Tyler is my affectionate kid. He always has been. He’s the one that would fight to sit next to me on the couch and not just hold my hand, but move his thumb up and down on the side in a tiny caress when he was only 5 or 8. In the car, when we were driving 4 hours each way for drop offs at his dad’s, he would run his fingers through my hair from over the back seat to keep me awake. He gives great hugs.

But that was yesterday. Today, he’s 13. He doesn’t want to sit by me on the couch. He won’t ever reach for my hand. Kissing? His mom?? No way. I’m sure he’s had some momentous Freudian revelation. I’m positive that he’s right on track and being age appropriate and all kinds of other crap but I don’t care. I miss him.

I miss his ‘Where you goin’ mom? Can I come?’ because now, if I want to have him run an errand with me, I practically have to threaten to ground him to get his hiney in the car. And let me tell you, those outings are LOTS of fun. So much openness and bonding time, it’s crazy. We don’t talk about how he feels about life, religion and politics anymore, which we actually used to because he had an opinion on everything, and surprisingly (or not. shut up!), some of his thoughts made much more sense than mine. He doesn’t ever call me anymore. I always have to call him. He answers every phone call with ‘Holla.’ Every. Time.

I miss hearing detailed accounts of how his day at school was, complete with animated impersonations of teachers, because now it’s all fine. “How was school?” “Fine.” “How did your test go?” “Fine.” “How is Red doing?” “Fine.” “What does Jessica Alba look like?” “Fin- what?” and then a heavy siiiiiiiigggggggghhhhhh, because I am SO not funny. After which, he plugs in his shuffle and we listen to Coheed and Cambria louder than I can think or drive, which is very effective in ending any further conversation. Coheed and Cambria is the most perfect angst ridden music for boys ages 12-19. The lyrics talk about everything a teen boy is worried about. It’s so relevant.

Have I mentioned I’m a Car Singer? And, once I learn the lyrics, or sounds that closely mimic whatever the real words are with semi-correct timing, I sing loud and long. I think it kind of kills the rebellious angst he’s trying to create because it irritates him so. I’m slowly trying to reprogram him with music that I actually want to sing, like Gnarls Barkley, but it hasn’t taken yet. GB has too many lyrics that make sense and not enough talking about killing your girlfriend, I guess.

He’s a winker now. When did he turn into a winker? Tell me! He’s this close to turning into a guy with a girlfriend. And I fear I will hate her. Even if she’s super sweet. I have no choice. He wears only t-shirts and only if they say things like ‘Welcome to the GUN show’ and ‘Have you seen these GUNS?’ with arrows that point to the sleeves. At this rate, he’ll be able to teach at the Brawny Academy in a few years.

First, he cut off all his curls and then all the blue and now he’s got about 1/20th of an inch all over his head. He drenches himself in Axe, a poisonous smell that as a mother used to being accosted with it by three (3) boys, can smell on other teen boys about 2 miles away. What ever happened to smells like Fresh Scent or Old Spice? I hate Tsunami and Phoenix. Those are a natural disaster and a myth respectively, neither of which I think Ty wants to be. He wants to keep it real, yo.

In his room at his dad’s, where he has his own TV, he can watch football, use the laptop to be on his MySpace and AOL and also be on the phones, house for speaking and cell for texting, all at the same time. When I went over there last time to pick him up, he was interacting with 18 people, although perhaps not particularly effectively, since there just isn’t that much of a person to go around. And there is nothing left for me! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

And right as I’m typing this, sharing with you my own angst-ridden tale and feeling so sorry for myself and missing him and feeling my heart ache and on and on and on…………..he calls me.

“Mom.”
“What, babe?”
“Titty caca.”
“Umm, what?”
Titicaca. It’s a lake. It’s the real name.” laughing
“Oh. Right. Cool.”
“MOM! It’s a REAL lake. In Peru. We learned about it in school.” more laughing
“Well, Ty, that is AWEsome. Thank you SO much for calling me to let me know that you learned about -”
“Boobs and poop?” more and more laughing

I don’t know what I was talking about. He does still love me.

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18 Comments

  1. Leah
    Great post. My 15 year old step son turned into one of those a couple of years ago. He’s doing exams at the moment so only has to go to school a couple of times a week and despite the sunny weather at the moment in the UK he has spent most of his time in his bedroom, curtians closed on IM, MySpace and cell phone while watching TV, listening to MP3s from the PC and playing his Bass.

    His mother misses the hugs and kisses too. We WILL miss the tantrums, sooner rather then later I hope.

  2. I love this post. Seriously, I had to read it twice. It’s so beautiful. My oldest is about to turn eight and I really, really hope that when he’s a teenager he will tell me when he learns about Titicaca in Geography.

  3. i was going to say i have this to look forward to, but i’m practically experiencing it now with my oldest who isn’t even 5 yet! he’d much rather hang with his dad or his grandma than me. *sigh* kids!

  4. Awwwwww… he’s just SO gorgeous too! You will have your hands full once the girls start showing up! My daughter is only 8 months old and I’m already fearing the teenage years. I’ve been saying things like “She will NOT have a computer/phone/TV in her room, and she will NOT go around with blue hair, and she will NOT speak to me with disrespect…” I know, I know… dream on…

    Great post!

  5. I smiled my way through this, mostly because as I get closer to having kids, my mind immediately wanders to the days when I was like Ty is now. The days when I was too embarrassed to hold my mother’s hand in public, or sit on the couch with her, or hug her very very tightly, and I think my heart wouldn’t be able to withstand that heartbreak, so why not just skip it all?

    And then I laugh, and think of how it all comes full circle – I now hug my mother so tightly I fear I might break her, and I would hold her hand in public, or sit on the couch with her, and I think that she must be very glad that happened, and that maybe it’s all worth it.

    Again – I smiled my way through this whole post, and even got choked up a little, because it struck such a chord. Thank you.

  6. I’m so impressed that he was able to perfectly match his hair to his shirt. Is that a skill that can be turned into cash anywhere?

    I’d say having a son that thinks of you when he learns about Lake Titicaca is fantastic. Because that’s the kind of thing you laugh about with a friend. And being lucky enough to be friends with your child at that age, that’s a rare luxury.

  7. This stage of motherhood must be the hardest.

    On an unrelated note if you still need people for your religion project I would be very willing to help out. It all sounds very interesting.

  8. awww boys.

    axe, btw, is disgusting. and incredibly overpowering. i had an ex that used it, and then my current boyfriend’s old roommate used it. i would get “accidentally” knocked behind the dresser while he was out so it couldn’t be located, saving my boyfriend and their other roommate from a day or two waking up in a cloud of axe. it was also a shower substitute. ick.

    my sister just turned 12, on mother’s day no less, and she is there. she likes to call my dad “a boob” ever since she found out it was like saying idiot but also a “taboo” [to 12 year olds, anyway] part of anatomy. she just sits there and laughs and laughs. i’m 22, and it’s just us two, and i’m quite sure instead of “cool older sister” i will soon be “paranoid, overprotective, second mom” remmebering all too clearly what i did at what age.

    good luck to you!

  9. This is such a poignant piece. I can imagine how lonely it must be as a mom when your kids start individuating. He obviously still recognizes how awesome you are, though. Any boy who can call up his mom and laugh about Titicaca – now that’s a cool parent-child relationship!

    He is also a great looking kid, your son. The middle school girls must be swooning already.

    Incidentally, the equivalent of Axe back in my day was the cloying Drakkar. You could smell the boys from 100 yards away. Why do they all feel they must DOUSE themselves with the stuff? Light touch, guys, light touch.

  10. Wow. I have so many comments to make on this entry I don’t know where to begin. Let’s just say I know exactly where you’re coming from, ALMOST. My son is 11 and doesnt mind sitting next to me or showing affection YET, but I see the hesitation now and it’s tough. I can’t wait to see the man he’ll become, but I’m sad to say goodbye to my little boy.

    Also? My husband just bought the latest Coheed and Cambria CD. Hee.

    There are several other things, but I hate to hog your comments. Great entry.

  11. Great post.

    My husband bought Axe a few times until I assured him that the “Axe Effect” causes all women within a five mile radius to pass out cold from the sheer stench of it. I’ve got him back to Old Spice Sport, thankfully.

  12. thatjoe – 11:11 back

    Philip – i forgot about musical instruments. ty has a drum set. we should have them meet and they can be angsty together.

    TiffyWiffy – thank you!

    kerry – i bet he swings back around to you. the kids oscillated between favorite adults until they decided that we were all collectively dumb. here’s hoping. X

    Katie Kat – with my boys it was always ‘they will not play with guns!’ and then they started making straws, sticks and their fingers into guns. what are you gonna do?

    jonniker – i know! i know! now i know how much my mom rocks. i just hope ty won’t wait until he’s 30 to figure it out.

    PaintingChef – we went to 14 stores to find just the right color. and then we had to buy shirts and shoes that matched. but he would NEVER say that THAT was what he was doing. he just wanted a particular one. over there. that was blue.

    Angela – the more the merrier. i’ll let you know when it’s up and ready to go. thanks!

    stephanie – i have “accidentally” lost their Axe so many times, it’s not even funny. i swear they reproduce them in their rooms somewhere in the back of the closet.

    Lawyerish – Drakkar!!! AAAAAAHHHHHH!!!! my nose is still singed. who are these people that are in charge of the company smelling and what have they done to their noses?

    zoot – always feel free to comment as much as you want. your husband – please ask him what he likes about them and then tell me the secret. i WANT to enjoy it and if i don’t figure out a way, my ears are going to burn off or my brain is going to melt and drip out.

    Leigh – i love your name. do you pronounce it ‘Lee’ ‘Lay’ or some other way?

  13. Holla!
    My oldest daughter, at 11 became allergic to my touch for 4 years! It was heartbreaking for me. They get over it. Now all three are hugaholics.
    I mostly love the teenage years : Today my 14 year daughter old told me today that she was a 14 year old boy without the dangling appendage.

  14. My daughter will turn 12 on July 6th (sadly for us, she’ll be visiting her Mother) and I am afraid of the “dark stage”. I sadly experienced both my niece and nephew going through that and I just missed them. Even kids that I thought would totally not do that, did.

    Your description about Tyler reminds me of Luke, I hope that I don’t lose his affections but I am certain it will happen. Luckily, my daughter is very affectionate 🙂

    I love this post.

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