My older son and I have been knocking heads lately, so much so it seems like I’m always arguing or disciplining or being a wicked mother and it is starting to give me a bit of a complex so I did the one thing I could think of to relieve some of my teenaged boy anxiety and irritation. I took my daughter and nieces to go see Beauty and The Beast in 3D this past weekend. It was girls’ day out, complete with licorice, chocolate, popcorn and mushy musicals.
Sometimes girls just need a chance to be girls and sometimes that means copious amounts of junk food, the inclusion of a Disney princess and a timeless love story.
(There may have been some nostalgia on my half as well. Beauty and the Beast (non-3D) was the movie I saw on my very first date. His name was Chad and he was shorter than me. I was smitten with him. He dumped me for some rich girl named Mary.
I’m not bitter or anything.
Not anymore at least.)
One of my favourite parts of Beauty and the Beast is when Mrs. Potts yells at the Beast, “You must control your temper.”
Mostly, because I’ve been saying this myself quite a bit as of late.
It would seem my son hit puberty, reached six feet in height and the hormones are making him a glorified Beast. For that matter, it feels like his puberty is turning me into the Beast as well.
Only, there is no magic rose, I’m not a talking teapot and he’s fourteen so I refuse to think about the fact there may indeed be some princess out there waiting for him just yet.
Sitting in a dark theatre filled with my daughter and a passel of little girls was just the salve I needed to help with this boy problem I seem to have.
I understand girls. I get them. I know how they think. This raising teenaged boy stuff?
I DON’T GET IT.
And every time I think I do have a handle on it, something shifts and BAM! I’m back to scratching my head and wondering why I didn’t see that curve ball before it hit me in between the eyes.
There are days I honestly feel like I’m failing at boy raising.
I just want to stomp my feet and whine, “Raising boys is hard, yo!” and then bury myself in a mountain of chocolate.
First it was the endless fascination with choo choo trains and dinky cars. Then came the juvenile preoccupation with potty humour. And now there is a slightly disturbing obsession with nearly naked chicks wearing string bikinis and oil while straddling motorcycles or muscle cars.
I’m not going to mention the passion for first person shooter video games or anything involving weaponry. But only because that seems to be the only common ground the boy and me currently share.
Where I can look at my daughter and see the wheels in her brain spin, and understand exactly how she gets from point A to point B, I’m actually mystified when it comes to my teenaged son.
And sadly, for the most part, I’m doing this alone as his dad is often missing in action, away at his job. My sweet little boy child has turned into an over sized man cub with facial hair and body odour and I’m still thinking of him as the wee cherub with dirt on his cheeks and scabs on his knees.
I’m hoping this is just the normal growing pains a mother feels as her boy becomes a man, and I’m hoping my son’s sudden acts of belligerence and attitude aren’t an indictment of my parenting or a prediction of his future.
But really, what I’m hoping most for is that when all of this puberty and adolescence is over and my man cub is a full grown man, he’ll look back and know that even though the ride was rough, we made it together. And he’ll love me for all my pestering and mothering, even as he towers above me.
And maybe, if I’m really lucky, he’ll have a girl child of his own who can give it right back to him.
It’s the mother’s curse and I freely gift it to him.