Because I always check with him, I asked The Boy what I should write about his thirteenth. He was 13 on the 17th of this month. that’s crazy. At the risk of sounding cliché, how in the heck did we get here? I understand the passage of time, the logical side of it. That’s over 4,700 days. But 13? A teenager?
I was baffled when they turned five. They were in kindergarten. Teeth loosened and the Tooth Fairy came. Suddenly, they were avid readers. They could efficiently wipe their own behinds. It was a magical time.
Ten shocked me, too. I was surprised by how emotional I was when they each got to the double digit milestone. Ten year olds, if raised up right, are pretty independent little people. Both of mine could do a load of laundry by 10, and they handle the dishes every day. He makes a mean cheese quesadilla, and she is my little baker. They started staying home for small bits of time without an adult. A level of freedom that blew my mind. Certainly they weren’t old enough. But they were. I was babysitting at 10.
When he was 10, he said he couldn’t wait to be a teenager, so he could stay up as late as he wanted.
Lo and behold, he turned 13. Thirteen! He seems different all of a sudden. It’s not a physical change, though it is, ahem, that time. It’s an only-moms-notice kinda change. Sure, his legs are longer and his voice is deeper than it was a year ago. It’s something else, and I’m not sure I can adequately explain it.
I told y’all I asked if I could write about him this week. He said, “of course!” I reminded him that, not only do I tell crazy stories about him all the time, but I’ve written about his birthday quite a bit. He said, “You should keep doing it, even if I ask you not to. They’ll be fun to read someday.” You heard it here, folks. I got permission.
I also asked him what I should say about him. “Tell them I’m the perfect son. Your favorite son. Even though they know I’m your only son. Tell them I’m the smartest kid you know. I make you laugh all the time and no one compares to me, the best kid in the world. Well, maybe besides my sister.”
He was kidding, of course. He may be confident, but he isn’t cocky. He also knows there are plenty of kids smarter than he is and that he’s nowhere near perfect. But. for me, he is the perfect son. He’s brilliantly funny and has talent for days. He’s only mildly embarrassed by me, and that’s when I’m trying to be obnoxious. He’ll still give me a snuggle and discreetly hold my hand.
I can’t believe he’s 13. My baby boy. The best kid in the world. Well, maybe besides his sister.