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Welcome to My Wallow

While some Keris are out getting skinny (I’m lookin’ at you, Ford) and other bloggers are posting pictures of bean dip and celery (…seriously, Cyndi? Celery?) I am licking the beater of a chocolate cake mix and wiping away snotty tears.

My baby boy, my precious baby boy turns 13 today. He’s all, “I’m standing on the verge of manhood,” and I’m all…



Isn’t hims a sweetums?

Isn’t hims?

Sorry. I got a little sidetracked there.

I think the thing that amazes me most about raising kids is that they aren’t my characters. I mean, sure–it surprises me when I’m writing along in my pantsing little way and suddenly learn that my hero likes (or at least tolerates) lima beans. I mean–LIMA beans! That’s worse than celery! He’s supposed to be part of me, so how dare he show this independent spirit (and bad taste)?

But kids? Kids are worse. Preteens don’t value what you value. They don’t think what you’ve taught them to think. One minute, they say something you never thought you’d hear. The next minute, the words coming out of their mouths are simply you, verbatim. And all day long, every day, whether you’re writing or not, they’re thinking their own thoughts in their own little mental universe that seems so much further away now that their fascinations are more complex than simply locating their own toes.

He used to smell like Johnson & Johnson. Now he smells like Speed Stick (if we’re lucky). He used to run to the treeline, then look back to see if I was watching. Now he runs miles in cross-country, his face twisted in a sweaty grimace, and looks back to see who’s gaining on him. He used to say, “Ah lou-lou,” and it made my heart swell up.

Now–once in awhile–he says “I love you, Mom.”

My heart still swells.

He hasn’t changed. He hasn’t changed at all.


18 Responses

  1. Awww!

    My youngest turns 13 next month. To me, it feels like she’s been 13 forever. To my husband, she’s still 3. LOL

    Tell him happy birthday and make him hug you! 🙂

  2. Thirteen…tough age. Not a “kid”. Not really a “teenager” and not even close to being mature!

    BUT what a sweet picture. From what I remember from friends who had boys this age, you might want to keep that picture close to look at it from time to time. It’ll keep you from locking him in his room! 🙂

    and I LOVE Lima beans! YUMMMM Now brussel sprouts? ICK

  3. I think I’m going to lock MYSELF in a room with this picture, Cyndi!

  4. Waaaa! I’m crying here. Dammit.

    Mine turns 13 in three months. Wait…I seriously have to go wipe my eyes. Dammit.

    …..okay, I’m back. Sniffling, but back.

    Last night after watching him catch in a scrimmage, we came home and put together his poetry project. Excuse me while I vent and say his English teacher is bat sh** crazy. And if you ever see this, Ms. Spearman, I apologize, but really? REALLY? Okay, anyway, we worked until after 10:00 and then ate cereal together. And then before he went to bed with me calling out things like “Put this in your binder!” and “Don’t forget to wear your retainer!” and “Don’t you think you should shower tonight?” he wrapped his arm around me, kissed my head and said he loved me. And suddenly, I didnt’ care that I missed watching “The Office.” I was just glad to be his momma.

    So, this hit home for me….can’t believe my little Jake the Snake is growing up so fast. Dammit. Crying again.

    I like lima beans, too.

  5. Thirteen-year-olds are my favorite age group. I spent the last 15 years of my 30-year teaching career in the classroom with 8th graders (yes, cough, I was the ENGLISH/READING teacher:-) I LOVE that age. They’re so quirky. Everything (especially for the girls) is high drama. They’re old enough to understand my wit and my sarcasm (which 8th graders love despite what the teaching instruction books tell you), but Wednesdays were Story Day when I would read a book aloud to them for a period. They would sit on the floor around my feet like kindergarteners, totally enthralled. Some even brought blankets, pillows, and even stuffed animals:-) ::sigh:: Now I’m teary and missing those times:-D

    • See? They’re babies. BAY-BEEZ!
      (And I’m sure you were the loveliest, sanest, smartest English/Reading teacher since my mother…)

      • Yeah, teachers tend to forget that they are still babies at that age. Thirteen isn’t many years in the big scheme of things.

    • Well, I was an English teacher, too, and she’s still CRAZY with the crap she comes up with. What my poor baby had to do was definitely intensive and she only had six flippin’ poems to choose from…two were in a book he didn’t have. Well, I won’t even go into what we had to do for this poetry booklet, but let’s say I had to help him A LOT.

      So, not bashing teachers, um, since I was one. 🙂

  6. Awww. My oldest is 6 and I live in fear of the teenage years. Who am I kidding? I live in fear of 7. Someone was looking at his picture and said, “there is no baby left in him.” I suppose she was right. There is no baby chub left in his face. It is all little boy, but he is still young enough that cuddling with Mama is the highlight of his day.

    If only I could make it last just a little longer.

    • Don’t you listen to that crazy lady (who’s probably someone on this blog whom I just insulted.) The chub does not a baby make. Your baby is your BAY-BEE!!!!

  7. My eldest is 14, and I’m realizing that I have a more complete recollection of that era in my life. Younger ages, I remember some events, some big emotions, I’ve seen pictures—but I can bring back more of the total package of what the teen years felt like. So then I want to hug him a lot. 😉

  8. I have told parents of babies to treasure that image of their sweet little angels asleep so that they won’t strangle them when they are surly teenagers.

    Even though he thinks he’s too old to need you, Keri, he really still does and will for years to come. Teen boys are rather clueless in many ways but they don’t know it. On the upside, they are less dramatic than teen girls (unless girls are involved).

    In conclusion, there, there. *pats hand*

  9. Happy Birthday to your little one! LOL I feel your pain, or sniffles. My son turns 13 in April. It seems like only yesterday the doctor was patting my hubby on the back and telling him, “Well, looks like you’ve done it.” We had two girls first and the doctor thought we were having one more. I kept telling them all, this ones different. This ones gotta be a boy! Or a spider monkey! LOL

    Hang onto those “I love you’s!” I know I am. 🙂

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