So I’ve decided life gets better as the kids get older… for a lot of reasons. If you don’t know why, I will have to tell you another day. But I have a ten year old. I had no idea what a “tweener” was because that term didn’t exist when I was a baby or a kid or a teenager… Notice the sequence? Yah, now there’s a thing called a “tweener”. It’s a state between kid and before full-fledged teenager.
The urban dictionary says a tweener is “One who doesn’t fall in any category of people (cliques). The tweener walked through the halls helplessly looking for a place to belong.” Got it. And so begins another tortured segment of our illustrious society. Go, Tweeners!
What it has done for us, though, as parents, is helped us to understand why the kids who are not teenagers yet, act like teenagers. Sure, it could be the soy they eat or the polluted meat and all that. Or it could be something totally different. All I know is my tweener, Mack, is a pain in the ass some days. He loves me the most, but he finds it playful and fun and deviously enjoyable to see if he can ruffle my feathers. And since I don’t have feathers, you can imagine I might yell or scream or turn blue trying not to do the last two. Instead, and yay me, I have found that I am able to be “un-upset” for longer and longer periods of time. I like to give credit to my competitive nature. Once I saw that this was a game, I was all, “WTF? You serious? Let’s go, baby!” And now I’m going to win. And you see why maturity is so important to good parenting… But that’s another blog.
So we are at the movies, in line for popcorn. My 7 year old is off following the flashing lights or whatever. And I am with my ten year old. And I am chatting away with him, which he probably finds annoying. He is a small man, mind you. And I am getting animated about some subject, which is not important to the story. He’s like, “Mom, you’re embarrassing me. Can you stop doing that?”
Uh, I’m sorry. Aren’t you supposed to be worried about legos or video games or which treat you’re going to choose to go with your popcorn? I’m sorry. This is embarrassing?
And it kicked in. I couldn’t help myself… But truth is, I didn’t want to. I remembered back to the days when I was a wee one, and I remember worrying about what other people thought. And I smiled Cheshire cat like to myself. I don’t give a rat’s ass anymore.
I turned to my son and said, “What, you mean like dancing like this? Is this what you mean by embarrassing?” I flailed my hands about and began to dance like the 40 year old mama that I am, but I added some crazy hands to my already lame, day gone by dance moves. “That’s embarrassing. I was totally not being embarrassing.”
My son looks at me in horror. “Mom, seriously, stop.”
“I’m sorry. What? I can’t hear you!” I was having more and more fun. This is my child who yells and provokes for no reason all the time. This will probably be the last time I have a chance to be in power for five seconds. Should I strip down and write ‘Mack’s Mom’ on my stomach and run about doing cartwheels? Too much? Too little?
So instead I bent over severely in line and asked as loudly as I could, “Can you see up my nose, Mack?”
And he looked away, as if that was going to stop me now. “Can you hear me, sweetie? Can you see up my nose? Come on! Anything up there?”
I’m not sure the exact moment he conceded, but I’m pretty sure it was close to that moment. He didn’t know what to do. But he got that look of slight panic. He had lost control, and that’s big for a control freak. I saw the look. I was going to stop, but only because I had made my point. Life is embarrassing, baby. It’s even more embarrassing if you want to play with the big dogs. And well, I am going to play the part of a big dog in this story. The thing is, he has years of embarrassment and displacement to deal with. And me, I don’t care. I’ve been there, done that. And I am going to enjoy the joy that is loving life without worrying about what anyone thinks.
Wish I could say I was sorry. But I felt amazing and when I stood back up, and the blood washed out of my head, I saw Mack smirking to himself. He knows I’m funny. I hadn’t damaged him. He hated it and loved it all at once. Life’s too short, sweetie.
I’ll be here to support you and love you. I will do anything I can to make your life better, but today, believe it or not, your life was better. And I won’t tell you now, but I saw you smirk. You so love me. J
To the old and young co-existing. To laughter and silliness. To general chaos. And to embarrassing our kids when they need it most.