Frankly, the teenage years are driving me batty.
I know, short drive, hang a left.
Nobody tells you how many times mothers of teenage boys can have their feelings hurt in the course of a week.
"Want to run to Wal-Mart with me and Dad?" I ask, cheerfully.
"Raincheck' he replies in that bored-teenager-monotone-grunt-like utterance that has become his typically-teenage trademark.
OK, so I set myself up for that one.
Obviously, no 15 9/10-year-old guy only weeks away from getting his license would jump up at down at the thought of spending a couple hours schlepping around Wally World with the rents when he could, instead, be playing Call of Duty 5 for the umpteenth time on the computer, or shooting his friends with air-soft pellets down at the fairgrounds.
Hey, you can't blame a mom for tryin'.
"Can I challenge you to a quick round of pick up sticks?" I asked -- again, cheerfully -- last night.
Without even looking away from Facebook for a nano-second, he replied in his trademark bored-teenager-monotone-grunt-like utterance, "Tomorrow".
Confession: I didn't really expect him to reply in the affirmative, but what the hell..hope springs eternal...
(Right here is where Harry Chapin should be singing that line from Cats In The Cradle...you know the one, ""I'd love to (Mom) if I could find the time..."
But the thing is, I WAS the proverbial Kool-Aid mom. I played games and made forts and went to the playground and drew pictures and colored in coloring books and read books and played grocery store and let him play in the sink and...well, you get the picture. I was ALWAYS there for him as a small child. I was a dedicated Stay-at-Home Kool-Aid Mom for Pete's sake.
Ah, those were the good old days...
At this point, Dr. Phil would point out that Daniel, at this stage of his life, HAS to push away from his parents or he will never strike out into this big cold cruel world on his own. I suppose it's even more difficult for an only child, so perhaps he has to be twice as coldhearted, er, independent.
I've read where it usually more difficult for the mother than the father when the teenager begins to really exert his independence...I suppose that's because fathers recall what jerks they were to their mothers from time to time when they were teenagers.
My wise ol' Sis says boys do come back around and act humanely toward their parents sometime down the road of life, that this is, indeed, all normal teenage attitude -- God's way, she says, of making parents WANT to let go when the time comes that they HAVE to let go.
"Would you really want Daniel living in your pocket when he's 40?' a friend asked me the other day.
"Yeah, if he's nice and he'll play a game of pick-up sticks with me now and then," I quipped.
Hey, I kid, I kid.
I really do want him to be an independent, successful adult some day. And I know this is all perfectly normal...but it hurts, damn it. Not to mention that the whole Teenage Attitude period is downright annoying and irritating. Of course, I wasn't a pain in the patootie when I was a teenager...(Yeah, right, my Sis says. And she would know.)
Teenagers, I've read, are somewhat like toddlers at the playground at this stage in that they run off to hang with their friends, but they come back to touch base, so to speak,to make sure you're still there when they need you. They just need to know you're there...
Like when Daniel needs a shirt ironed or the back of his hair trimmed. Or he's hungry. (Of course, when he's hungry, he goes to Dad for a decent meal -- I'm usually good for take-out pizza or bowling alley food).
And he gladly accepted the M&Ms I gave him on Valentine's Day...
I'll love him forever.
I'll like him for always.
As long as I'm living
My baby he'll be.
Maybe it's because I never had any parents to push away and I had to exert my independence long before I should have had to just to survive adolescence and my teenage years...maybe that's why this is so hard for me...I would have given my eyeteeth to have had my mom alive and bugging me to play pick-up sticks with her.
"Just be glad that you can afford him the opportunity to be a perfectly normal teenager," another wise ol' friend offered the other day. "That's an opportunity you and I never had."
Ouch. Talk about some stinging insight...
OK, I'll quit with the pick-up stick baiting...instead I will learn to be happy with Danny Boy actually sitting in the same room with me watching Law & Order, SVU, late on Saturday nights after he comes home from chillaxing over a game or five of Call Of Duty with his friends.
I guess it's time for this former Kool-Aid Mom to realize that, such as they are, these are the new good ol' days. So I will enjoy them...while they last.