The bathroom door is shut yet again.
My God, it is happening.
Not for me, of course. I survived that wild wasteland many decades ago. But for my youngest.
I remember clearly the same with his older brother. About midway through that eleventh year, the earth started to shift under my feet.
And so it begins. With something as mundane as a closed bathroom door.
What emerges, after 15 minutes, is a boy who has taken great care with the hair gel I bought him. His wavy hair is carefully slicked with the swoop over the forehead just so.
I suppress a smile, as I see the globs of gel still stuck in his hair. He cares enough to want to look good but not enough to be sure the gel is properly distributed.
I tell him how handsome he looks and ask if I can help “just a tad” with a comb. He acquiesces, another sign puberty is still around the corner. When it hits, I won’t be allowed to touch that hair.
And when the hair is just so, I ask him to hurry so he will not be late for school. He dons his winter jacket, too warm for today’s unusually clement Midwestern weather. I remind him of the climbing temperature and ask him to grab his hooded sweatshirt. Instead of doing so, he tells me that “hoodies ruin hair.”
Winter jacket it is then, my love.
Hoodies do ruin hair. Just like approaching puberty can ruin a mother’s sense of peace. He will not be mine forever. And that is as it should be.
I can make peace with the closed bathroom door and the hair gel.
I will save my battle gear for girlfriends and requests for the car key. And I’ll make sure he wears a hoodie on every date. After all, hoodies ruin hair, as every good Romeo (and his mother) knows.
23 Comments Add yours
So sweet. Boys at that age are both tough and tender. Brings back memories.
Ugh. He reminds us that in four years he’ll be a teenager. At 8 1/2, he’s been playing with different hairstyles. ??!!!! He’s the most innocent kid his age, homeschool bubble and everything. But he picked up that boys sport diff hair at the gym (MMA class). I don’t envy you. Watching and learning. LoL.
Every day is an adventure :-). Never quite sure what he will come up with next. Stock up on the red wine now.
Ha, ha. I have two teen boys. Time flies! Oh the adventures.
When you’re in the midst of teenage angst, it feels like every detail is the most important thing in the world. I wish I could go back in time and tell my 14 year old brain to chill. I think I would have enjoyed my adolescence so much more if I hadn’t taken it so seriously.
Wouldn’t we all? 🙂 But I guess taking it seriously is part of the journey . . .
For fear of messing my hair after combing my wave in with wet comb stroke after stroke, I’d walk to school without a hat. After arriving in a warm building from a winter walk, my frozen wave would melt and the resulting thaw would run down my face. Thank goodness I lost my hair as I ‘matured’.
, The pains of beauty :-). None of us are immune to it at that stage in life, are we?
You have observed such a small thing as hair gel, so eloquently. It seems that boys often spend more bathroom time preening than teenage girls. Oh and the expense of matching products. Good luck !!!
I know! I do not remember there being so many product options for boys as I was growing up :-). But I guess it’s just a sign of the times.
Just this week my 29 year old son asked me to send him his old passport. The photo was taken with the hair all gelled in that typical spiky style. When he saw it he freaked out and wondered how I could have EVER let him go around like that. The wheels have finally turned.
Isn’t it funny, when we look through the time capsule, how differently we view things? I am totally rethinking the knee socks with shorts looks I pulled off in the ’70s:).
🙂 I don’t envy you puberty – it was bad enough to be a teenager myself!
good call on the battle gear…from a mother who used to kneel beside the ironing board, with the iron set to permanent press to straighten her hair!
Oh no! That sounds painful:).
Pick your fights. This too will pass! You get it. Your a great Mum. 🙂
I’d forgotten that journey Kay, my boy is a young’ish 37, waaaaaay past puberty…I think 😀
We are just entering the hair gel phase but not yet to the hour-long shower phase:). Thank goodness.
Shoot, that brings back memories :), you have my utter admiration….for what you are about to go through 😀
Smiling. And something else…. it is, as you said, as it should be, and yet… I believe I mourned the emptying next for an entire decade! Don’t get me wrong. I celebrated it too, loved it, but very definitely mourned at the same time. Motherhood is just such a complex, multi-layered, intense thing.
Oh, you nailed it in that last sentence! And yet, so simple at the same time–just love, right? 🙂
Lol…if only it were that easy.
Oh, you’re telling me, George! 🙂