I feel him starting to slip away. He's been 13 now for almost a year. I naively thought that somehow, we were going to gracefully pass right through that transition unaffected by the change that comes when a kid becomes a teenager. When they assert their individuality.
When they don't want their mom around anymore.
I suppose there were some clues that it was near. The daily showering and styling of his hair, a clear departure from the previous years where if I didn't drive it, a shower wasn't happening, and he was more than fine to leave for school with his hair sticking up in several places.
He started sharing less information with his younger sister, and I welcomed this ,as the details he had recently started sharing weren't appropriate for her ears anyway, sex related information that is typical talk of middle school boys.
But its only this week that he started giving me those looks. Those looks that silently tell me “You're crazy,” “You don't know what you're talking about,” and “You're embarrassing me”.
The looks quickly led to to statements. “Im fine mom, just let me handle it. You don’t need to tell me what to do. I don’t want to talk about it with you This is too weird. Leave me alone mom. I’m going to my room.”
Suddenly, my sweet boy who could never stop telling me about his day, and how he made people laugh at school, and making sure I was aware of everything that was going on in his life, stopped wanting to tell me anything. Suddenly, everything I said to him was wrong.
Suddenly, he was a teenager.
I know this time is natural. Hormones, friends, school, they all change a kid. I know it won't last forever, the rebelliousness, the irritability, the impatience with me. I know this because I remember it from my own youth.
What I don’t know is, how not to let it make me sad.
This phase will not last forever, but the phase before this one might be gone forever.
There’s a chance he might never return to being the boy that wanted me to know everything about him.