...The Unpopular Hero
This could very well be my tombstone; especially if I’m lucky enough to have it written by my son Bubb who at 10 ½ is heading straight into the turbulent throws of tweenhood. He’s still young enough to think I’m supermom, but just old enough to put my trading card in the twofer pile of unpopular heroes. I’m a walking oxymoron.
My reaction to him is just as ambivalent as I struggle to define him. In fact, I looked up the definition of tween and found this:
Tween: A child between middle childhood and adolescence, usually between 8 and 12 years old; half boy, half teen.
The definition of “werewolf” shared about 95% of the same keywords as “tween”. Interesting.
So, is Bubb still a boy? I would like to know, because right now I don’t know whether to give him a time out or ground him; give him pajama’s or boxers; a stuffed animal or an iPod; bubble baths or showers? Perhaps I will consider the habits of this “tween creature” and draw my conclusion after exploring the following conflicting hypotheses…
Bubb is still a boy because as smart as that child is, he could give a rats ass about learning to tie his shoes, putting his shirt on without the tag sticking in his face, or wiping off a two hour old chocolate milk mustache.
Bubb is almost a teen because he has efficiently replaced full sentences with growling, scowling and eye rolls. I assume this is a scientifically proven method for voice and thought conservation, indicating that he is strategically preserving traditional communicative resources for profound statements and sincere words of endearment for his superhero mother.
He is still a boy because behind his closed bedroom door I can hear the animated, spit splattering sound effects of galactic Lego battles and hot wheels car crashes occasionally interrupted by what now makes him almost a teen…
… The mature throat clears and pseudo swear words such as “crap”, “crud” and “what the…?”
Bubb is a boy because despite the fact that I purchase titanium armor clad clothing, he still manages to create holes in the knees of all his pants.
My son is nearly a teen because all of a sudden, he cares about how his hair looks… even though his collared shirt is on backwards, his shoes are untied… and that chocolate milk mustache is stuck in the beginnings of sprouting peach fuzz.
He is still a boy because he never talks about girls, plays with girls, or even admits to knowing any girl names…
But, he is almost a teen because when he sees a girl, he hides his blushing face with a maneuver we have dubbed “turtling”, which involves pulling a jacket, shirt, blanket or any similar item over his head.
Bubb is still a boy because even though he doesn’t like to snuggle, he won’t let me leave the room at night if he’s still awake.
However, he is a teen because he doesn’t want to actually see me in the room. He just wants to know I’m there... kind of like an invisible force field. That’s where my superhero powers come into play…
"Oh well". What is this unpopular, supermom to do when the kryptonite of tweenhood is looming on the horizon waiting to cripple my powers? Perhaps I need to learn some new tricks; or trade in my tattered cape. Maybe it's time to make room for a new hero... Bubb.