One day, about a month ago, my ten-year-old son came screeching up the stairs. “Mom! Mom!” I thought maybe another tooth was loose, because he hasn’t lost two of his twelve-year-old molars. But no, as he put his face up to mine and said, “Look! I have a pimple.” I was heartbroken. My son was becoming a “tween.” He had asked for antiperspirant a few months back, and has begun to take showers every night. And his hormones are all over the charts. Those moms who told me I’d be happy with a boy when puberty sets in obviously hadn’t raised a boy. And this one is particularly concerned about his looks since he is an aspiring model and actor. So I convinced him to wash his face often and keep his hands away from it. It finally went away and all was well.
Now, he wants to dress well, so he wakes me up and asks me if the outfit looks okay. And surprisingly, they usually are, unless my husband is in charge of helping him get dressed—then it’s jeans and a t-shirt. I threatened him that I would not buy one more item from the Gap if he didn’t take better care of his clothes. And surprisingly again, he put his clothes away in the bureau and the closet.
I’m in charge of his allowance because there is a store around the corner that sells candy, ice cream, and toys. If we gave him his allowance, he’d buy everything he could. Right now, he and I are saving for his time at Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama in August. He has to ask me how much is in his account and then he’ll tell me what he wants to buy and I (and my husband) have veto power. Most of his allowance goes to video games. (He’s currently obsessed with World War II and a new Iraq game that my husband also plays.) Sometimes I wish I never bought him gaming system but otherwise he would be online surfing for games to play and I don’t want him to go to unknown sites where danger may lurk.
So I’m prepared for the next phase of puberty, which will probably start after they do the “boys and girls” lectures we all had in elementary school. Except I was in sixth grade and he’s getting it in fourth grade. Kids are growing up faster than we did and I’m ready for the next round: “Ask your father.”