Yesterday, my sweet little sunshiney blonde baby turned into a teenager.
Oh dear. I could get a little verklempt.
While I wouldn't be happy about any NEW babies (see "Essure procedure"), I would so love to have each of my kids as a six-month-old or a one-year-old for ONE DAY, 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Just to hold them close and smell their skin and put my face in their hair and touch their chubby little fingers and toes and cheeks. Oh, the cheeks. Listen to their sweet little sounds and rock them in a chair. Oy. What is it about birthdays that does this? When I'm 63, will I be writing, "Oh, how I wish I could have them back as teenagers so I could be confused about whether or not they are mad at me or just generally angry and to try to keep them informed about good hygeine and manners and give them money and drive them places..." Teens hug, but in the words of The Bloggess, sometimes "A hug is just a strangle you haven't finished yet." You get pretty good at figuring out which is which.
The Son? Was a cuddler. Oh, how that boy cuddled, and still will. He was a good sleeper, God bless him, and he still is. He always wanted to help, and still does. Now that I have TWO teenagers, I'm starting to hear the tick-tock of when I won't have them in my house anymore. Some days, that isn't such a bad thought, but most days, it's distressing. They are all really fun kids, dammit! Just stay and play! But learn to do your own laundry.
Yesterday, I was getting ready to leave for work at 7 a.m., and The Son was out of bed because he was "pretty excited about being 13 and couldn't sleep anymore." I told him Happy Birthday and he gave me a big hug, and I started chanting, "Who's so old? Who's so old? Who's so old?" and he said, "YOU!" Damn. That burns! Oldest Daughter would've left it at that, but The Son wants his mother to be happy, so he said, "Just kidding Mom! You are young and beautiful and awesome!" Which is how I've trained them all to address me.
I took a half day off work and took the kids to the pool with friends, where I read a book written by the instructor at my Iowa Summer Writing Workshop, "Like Normal People" by Karen Bender. I honestly didn't expect to like it so much, it didn't really seem like my thing, but I try to read the work of my instructors so I am able to suck up and be in prime stalking position if it becomes a necessity. This book is surprising me. It's beautifully written, I could only hope to craft such rich descriptions and dialogue. I got so wrapped up in the book that I ended up in the sun for three hours and fried myself to a crisp. Damn. That burns. Someone at work this morning said, "Either you are really, really mad today or you have a sunburn" and I replied, "Piss off before I punch you in the face." (Just kidding. I used the F word.)
After the pool, our family took The Son to Buffalo Wild Wings, where you get a side of testosterone with everything you order. This seems to be the fave go-to place for all boys, ages 12-43. We sat outside on the patio, the only group out there, and had a great time. We went home and he opened his gifts, and loved all of them. We ate cake. It was one of those days you need to have every once in a while, as a shining city on a hill, to remember and hold when the kids are fighting amongst themselves, forgotten to give you an important message, and have eaten the last ice cream sandwich.
Before I sign off, one more quick thing - on the Facebook ADITW page, I posted "The Son is 13 and a year closer to some skank taking him away from me". Of course I kid, but I want to defend myself against any charges of future DIL cruelty. My point would be that whomever MY children marry, men or women, will probably need to be able to joke around with our tribe to make the marriage cut in the first place. Not because of me. Because of who my KIDS are; I get that their marriages aren't about me, nor would I ever want to interfere in that relationship. Oldest Daughter's Current Boyfriend is a great kid, and able to toe the line of being respectful and caring, and yet being wickedly funny, which we all love. He gets us. He fits. (Except that he exercises and eats healthy, but we're working on that.)
I can see a Thanksgiving in the future, when I'm drinking wine and tricking my daughter-in-law into making most of the meal, and I'll make an inappropriate comment about her stuffing the turkey, and she'll look at me lovingly and say, "Quit being a skank. I'm cooking here." I will walk over to her, lovingly stroke her face, smile proudly, and say, "That'll do, Pig. That'll do." And then I shall refill her glass and spoil her children. And be thankful.