To be fair, it’s still early days for Paul and me where Riley is concerned. His voice is only shaking a smidge and he is smelling a little funkier lately, but the bit that is doing me in has to be his mood swings. I remember my mother saying (repeatedly): “just wait until you have children of your own” whenever I knew better. I mean, what teenager doesn’t know everything, right? Fast forward to my very own tweenager and his constant need to test my limits, and I find myself riddled with guilt for doing this to my mother.
The part that terrifies me the most though is that we aren’t even close to being in the eye of this storm – the boy is only 11-years-old. I’ll give it to him though, he’s really embraced his baby steps into manhood like a trooper – just ask him about his armpit hairs. I remember being that excited about sprouting hair in places that I now try to get rid of, I can relate to that feeling of not being a little kid anymore.
These are the moments that you live for as a kid, and ones you can’t wait to celebrate – we know, we’ve all been here. The only thing is that no one asked me if I was ready to let go of my little boy and I know I’m not ready for a teenager.
I think the real reason why I’m a little sad that puberty has hit our home is it reminds me of how much I’ve missed out on. I’ve always been there for Riley, but usually after I’ve finished work. It has always been a tomorrow is another day situation for me, but I’ve wasted too many tomorrows and I’m terrified that I don’t have any left with Riley.
It is so tough being a parent in a modern world where cellphones and tablets are our main source of connecting. It’s become increasingly easy for parents to pop in a WiFi password and leave the kids to YouTube binges and a barrage of predators who trawl the internet.
Hell, I’m guilty of that too.
I’ve been telling myself for years that I want to do more exciting things with Riley, but now he just wants to play Xbox and throw his attitude around. I’m so scared that I’m too late, but I’m sure that we both still yearn for quality time together. I’m holding on to the hope that I’m still cool enough to hang out with – I mean, I think I’m pretty cool. I’ve had to learn a quick lesson from this, that time waits for no mom and that it probably is never too late to make up for lost time.
I’m not saying that we’ll be pushing a Fischer Price popping thingy around, but I do need to connect with my pre-teen son. After all, he’s growing pit hairs already.
Until next time.