YESTERDAY WAS The Boss's thirteenth birthday and WHAM, just like that, now I have TWO TEENAGERS living in my house. And yet, even though he's got a peach-fuzz mustache and his voice is deepening, I can't help but remember him when he was all
The Boss was born just three days after my birthday, which means that in 1998, I kinda stopped having birthdays. Which is cool, because I was 31 on the day he was born and I'd be okay if I could just continue to celebrate the anniversaries of the day I turned 31 instead of the day I was born, back in the Gay Nineties heyday of the rotary dial telephone the Sixties.
But the darndest thing with kids - they grow up. You can cuddle and coddle and try to squoosh them down and keep them from growing, but soon they're looking you square in the eye and articulating keen observations and you can start to see the grown-up they'll soon be.
Even though they all look like me (Curt has been known to refer to them as "Meg, Megger and Meggest"), each of my boys has a unique personality. It's fun to observe them as they mature. Sometimes I wish for the days when they were cuddly babies or chubby toddlers. Things were easier then. But The Boss has been such a joy to parent.
Recently, he and I found ourselves alone at the house on a lazy Sunday. I tried to interest him in getting out of the house. "Let's go buy you that new pair of sneakers you need," I prodded. "Or how about we go see a movie? Just us two!" He hemmed and hawed and hesitated. "Oh, c'mon," I urged. "Let's!!"
"Uh, it would be kinda embarassing if my friends saw me at a movie with my mom, Mom."
He didn't mean to crush my maternal heart or to drop-kick my spirit, but that comment was such a kick in the gut. And despite my futile protests ("It isn't unusual for a kid your age to be seen in public with your parent from time to time"), I totally understood where he was coming from. My boys don't believe it, but I DO remember what it was like to be thirteen. It wasn't all that long ago, really. I know what it feels like to wrestle with your feelings for your parents, to try and achieve independence.
We celebrated his big day in the way that has become our tradition: Dinner out at Sakura, a Japanese steak house. We love the hibachi, the goofy show the chef provides as he whips up fried rice and sears steak and seafood and veggies. And he's my kid, too, in that he could take or leave cake. It was a good night.