Kids! They grow so fast and want to know everything - NOW! Their thirst for knowledge is unparalleled and difficult to tolerate sometimes, but damn if the time doesn’t fly by. My firstborn turns 13 tomorrow and I don’t know how the hell I am going to handle parenting a teenager.
Dear GOD can I do this?
HOW AM I GOING TO DO THIS?
It seems like yesterday that he was a wee toddler, a whirling dervish of energy and inquisitiveness.
Why is that fat lady buying apples?
I guess because she likes them and plans to eat them and shhh…please don’t call other people fat. It’s not polite.
We don’t know that lady, she might have a glandular disorder or something, but I assume she is buying apples because she likes them.
Do you have a glandular disorder? Is that why you are fat, Mommy?
(RESIST URGE TO SCREAM)
Why does the lady with a glandular disorder like apples?
Because apples are sweet and crunchy.
Well, that’s the way they are. They grow on trees and they just turn out that way. They are a healthy snack.
What is healthy?
Healthy means something is good for you. It has vitamins and minerals to help you grow.
What’s a vitamin and mineral?
I didn’t say that, but I though it. Or I grabbed and apple and shoved it smack dab into his little pie hole and said, “YOUMUSTBEHUNGRYFORANAPPLESOEATTHIS!”
Would he ever be satisfied? The kid would ask 100 questions in a row, and there were questions within those questions, and then questions about the answers to the questions, because he had absolutely NO context. He gathered a LOT of context over the past 10 years, from me and so many other people in his life. These days, I find him seeking me out less than he used to. However, when he does decide to hit me with questions, he hits me with some really hard ones.
For a while there, I didn’t know if I was relieved or concerned. Had he finally figured out that ole Mom doesn’t know much and what I do know, merely frustrated him, leading him to more questions that I really can’t answer? He has become the young man I imagined he would, a person with confidence and intelligence and a powerful independent streak.
I miss the days when the questions were black and white. The questions and the answers were simple, and a stream of regurgitated factual information retrieved from the spaces in my brain long forgotten eventually satisfied his curious mind. I miss that so much. I feel like nothing I say helps him anymore and I’m questioning every damn thing that comes out of my mouth. Opinions are not facts and we all know about opinions right? Like assholes, everybody has one and since there are over seven BILLION people on this planet, my kid is now challenged to find the facts amidst a sea of complicated choices – how does one explain the shades of grey?
Why are there so many different religions?
I don’t know.
What happens when we die?
Nobody knows for sure.
Who is right, the Republicans or Democrats?
That’s a matter of opinion, and you will need to form your own opinion on this as you grow and learn.
Do you believe the death penalty is right?
What do YOU think (answer a question with a question)?
I’m asking YOU.
And I’m asking YOU back.
Did you have sex before you got married?
That is really none of your business.
BECAUSE I SAID SO!
Why won’t you tell me?
BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE TO! Q & A IS OVER!
Can I play some X-Box?
Are you done with your homework (question with a question)?
Then NO, you cannot play some X-Box. ANYMORE QUESTIONS?
No...(plods off to do homework)
YES! Finally some questions I CAN answer. And PHEW – it’s so magnificently awesome that I’m done with the sex talk, because that was pretty tricky and if I’m being honest – pretty fucking stressful. My kid knows a lot of stuff now, stuff that makes sense to him because he has context, experience and is forming opinions of his own. And you know what else? He has the experience to know when it’s time to shut the hell up and stop drilling ole mom, because that shit right there IS black and white. I am still the boss, the parent - large and in charge, baby (and I do have a glandular disorder)!
Hmmm…you know what? I think I CAN do this. I'll keep you posted. Happy Birthday to Spawn #1 - Love you, kid. I pray you have nosey little nose pickers of your own someday. Why? BECAUSE I SAID SO!
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