Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My brain cells are shrinking

My brain cells are apparently shrinking. You see, I am the mother of a pre-teen – an eleven-almost-twelve year old. All you moms out there with your fun and enthusiastic eight- and nine-year-old boys enjoy. Admit it. You’ve been coasting since they were about four. You have all the answers, you are easily loved, the thought of you being any kind of embarrassment never even crosses their mind.

Well get ready.

My brain cells are shrinking because apparently I seem to know very little of anything these days. Plus, the slightest hum or movement seems to result in huge amounts of eye-rolling. Seriously? I am actually quite smart and not that embarrassing (Well, just don’t ask friends about that unfortunate incident with all of us wearing our high school prom dresses to watch the royal wedding. Suffice it to say that my post-baby, post-40 something, post-20 years of Pop Tart eating rear end doesn’t quite fit in that skirt anymore.)

My problem seems to be that I’m taking all of this a bit personally. I wrote a while back about how my son’s behavior has made me revert to teenage-like behavior. Well now I just want to be defensive. It’s been just my son and I since he was a baby. He’s my buddy. My guy to hang out with.

A friend reminded me of a good parenting book that says in order for your son to separate from his mother and truly become a man he basically has to kill her. Ouch. Plus, I heard James Dobson say the other day that this kind of behavior – turning away from the mother – is very normal, and moms shouldn’t take it personally.  Oh really? Well easy for you who has never been a mother to say.

I have come to understand that the killing has begun at my house, and I am trying my best not to take it personally. Just going to let it go.

Son: Mom, do you hear how loud you swallow?
Old me: Who notices that?? What’s it to you?? Who cares??
New me: Huh. I never noticed that.

Son: Mom, don’t ever wear those shorts and that T-shirt in public again.
Old me: What do you mean? I’ve worn these shorts for years and you’ve never noticed. And, everyone thinks I’ve been out exercising when I wear these shorts and maybe by wearing them I’ll be inspired to exercise before the day is over.  And this T-shirt? I think a shirt that says “My book club can beat up your book club” is hilarious.
New me: Ok.

Son: Mom, don’t sing to the music. It is so embarrassing.
Old me: This is my car. I paid for it, and I’ll sing to any dang song I want to. Plus, doesn’t embarrassment require a third party? It’s only you and me in the car!
New me: Oh. Well. Maybe I’ll just sing quietly.

Son: Mom, I can still hear you singing.
Old me: I LIKE this song and want to sing to it. Who can keep from singing “…grab somebody sexy tell’em hey…”
New me: Oh. OK.

Son: Mom, I can see you mouthing the words and now you’re doing that embarrassing head bob thing.
Old me: Again, how can it be embarrassing if there is not a third party watching?? For the love of God, if I want to get any enjoyment out of the radio, I have to do something!
New me: All righty.
(Grip steering wheel tightly. Turn off radio.)

Son:  Mom, you don’t ever write about me in that blog, do you?
Old me: Absolutely. You are driving me crazy these days, and I need a public place to vent my frustrations.
New me: No, of course not.

Six more years of this? At least? It’s going to be a slow and painful death.

Laura Johnson is a single mom and freelance communicator who lives in East Dallas with her 11-year-old son, dog, hamster and three fish.

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