Pretty soon

It’s been eight years since I’ve had a 14 year old in the house. To clarify and not confuse; we have 4 kids who will turn 32, 25, 22 and 14 years old respectively, in the next few months.

Eight years doesn’t seem like a long time. You would think with three previous spawns before him having gone through their tweenish years, that I would have a handle on all of this…and I WOULD (have a handle)…IF they all were the same.

I don’t recall the blank stares. The eye rolls, yes (our daughter was proficient at that). The arguing? Yes. All of them were good at that. But the staring at me as I talk like I am speaking another language? No. Don’t recall. I know that we taught him his alphabet, heard his first words and listened as he read his first books to us. It appears that his turning 13 years of age has re-wired this ability and he now says possibly 4 or 5 words or phrases (repeatedly…God help us all).

“My bad”. That is an answer to any question, with a word or two thrown in once in a while…if he’s feeling particularly talkative.

Here’s an example.

“Did you (insert any question here)?”

The replies:

“Ah, no. My bad”.

“Oh. My bad. Sorry”.

“That’s my bad”.

As a matter of complete fact-I do not recall, ever once, telling him that a possessive adjective may be used in front of an adjective.

I hear this a minimum of 10 times a day. Please pray for me.

I also don’t recall any of them going through absolutely EVERY piece of clothing in their closets and drawers in 3 (yes I said THREE) days -for the record, he has 15 pairs of underwear that showed up in the laundry (which he does on his own) and there wasn’t any dysentery or even mild stomach upsets in the house…?

I don’t recall having one kid use 10 bath sized towels from Monday to Thursday. I even have a note taped to the linen closet that reads “Hang up your towel after your shower. Do not touch anything in this closet without asking the towel genie if you may”.

To be fair, none of the other three brought a steak knife into the shower to whittle a branch they found outside (try explaining that to the plumber). However, they certainly had their own challenges…Finding 3 month old broccoli and dip in a container in a backpack stuffed in a closet may be one.

I vaguely recall how fast they could run out the door when a friend called and yet how painfully sloth-like they were when asked to do any form of housework. For that, all four are the same.

This almost 14 year old of ours has a size 11 shoe and is toppling six feet tall. Gone are the days when we had to hide his favourite shirt so he didn’t wear it for the 5th day in a row. That is now replaced with a strong desire to want another hoodie (when he has a dozen already) but with no motivation what so ever to earn the money to buy it for himself.

He will absorb food through osmosis while walking past the refrigerator one week-but the following week, will say he has no appetite. He routinely will check the mirror to see if his spots have gone away, while walking over or around the vacuum cleaner (which has been placed just outside his bedroom door). He has girl (friends), who apparently are worldly and know all about the latest shows and music along with remedies for curing a cold, how to survive exams and whether he should get his haircut.

Yes, they all are the same in a way. But this one? He’s the last…Pretty soon there will be no more questioning about whether he did his homework. He will just smile when I say it’s cold outside and walk out without a jacket. He will call and say he’s going to be out late or tell me he’s going away for the weekend with his friends. Pretty soon, as I am well aware…comes all too soon.

And then? There will be clean towels in the linen closet, no containers of milk in the refrigerator with barely a drop left or empty boxes of oatmeal in the cupboard. There won’t be spent toilet paper rolls on the roller and dried toothpaste spit in his bathroom sink. I won’t need to sit up as a sleepover goes into the early morning or bother about buying snacks and fun treats.

Pretty soon. In a blink. All too soon.

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