I am not old enough to have a teenager. Am I?
My oldest is fourteen today. Holy cow. Fourteen. In this crazy state, that makes him old enough to learn to drive. He won’t, mostly because he has autism and will probably never drive, but I would not put a fourteen-year-old behind the wheel of a car unless I absolutely had to. As the next two kids coming up – they’ve already been told.
But fourteen! I still feel young! I can’t possibly have a kid who is taller than I am and looks like Shaggy from Scooby Doo. Seriously, he does, but that’s mostly my fault because I need to give him a hair cut. But he has that same half-slumped posture, the same reedy, skinny figure, same appetite, and the same goofy laugh. And his voice! It’s gotten so deep! No nasty cracking or breaking. He just woke up one morning sounding like Barry White. Face it, my baby is no more. Slowly but surely, he’s turning into a man. In four years he’ll legally be an adult.
So I’m spending my day feeling old, but also feeling very proud of how far he’s come. There was a time we never thought he’d speak, and now he tells me what’s on his mind. He is starting to care about what others think of him, and is getting that teenager-y vain streak. You know the one – when they stare into the mirror endlessly getting the hair just so? That’s a huge step for a kid with social issues.
Yes, my boy is growing up. And you know what? He’s pretty cool.