Sunday, May 6, 2012

LUCKY #13

When I think of teenage boys, my mind often rolls back to the mid-70s when my much older brothers were in that age bracket and I was in early grade school.  Our silent home movies of that period, taken on lovely holidays like Christmas and Halloween and at birthdays, unfailingly have one or both boys in the background, long hair dangling before their eyes, surreptitiously giving the camera the finger.

It is with that image in mind that I have mixed feelings about today.  In literally less than ten minutes, The Professor turns 13 years old.  I'm not one who wishes my children could stay babies forever.  Truth be told, infants and toddlers leave me cold.  I loved my kids and at the time they were mildly amusing, but now when I see mothers with the under-five set, I get slightly twitchy and thank the stars (and the doctor who performed my husband's vasectomy) that those days are over.  I don't look back with fondness on diapers or high chairs or bouncy seats.  At the time they became monotonously frustrating, yet the compensations of watching my kids grow and learn made up for it.  I don't, however, have any illusions about wanting to go through it again.

By the same token, the thought of my son becoming a teenager leaves me wistful and sad and more than a little scared.  I remember my own teenage years.  I was not some wild child running amok.  I went the other direction.  I was depressed and moody and solitary and miserably unhappy 99% of the time.  In fact, I remember distinctly bringing my eight pound, six ounce bundle home from the hospital and as I rode in the backseat with his rear-facing car seat, I gazed down at him and thought how cruel it was that same day he'd have to go to junior high.  In the blink of an eye, we're there.  How did some of those nights with a colicky, screaming infant seem to go on eternally while the actual decade or so went by in a flash?

The Professor With Bailey
When The Professor was an infant my husband added him to our website.  Years before we had children, The Vulcan had created a page for our deranged beagle, Bailey.  This was back in the day when you had to be a software engineer (like The Vulcan) to even understand how to create a web page.  Amazingly, the URL for The Professor's pages still work and I spent a little time today browsing through the online pages.  It's no coincidence that, like a digital baby book, the site was only updated through about six months of age.  After that we were too busy raising him to actually write about it.  (If interested, you can check it out here.)


Twice a year, on my children's birthdays, I torture myself with home videos of them when they are little.  While I don't want to exactly relive those days, watching their tiny, chubby faces makes me want to burst into tears.  Nowadays, though, I know if my son comes lumbering into the room and catches me mourning in front of the television, I'll get a braces-filled sarcastic smile from him, followed by a barrage of carefully-worded insults expressing his opinion that I'm the biggest idiot he's ever seen.  And it's at those moments that I start counting the years until he goes away to college...


With his new iPod Touch.  That's probably the
view I'll have of him for the next five years...
He always did have a mouth on him, although in school he's considered extremely quiet, studious, and well behaved.  The sarcastic wit of his younger days is increasingly being supplemented with crude behavior, off color remarks, and curse words.  His latest target is the fact that my sister, his unaptly-named Uncle Chester, is large busted and tends to show a fair amount of cleavage.  This leads him to serenade her with The Monkees' tune "She Hangs Out," with the lyrics changed to "They Hang Out."  Just last week it was Chester's birthday and The Professor didn't even try to pretend that he had any interest in her celebration.  She commented that he better quit being so sullen and that his birthday was no more important than hers.  His retort was "it's more important that I'm leaving my childhood years behind than you just taking one more step downhill."  She tried to threaten him with physical violence, but he's starting to tower over her...

Uncle Chester With The Professor

Happy Birthday, Professor!  Maybe you can get off the computer later long enough to share a piece of cake with me.


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2 comments:

quilt32 said...

Some of my happiest moments of the past 13 years have been watching and listening to Josh - from his delivery through the 13th birthday party. I'm so glad I could be such a big part of his life.
Mom

Michelle @Special Mom Space said...

Awww happy belated birthday :-)
You all look like you had a great time.