It’s been a hot minute. I’ve had M on my mind a lot lately. From good-natured complaining about his early morning antics to legit concerns about his future, there he is. Looming large. Literally.
The other day while we were standing around chatting about whatever in the front room, I noticed how tall he’s gotten. I’m not exactly a giant. At a current five foot nothing, I’ve already begun shrinking. So as I often tell my kids, almost being as tall as me isn’t that impressive. He outgrew me years ago. Just this past August he was only 5’4. He’s suddenly at least four inches taller. He’s caught up to his brother, his uncle, his grandfather, and is on his way to matching his fathers height of 6’1. All of the sudden, BAM!PUBERTY has struck. Not in the obvious ways. By the time his brother was the same age he had a baby mustache. The one you beg them to shave off but they are so proud of having. Said sixteen year old still has not shaved it off, but has trimmed the hairs on his chinny-chin-chin.
While I’m noticing how big he is getting, how he is growing into a man, I am also struck dumb at how he is still so socially, and in some ways physically, behind his peers. It smacked me in the face as if I had never noticed it before. I know I have, but then he kind of catches up, and I forget. I get wrapped up in the amazingness that is just another one of my kids. I made them, and they’re growing into their own people and I am nothing short of amazed by them every day. And then there it is, a small, tell-tale sign he isn’t quite like all the other fourteen year olds. He isn’t as socially conscious as them. He isn’t chatting away day and night with his friends. He’s happy in his own little world of FanFic and iFunny and FNAF and Game Grumps and whatever else is awesome this week.
I love him.
Even though he starts coming in my room at 8:30AM, and shout-reads something from his phone at me. He doesn’t give me time to process whatever he’s reading to me. If it’s long he just rambles on without even stopping to take a breath. Then he exits just as quickly. And pops back in five minutes later to do it again.
Now, I speak fluent M, but when he gets excited he still slurs his words, drops entire swaths of consonants and the occasional vowel, and sounds kind of like Jack Sparrow on a bender. He’s recently “graduated” out of speech therapy twice a week and is down to once a week. After ten years. And I get drunken Jack Sparrow at home.
Social Media is my Court Jester
Which is cool. I dig a good story too. But social media is king of my universe. Or maybe just the jester. But it’s there. He just doesn’t care about the social aspect of media.
It’s so funny, because I often focus on how smart he is. How far he’s come in handling his day-to-day things. He still has Learning Strategies as a class, so he still gets a few hours a week of help keeping organized and making sure everything is turned in, but overall, he’s handling his stuff. In “advanced” classes. He’s holding awesome conversations with us about current events and politics and just random stuff and making well thought out points.
But he’s still got a baby molar or two holding on for dear life. He still boops my head, cuddles up, gives me kisses, and watches silly shows with me.
It’s been one of those days where I stop and wonder if he will be ready for college in just three short years. I’ve often lamented that I wish we had kept him back in kindergarten, but I never realized until fifth grade. By then it was definitely too late to hold him back for no educational reason. He was too old to feed some BS excuse to, and too young to understand that staying back a year would benefit him in the long run.
I know it will work out. I’ve just found myself being worried lately over things I can’t control. Hakuna Matata motherfucker. Maybe I need it tattooed on the inside of my eyelids.