Thursday, June 25, 2009

Puberty - it's all new to me

First, I'm a girl. So I did girl puberty. Two, it was, what, like 28 years ago? So it should come as no surprise that I'm a little thrown off by my oldest son, and first child, starting to go through puberty.

Because I am who I am, it always has it's origin in guilt. Why don't I know more about this? Why aren't I better prepared? Why am I not at Barnes & Noble scooping up every book they have on my tween son and his budding manhood?

The good news is that he has a very good and open relationship with his Dad and me, and he knows that he can ask us about anything. Dad is an active and comfortable teacher and doesn't get all weirded out by having to explain, well, you know, stuff. Griffin isn't easily embarrassed, so we have to teach him what is and is not appropriate to share, and what should remain private. All new territory for all involved.

Well, the other night, Larry and I went up to give him a kiss goodnight (we'll see how long he lets us continue that ritual). Griffin is like any other kid, perpetually messy room, covered in Lego projects and Transformers. But I'm a stickler about trash and dirty laundry, and we keep those things in check. So we were a little surprised when the smell in his room almost knocked us out. I mean, it was bad. Like dead critter bad. So bad that even Griffin noticed it.

A long and comprehensive search for the odor's origin ended abruptly when Dad (thank god it was him and not me) found one of his shoes, picked it up, and stuck his nose in it. I thought he was going to pass out. I never, ever, in all my life smelled such a stinky shoe. And the way the odor permeated his entire room was baffling.

Dad removed the offending shoes, and Griffin got a lecture on always, always wearing socks with his shoes. We gave them a good wash and replaced the insoles. A sign of things to come, I suppose. I've bought the acne wash for the shower and, because Griffin insists on wearing his thick, curly hair long, lectured him regularly about the need to wash, condition, and brush.

Like everything else with parenting, I'm really just rolling with the punches. I try not to read parenting magazines and articles online because I end up feeling like those authors totally have it all together, and thus I should also have it totally all together, with all my parenting answers neatly organized and easily accessible for any situation that may arise. There's the guilt again. I feel like too often, like with this whole puberty thing, before I know it I realize I've been winging it for so long it's too late to go back and start over.

My baby is growing up before my eyes. My mantra, love them and do my best, and apologize when I screw it up. Which is often. Headed to Barnes & Noble tonight.

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