Get Off Your Phone and PUT A SHIRT ON!

I know I have written about it before, but teenage boys are such an interesting breed of crazy.  I remember feeling a little fearful when the ultrasound revealed that we were having a boy.  I remember thinking, “I don’t know what to do with a boy!”

He has been ALL BOY from the beginning...

He has been ALL BOY from the beginning…

And admittedly, everyday, I still think that.  Boys are such different creatures than girls.   At least I understand the feelings and thoughts my daughter has, but I don’t get boys at all.

My sweet boy at 13

My sweet boy at 13

And I love my son. So much.  Even though he smells like a weird mix of fish and grass and dirt most of the summer.  I love him.  Even though he won’t talk to me about anything I am interested in but insists on talking to me about every little thing he can think of that I do NOT want to hear.  I love him.  Even though he is most of the time just a smaller version of his father.  I love him.

We were on vacation last week at the beach and where was I while the rest of the family went to the aquarium with my parents?

I was sitting in my car at the park while my son practiced basketball.

Here I sat...

Here I sat…

While he was at the AAU National Championships in Myrtle Beach a couple of weeks ago, Bobby Cremins, a well known retired college basketball coach, spoke to the boys and told them that if they were not working out 5-7 hours a day in the summer, then they weren’t truly committed to advancing to the next level.  So all I hear from my boy these days is,. “That’s fine that he doesn’t do drills… if he wants to stay on the same level.” or “She must not care about practicing because she just wants to stay on the same level.”  He is all about advancing to the next level and his desire to work out constantly is proof.  Every night at the beach from about 9-10pm he was on the street in front of the cottage doing ball handling drills.

He’s also all about shoes.  If I hear another thing about LBJ’s or KD’s or Kobe’s, I will scream.  I get texts from him with screen shots of the shoes he wants next.  He has even started trading shoes with friends if he likes their shoes better than his.  I try to block out his talking when he starts telling me about how many pairs of Lebron’s his different friends own.

Apparently he has "SHOE GAME"

Apparently he has “SHOE GAME” – two pairs of MANY

He says he plans to have a shoe room when he gets older.  Not a shoe closet, he said… but a shoe ROOM.  I wish I could have seen my face when he was telling me about that for the first time.   Incredulous is a good word.

I may need to call the plastic surgeon to take advantage of their botox special….. because I feel like I use that face pretty much every time he speaks.

He knows this look well... I may need to take up my plastic surgeon on their botox special this month!

He knows this look well…

Hey, at least I listen.  Most of the time.  It’s not like he listens to me!  I feel like life passes him by because he spends a majority of his time with earphones in listening to Spotify.   Last Tuesday night we were pulling out of Bojangles and I saw a hot air balloon, so I pointed to it and said, “Look at that hot air balloon!” And he plainly said, “It looks like a hot air balloon.”  As seems to be the norm lately, I looked at him with that same incredulous look… and he said, “What?”  Turns out he had not heard me and only saw me point.

Sometimes I wish I could tune him out like he tunes me out.  13 year old boys want to fill you in about the new Call of Duty Map Pack and all about Jay-Z and Beyonce being part of Illuminati.  They are either “starving to death” or they won’t eat saying, “I’m fine.”   I sometimes feel like a recording on repeat alternating between, “Put your phone down” and “Put your shirt on.”   He cannot understand why in the world it is important to me that he wears a shirt while we are sitting at the dinner table.   I’m often called into the basement while he is playing X-box so that he can show me some sort of “kill shot” or a video of his alter ego on the screen jumping off a building on a skateboard and landing into a crumbled pile of pain on the pavement below.

It seems that everything revolves around the shock value.  It’s the fart in the car or the “What the freak?” with a little too long of a pause on the beginning of freak…  He wants to keep me on my toes.  Yesterday he called me at work and started the conversation with, “Have I told you today how beautiful you are?”  Yeah, he wanted a friend to spend the night.

On my way into work this morning, I started talking to a lady in the parking garage elevator.  We chatted as we were walking to our offices and she said, “Have your kids started school yet?  My son started kindergarten yesterday.”  I could see the fear in her eyes and I remember that fear all too well.

It made me think about how far we have come since my sweet boy went to kindergarten.  He was constantly being moved and we had to go to parent/teacher conference after parent/teacher conference.  I can’t tell you how many times in elementary school I heard things like, “I hate to use the word ‘class clown,’ but….” or “He seems to work better by himself away from the rest of the class” or my personal favorite, “He can be sitting next to a friend, so I move him to sit next to someone I know is not one of his friends, and by the next day, they are best friends too…”

This same kid moved to Raleigh four years ago and decided to run for Vice President of his new school in fifth grade… and won.  He volunteered to be the manager of the basketball team in 6th grade (since you can’t play until 7th grade) and then made the team in 7th grade.  This same kid ended up making all A’s & B’s in the final quarter of 7th grade.  After years of worrying about his behavior and grades, he finally seems to have found his routine and it is working for him.

Summer of 2002 and Summer of 2013

Summer of 2002 and Summer of 2013

I am so proud of my boy… and even if I never understand why he tries daily to shock me and even if his underarm hair is now getting too plentiful for me to count, he is still that little boy who used to like to sleep in my tennis shoes and insisted on wearing belts (even with gym shorts) so he would have something to hang his light sabers on.

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And I cannot wait to see the man he becomes…

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4 thoughts on “Get Off Your Phone and PUT A SHIRT ON!

  1. LOVE. IT. He volunteered in 6th grade. LOVE. YOU.

    – Me

  2. Loved it, Valerie. My jaw is still on the floor over the shoes thing…

  3. Kristian Dawson-Chadwick

    That was exactly what I needed! My son is 8 & will be 9 in 25 days! (he reminds me daily of the countdown) and since you’ve been there I know you know exactly what I’m dealing with!!! He has decided to cancel his birthday so that the money could be used to get another pair of KD’s!!!

    • Yes, I know exactly what you are dealing with!!! My son will walk into a room mid-sentence talking about shoes… he apparently has one pair that he thinks are pretty awesome because he walks by other boys and they all stare at his shoes and point. I guess all boys are into these shoes right now!!!

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