but as people who have been there and done that, we know that it is all a part of life.

    I'm still trying to figure out the whole slowing down the growth process :)

    I know, good luck with that.....

  2. Pluto's planet status is still very much a matter of debate, and many astronomers still view it as a planet. Only four percent of the International Astronomical Union voted on this controversial decision, and they did it in a process that violated the group's own bylaws. Most who voted were not planetary scientists but other types of astronomers. Their decision was immediately rejected by over 300 professional astronomers led by Dr. Alan Stern, Principal Investigator of NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto, in a formal petition. As one of those "Pluto-ites," I can tell you that this is far from over, and it is perfectly legitimate scientifically to view Pluto as a planet. According to the broader definition favored by Stern and other planetary scientists, a planet is simply any non-self-luminous spheroidal body orbiting a star.


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