I come home from work to find him lay on his bed, his head buried in his phone. A typical teenage boy.
His head used to be buried in a book. I loved that about him. The fact that he would willingly read adventures and thrillers and comedies and the quirky novels I’d recommended.
He takes up nearly the whole of his single bed. His legs are so long. He no longer has chubby boy feet. They’re adult size 9.
He’s as tall as me now. Where did that come from? You think they shoot up as toddlers, but that’s got nothing on the growing they do when there’s a ‘teen’ tagged onto the end of their age. When we hug I no longer have to reach down. His head rests on my shoulder, not on my chest. But we still hug. All the time. We have this standing joke where I act all indignant that he hasn’t given me my daily hug and kiss when he gets in from school. He rolls his eyes and huffs and puffs, but he readily gives them out. I feel blessed that we still have this.
His desk is littered with the detritus of snacks he’s devoured the minute he walked in the door because he’s always hungry. Ravenous. An insatiable appetite, not helped by the amount of sport he plays.
The room has a whiff of Lynx about it. It’s still got all the Lego Minifigures he used to collect lined up on the top of picture frames. In amongst the childhood collections of interesting stones and Star Wars figures, there’s the signs of teenager boydom; a phone charger, a protractor, a tub of expensive hair wax.
He’s lying on his bed fully dressed but with his navy dressing gown on, which he wears like a smoking jacket! One of his little quirks.
The hormones have hit. His skin is changeable, his moods too. But he has a great sense of humour. He’s warm and interesting and funny. He laughs all the time.
Teenage Years: The Sequel
I’ll be honest with you, 13 feels like a reward for all the parenting hard work we’ve put in over the years. Now we get a glimpse of the young adult he’s becoming, I feel like all the tough times, the hair tearing, the self doubt, the cajoling, the persuading, the hand holding have all led to this. And it’s pretty darn cool, let me tell you.
I think you spend so much time dreading the teenage years you forget they don’t always have to be traumatic.
Sure we’re only at the gateway right now, but it’s feeling good. Positive. Exciting.
This week Dan starts his new ‘job’; a paper round. Which has meant setting up a bank account, organising himself, planning his own timetable. All valuable life lessons for a teenage boy.
This week he’s also on holiday with one of his best friends and his family in Spain.
It feels like another milestone. He’s taken another step on the stairs of adulthood. It feels like it’s time but at the same time I want time to stand still because he’s still my boy and I don’t want him to travel too far without me.
Literally and metaphorically.