My son is a teenager, a young adult I suppose. Some of the physical, emotional and social changes he is going through are wonderful and are vastly improving my relationship with him. Drawing us even closer. Some of the changes on the other hand are f##ked and make me feel our family would be better off if I sent him away to boarding school and rented out his room to three heavy-drinking Irish backpackers.
This time of change, brings about many… changes.
A wonderful, positive “my son is now a teenager” change –
I can watch “MA” movies, I don’t have to make him look away at the violent scenes and he understands the plot. The other day I am sitting watching that Kevin Costner/Sean Connery classic, “The Untouchables”. Halfway through the movie Capone picks up a baseball bat and beats a disloyal mafia dude to death… and I didn’t have to get my son to avert his eyes! During that same movie I explained the concept of “prohibition” and it was understood. This now opens the way (much to my wife’s dissatisfaction) for masters Clint Eastwood, Bruce Willis, Sly Stallone, Joe Pesci, Quentin Tarantino and Bobby De Niro, to play a much bigger part in our lives.
Freaken annoying “my son is now a freaken teenager” changes –
When I am standing there (hypocritically) getting up my son for receiving a less-than-sterling report and a complete lack of effort, I used to look down at him. It gave me a distinct air of superiority and authority. Now I am looking down just a little, it’s probably more like I’m looking across at him. Some of my stature has been diminished and with it has my mandate.
All his peers, for want of a better word… stink. It used to be that you could pick up 3-4 of his mates from rugby doing the car-pool lift home, and you could tell if they were eating lollies because you could smell the “Redskins”. Nowadays, you have to have every window open because they smell like a wet hessian sack full of taxi drivers (with all due respect to those cabbies who don’t smell, I’m not talking about you).
Our wrestling events, be they over the remote control, possession of the prime couch-spot or just a random biffo, are now much closer, hard-fought events. It used to be that my 70kg weight advantage meant my wrestling moves (namely the Backbreaker, the Facebuster, the Drop Down-Town and the Cutter) were more than enough to overcome his pathetic ones (the Boston crab, the Piledriver, the Doomsday Device and the Atomic Drop). Now, his moves really hurt.
My only son, now makes me cover up my tattoo before I go to any event at “Hornswood Affluent Boys Grammar”. It’s of utmost importance that I do not appear too loud, too outgoing, too convivial, too party loving or too tattooed, to any of my son’s teachers, his peers, parents of his peers or his myriad of female friends. Basically, I have to immediately stop being me.
He will not leave his f##king hair alone. Understandably, with a bald dad, bald uncle on my side, bald uncle on my wife’s side and bald-as-a-badger grandfather on my wife’s side, he will not have hair for too long. So he’s enjoying it while it’s there. They may invent a cure for baldness by the time he is in his twenties and he won’t have to try to fight nature as I did, but until then, DON’T CONSTANTLY TOUCH IT. He and all his mates are forever sweeping their hair to the side, preening, flicking, pushing, lifting and wafting. I know this is hypocritical (again), because in the 80’s, living in Hornswood and attending “Hornswood Affluent Boys Grammar”, our hair was relentlessly dyed, bleached, doused in hair spray, gelled and moosed, but I think it’s the father in every generation’s right to complain about his son’s hair.
Things change when our little boys, become young men. They become secretive (who knows what the hell is going on in his room), they sound like Russell Crowe, they need to shave, they won’t do homework, they are constantly on social media, they bully their sisters, they hate your radio stations, they eat like John Candy, they get zits, they dominate the television, they need to be driven everywhere, they spend money, they argue (every opinion or request of mine apparently needs justification), they know everything, the opinion of young girls is more important than any opinion their mother may have, they sleep in half the day and they wake up surly.
We love them dearly, but freaken hell!
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