Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Other Teenagers

N in his adaptive swimming class, learning to float.
It came out of nowhere.

"Mom, would you just put me to bed tonight, but not lay down with me?"

"Sure, kiddo," I said, but I frowned a little. Normally, I'd be thrilled. Lying down with N is lovely and sweet and a great way to connect and often the only chance I get to hear his random thoughts and read with him from whichever Percy Jackson book we're up to, but more often than not I end up falling asleep there during these every-other-night lie-downs, and all my plans for the rest of the evening go out the window.

So, yeah, normally I'd be thrilled. But not this time. Because this wasn't the first time he'd made an excuse recently for not having me lie down with him. In fact, I realized in the moment, I hadn't laid down with him since his 13th birthday in late January.

And so as I leaned over to kiss his forehead, I jokingly said, "Too old to have your mama lie down with you, huh?"

"Yep," he said, grinning. "You know, I'm a teenager now. I don't want the other teenagers to find out that my MOM lies down with me at night."

"Well, we don't have to TELL them," I replied, smiling too, thinking, he cares what the other teenagers would think?

"But what if I get carried away one day, on Facebook, and I write about it," he replied. "It would be too embarrassing!"

I didn't point out that he's only been on Facebook since the day of his birthday--which is why I can no longer tell these stories there--nor that I monitor his account and his friends and there isn't a single teenager-who-could-judge among them. Nor did I ask him how exactly he thought he would "get carried away" and reveal the info.

Instead, I simply kissed him again, adding a little not-so-fake sobbing into his hair (and prompting an exasperated but very pleased, "Moooooommmm!"), turned out the light, and let my boy nod off on his own. Teenagers need their sleep, after all.

1 comment:

Green said...

I often take my friend's 5th grader to or from school, and she holds my hand regularly, sometimes forgetting to let go until we're halfway across the schoolyard. A couple of months ago I asked her "Will you always hold my hand, even when you're a teenager?" and she replied, "Probably." I hope she's right.