Wednesday, April 17, 2013

More New Territory (in a metaphorical kind of way)

Well, it finally happened...D-Day arrived for our family. D like "dreaded"; D as in "denial"; D for...drumroll...duh duh duh DAH: Derek. Is. A. Teenager. I suppose I must have seen this coming, with all the changes he's been going through lately. Just the other day when we were walking side by side to the car after his soccer game, I looked over and realized (with a jolt of shock and dismay) that I could no longer see the top of his head. (Yikes! My baby!) And it's been a while now since I noticed that when I'm upstairs and he comes in from outside, chatting with Riley, I sometimes think, "Gee, Husband's home early...oh...that's Derek's voice..." (Gulp!) But the funniest (while also possibly most disturbing) aspect of this whole "growing up" thing has to be that recently we've noticed the hair over his upper lip becoming...suspiciously darker. (What the WHAT? Hide the razors!) Today he detoured on his way to the shower, poked his head into my room and asked, "Mom, do I have a moustache?" Peering dubiously at the sparse, downy fuzz on his face, I replied, "Um...only a little." He threw his hands up in the air and ranted, "I'm like a walrus! Next thing you know, I'll be growing tusks!" Typical adolescent male angst? Nah, just Derek...being a gooberhead.

This birthday differed from previous ones in other notable ways as well. Unlike elementary school, where your name gets mentioned during the morning announcements, and you proceed to the front office to pick up your special Happy Birthday pencil, and Mom is allowed to supply treats to your class for an end-of-the-day Middle School you get nuthin'. In fact, when I innocently inquired as to whether Derek would like me to share the news with his soccer buddies, the answer (not unexpectedly) was a horrified and vehement NOOOOO! Evidently the Code of Brotherhood in 6th through 8th grades calls for a heartwarming ceremony...of birthday honor the celebrant and provide good fortune in the coming year. Now, who wouldn't want that kind of attention? Oh yeah...anyone in their right mind...) So, I refrained from spreading the word this past weekend. But someone let the proverbial cat out of the bag at school anyway, and he told me that he'd suffered quite a few blows to mark the first day of his thirteenth trip around the sun. (And also three hugs: from me, from his girlfriend, and from one teammate, who reportedly picked him up completely off the ground in his enthusiastic clutches. At least there was some love, to go along with the rough delivery of "luck".)

Then when he returned from soccer practice he regaled me with the tale of how one of his pals had greeted him upon his arrival with an enthusiastic shout of "There's Derek, it's his birthday!" At which point the entire squad had commenced a rowdy chase...while attempting to pelt him with all available soccer balls. (Imagine a dozen sweet-but-over-enthusiastic-and-uncontrolled boys...running amok...that must have been quite a scene.) "Hmm, I wonder how they found out," I mused, "because I didn't mention it to anybody." Ohhhh... then it dawned on me, and I sheepishly confessed: "except...I might have posted it on Facebook this morning..." He just stared at me, open mouthed, before going off on a sarcasm-laden tirade, something along the lines of "No, you didn't tell anyone, just the WHOLE WORLD (blah blah blah)..." I wasn't really listening, you see, since I was busy laughing on the inside at inadvertently having caused his team riot. Eh, these things happen, yeah? He appears to have survived the birthday trauma, and safely entered into his teenage years with minimal far.

And just think, we haven't even had the family party yet...with CAKE. So I'll just have to remind him: fret not, my son, the best truly is yet to come...

13 days

13 months
13 years!

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