At an age when a lot of kids begin to struggle with self-confidence, I think I’m beginning to see my tween come into his own. Sure, it’s awkward at times, there are braces, pimples, and the vertical challenges of being the shortest (and youngest) kid in the entire 6th grade class, but son’s developing what looks an awful lot like a true sense of self.
Boy Wonder’s always been the kind of kid who was all up in his head, thinking about people’s behaviors, watching, and wondering. Could it be that all this observation has somehow helped guide his character development? It’s hard to know, but witnessing his transformation from shy kid to confident tween has been both weird and wonderful. It warms my heart about a billion degrees to report that he likes the person he’s becoming and what’s even better is that I like him too.
My son is growing up to be a person that I want to be around and not just because he’s my kid. Isn’t that just the most incredible thing, enjoying your children as more than merely an extension of yourself? I only wish someone told me long ago that I’d have this experience to look forward to.
And so modest too! 1 of 11
Because humility takes time, let's take a look at 10 things my tween loves about himself (that I love too).
"I eat everything" 2 of 11
"I used to be picky when I was younger, but now I eat everything - well, except cheese. I won't eat cheese, but I'll eat everything else: meat, sushi, spicy stuff - everything. And my stomach looks like it can't hold a lot but I can eat more than my dad and still be hungry!"
Mom note: While the no-cheese rule sucks for a variety of delicious reasons, I really can't complain. Your indiscriminate stomach allows me more time to focus on your little brother who will still only eat five things...
"I have really good hair" 3 of 11
"I never really knew that I had good hair until the girls started touching it all the time, but then they started to get in trouble for petting my head too much. It's cool to have good hair because girls like it, so I'll keep it long - for them."
Mom note: Seriously, child? "The ladies love it" thing is new to me. You told me once that you liked having long hair so you could sleep in class and without your teacher knowing.
"I’m really smart" 4 of 11
"I'm a really good student and I don't even have to try that hard. I could probably do even better if I wanted to, but my grades are good enough."
Mom note: While I totally appreciate how easily school comes to you because I don't get your math homework AT ALL, "good enough" grades make me a little sad. Imagine what you could do if you tried just a little harder!
"I have a mustache" 5 of 11
"I have a little mustache and I just turned 11. My mom says it makes my lip look dirty, but my friends say it makes me look like a man. Being a man at 11 is pretty cool."
Mom note: It makes your upper lip look dirty.
"I’m not afraid of stuff" 6 of 11
"Kids in my class are afraid of stuff like heights, ghosts, getting shots, and even spiders. I'm not afraid of really anything - not even getting in trouble...usually."
Mom note: You're afraid of plenty of things, and being proven wrong easily tops the list. Son, as long as you're brave enough to stand up to injustice, tell the truth, and open your heart, you'll always be a brave.
"I’m a good reader" 7 of 11
"I love to read books - mostly fantasy stuff. They give me crazy cool dreams and ideas of what to draw. Plus, my teacher and my mom like that I read so much. I even earn medals at school for it."
Mom note: You are a great reader. Keep it up, kiddo!
"I have a good memory" 8 of 11
"I like growing up and getting to do cool things, but I still like being a kid because kids remember everything. Like, I still remember all the names of the Thomas the Train trains and what the names and the powers of each Pokemon. I haven't been into that stuff for years."
Mom note: Enjoy it while you can. Is it any coincidence that I don't remember life before you?
"I’m a good artist" 9 of 11
"I've been taking art lessons for almost six years, so I'm a pretty good artist. I think I'll grow up to be an artist or an illustrator and make a lot of money."
Mom note: You are a wonderful artist, but you will one day discover that "good artist" and "make a lot of money" don't always go together. Reach for your dreams, but remember: education, education, education!
"I’m a good big brother" 10 of 11
"I let my little brother win sometimes and help my mom out with him a lot, so I think that makes me a good big brother. It's not easy, [BooBoo] is a pain and is always upset about stupid stuff, so I have to try really hard to be nice to him most of the time."
Mom note: It's true, BooBoo can be a pain, but he's our pain and we love him. Thank you for serving as a positive example for your brother in everything you do. He has big shoes to fill, indeed.
"I’m pretty cool" 11 of 11
"My friends tell me I'm cool, so I guess I am. I'm really funny and like to play hard. I'm also a good friend, so I think those are the things that make people cool - being funny, playing hard, and being a good friend. People who don't even try to win at P.E. aren't cool."
Mom note: I think you might be on to something when it comes to defining "cool", however I'm cool and never once tried to win at P.E. on account of my hair.