My first-born son.
He’s a tween-ager. At least, I think. Actually hang on..I’m literally going to google how old you have to be, to be considered a tween.
Ok, yup. He is.
In fact, since he is 10, and a “tween” is categorized as being between ages 8-12, he is a tween of tweens.
He’s the strangest combination of things.
He is, honestly, mostly a teenager. I’m not sure if that is how most ten-year olds are, or if he’s veering that way a little earlier than the norm, but more often than not, he acts like a teenager.
He has attitude.
Lord. God. Almighty.
He argues with everything. Sometimes I play a game with myself…”see if you can find one thing to say, that he doesn’t argue with”. Yeah, nope. There’s not one thing. Fun game, though.
When given the choice of friends, or hanging with the fam, his strong preference, more and more often, is friends.
He gets this look in his eyes sometimes..not always, but sometimes.. and it scares me. It’s the look of “I’m literally so totally uninterested in everything you say, and you are old, so you can’t possibly understand anything about what it feels like to be me“. Or maybe it’s the look of “I know everything, and you know nothing, so this conversation is ridiculous“. Or actually, most likely, it’s the look of “how much longer do I have to stand here listening to you, before I can go play Fortnite“. It scares me because…he shouldn’t be looking at me like that yet! He’s still just a little boy. I should still have quite a few more years until that, right?
He has headphones in his ears, a good bit of the time.
I go up to my boys schools to eat lunch with them fairly regularly. I have three boys, and so I kind of cycle through each of them, making sure I eat with them an equal amount of times, per school year. I had lunch with his preschool-aged brother. I had lunch with his kindergarten-aged brother. He’s up next, so I ask him “do you want me to come have lunch with you, too?” Another indication that he’s getting older, is that I even have to ask that question. A final indication was that…just for half a beat..he hesitated, before saying “yes”.
He said yes, though.
And that brings me to my “Ah…there you are” part.
Because just when I’m starting to feel like, “who IS this kid?”…
…at least one night a week, the guy comes and crawls into bed with me
…he’ll call me “mama”, instead of “mom”
…he’ll request that I tuck him in, snuggle with him a minute, and “leave the hallway light on”
…a look of utter relief will flash across his face, when I arrive at his classroom door, after being a little late to pick him up from Sunday school, giving a glimpse of “yep, boy still “, not “grown man”
…he’ll make a certain expression, and I swear to you I could show you 3D ultrasound pictures of him in the WOMB, where he had the same facial expression.
…I’ll spend one-on-one time with him, where we aren’t battling about homework, brothers, messes, or screen time, and I’ll actually remember how much I LIKE him and ENJOY him, and I’ll think…
“Ah! THERE you are, little boy. You aren’t totally gone, quite yet!”
What a heartwarming account of your boy you have put out. Those moments when your kids come to you, I think they are what make life worth living.