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Monday, February 2, 2015

#Lessons from a 13-Year-Old Boy

My thirteen-year-old boy is fascinated by his changing self. If only I could be half as fascinated with my changing self...
Last Summer

As Cole inches upwards at full sail, I inch outwards–boasting a fresh layer of blubber around my middle. It's like I've placed an inner tube under my shirt for a humorous effect. But it's not funny. Except for when I laugh...and it jiggles. That's kind of funny.

While Cole scans his legs, underarms, and chin for "man" hair, my tresses are spewing out grays like an angry volcano. Perhaps my follicles are protesting from years of color jobs. I wish I could feel as elated about my gray strands as Cole feels when he's certain of a whisker on his chin. But I can not. I can only wonder how long my dye jobs will last. And if the color is damaging my brain. (BTW, Cole's whisker-discoveries are typically illusions only perceived by him. Or a pesky pet hair.) Needless to say, I'll admit I'm too vain to worry about brain damage for now.

Cole and I do share one common affliction, which I suppose is kind of special for a mother and son. Skin blemishes. Zits. Blackheads. Sure, his skin is still pretty beautiful–not quite as unyielding or age-spotty as mine, but both of us sport a few red spots here and there. It's really the only thing that makes him sort of look like a teenager–and the fact that he's almost taller than me now. AND, it's about the only thing that makes me still feel young! Acne!

The other day Cole shouted out, "Oh Mom! I had a great day! Guess what happened?"

I paused from whatever important task I was tending to. Cole had been studying pretty hard lately. Perhaps it had finally paid off! Perhaps he had been selected for something special! The tone of voice indicated something great...

"Well, Mrs. Schaben called out to me in the hallway and said 'Cole?'"

Mrs Schaben was going to recognize him for something! I was already feeling proud, wondering what he had done and what honor he was going to receive.

"She said, 'Your voice is really getting low.'"

Cole just looked at me and smiled.

"Was that the story?" I asked.

He nodded with a big grin. "Isn't that awesome? It was like the best day after she told me that."

I nodded and grinned. To be so enthused with one's own maturation? Well, perhaps it is a gift–a gift I could learn to appreciate myself as well. I guess. After all, aging isn't the worst. Not the best, but not he worst. It can be humbling, but it does teach us to laugh at ourselves. It should anyway.

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