The boy turned 13

Last week, I completed 13 years as a mother in this world. Such a long span of time that went by in a whirl.

The son/kiddo/brat has turned into a fine young man, though he spends too much time in front of the screen. The bane for all parents in this age.

Having met his few teenage friends, I see how distant they are from their parents, with some hardly talking or spending very little time with them. I’m glad my son still hugs me every morning right after he wakes up. It is a very quiet hug, I am not supposed to say anything, rock him or sing or such. Lasts about a minute. I think of it as a recharge hug for both our souls. Early in the morning, before the screen sucks him in, we steal a minute to reassure ourselves of each other’s presence, to comfort ourselves with our mutual love for one another.

I get the occasional barbed response but overall he is a loving and kind soul. Sometimes a very witty, sarcastic and wise one. One night, a few years ago, I was tucking him in for bed. We talked some and somehow ended up on the subject of death. He turns to me and says, ‘Everyone has to die someday. Life is but a waiting game, a wait to die.’

Last week, he had snuggled up to me as we watched TV. Suddenly he says to me, ‘Every teenager is living 4 lives. One is their home life, second is their school life, third – life with their friends and fourth – a fantasy life – online gaming life.’

I didn’t know he had such crystal clear thoughts and could compartmentalize his life. In contrast, I was such a wreck as a teenager, riddled with anxiety, anger, fear and confusion with life.

6 thoughts on “The boy turned 13

  1. I love that your boy feels loved, and the “four lives” comments is deep and worthy of pursuing. Thanks for a great post, and congratulations on your son’s important birthday…

    1. Thanks Pam, your blog post from Saturday inspired me to write again. I would truly value your insights on raising boys, I sometimes find it tricky to connect with him. Any tips?

      1. My younger son is on the autism spectrum, so relating may be different in some ways, but what I find in both teaching and in parenting is that respect inspires positive responses. (From your post, though, I don’t need to tell you that, Maddie.)

        I am constantly trying to improve my active listening skills (it’s a real uphill battle for me), but with both my guys, I think non-judgemental listening and honesty pays huge dividends. (Ie, they both love books, TV, and movies that I do not–horror, reality TV, etc. I try to encourage them to tell me about the things they really enjoy so I can understand without a “How can you watch that stuff?” reaction.)

        Life can get so hectic and close, but if I can get myself to step away, it amazes me what unique and interesting people the ‘boys’ both are. From what you write, I think you’re doing a truly great job, Maddie. I’d love to keep up with you from time to time!

        1. Let’s keep in contact, I would love that. I am inspired by all your posts and many a times they soothe me on a trying day.

          You are spot on when you say if you can step away or step back to see the unique and interesting aspects of your boys which are different to yours. I have only recently started to do that. My two great loves are reading and listening to Indian music and I feel wretched that my son hasn’t taken up either. Only recently when I ‘stepped back’ did I realise that my son would rather read non fiction books than the fiction ones that I kept throwing at him. I find non fiction books hard to read but who would have thunk my son would like to read them. In a way I am glad my son is not like me in nature. If I think back to my teenage years, I must have been miserable to live with, with my emotions always at the top of the surface and a slight provocation would tip me over. My son, on the other hand is so pleasant and in control of his emotions. When I let off steam sometimes, he will turn to his dad with raised eyebrows and exclaim, ‘what should we do with this angry lady?’ and then shrug off. 🙂

          1. Your son sounds wonderful, and, like you, I am a huge reader. My son much prefers watching a movie or playing a video game, but he has grown interested in the myths and the books behind the stories he loves, and so is inching toward being a reader, too. I keep learning, over and over, that with a mind that is not neurotypical, there’s a timeline or progression that has it own seasons and reasons. That can be puzzling, but it also always has all kinds of possibilities…

            If someone wanted to learn about Indian music, what is a good starting point?

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