Yup. My mama never told me it be this hard. Or, maybe she did and I really didn’t pay much attention. I admittedly have trouble paying attention sometimes. It’s highly likely she may have told me and I just tuned her out. I do that sometimes. But, I digress…
It is SUPER hard raising boys!!! I have two boys, ages 12 and just about 9. For over eleven of those years, I would say they’ve been a breeze. In fact, I have often talked with my husband how blessed we were to have boys. I’ve seen friends and family with girls in constant hormonal battle with their daughters over clothes and make-up, boys and other such stuff, not to mention the attitudes! If I had a dollar for every time I said to someone, “Boy, the Lord sure knew what he was doing giving me two boys and not a daughter!! No way I could put up with that!” Ha! I’d have a lot of dollars, I’m just saying! He knew what he was doing for sure!
Then, my oldest turned 12. I am telling you in all honesty and truth, my sweet, pleasant, loving, super sensitive 11 year old son went to bed one night and woke up the next morning a 12 year old back talking, eat me out of house and home, know it all with the hormones and attitude of a 16 year old girl, boy! My kid is a Jekyll and Hyde: He’s still my sweet, pleasant, loving, and super sensitive 12 year old boy, with a big dose of craziness on the side. Who knew that a boy in the awkward beginning stages of puberty, would develop hormonal cycles without the yucky stuff a girl has to deal with? I certainly didn’t. At least I don’t really remember studying it. My mother thinks it’s the most hilarious thing she’s ever witnessed. God, in His grand design, is giving me what I so well deserve for the apparent hormonal attitudes I unleashed on my parents some 30 years ago.
And, this season lasts for years! YEARS!!!
Besides dealing with the natural side effects of puberty, it’s also a somewhat sad season for me. I feel like time is speeding by so very quickly. This, I do remember my mom telling me quite frequently. My 12 year old is starting to pull away from me and test some independent boundaries. I’m having a really hard time with it. Perhaps some of you can relate.
First, he had the audacity this year to start the middle school program!! How dare he!! Sixth grade. He was so excited to start the school year and change classes in the hallway by himself. I was so worried he’d have trouble finding his classes or get there on time. (Silly, and unwarranted, I know.) I hate the shift in friendship dynamics with the emergence of clicks and harsh bullying. Thankfully, because my son is blessedly naïve in some of that stuff and that’s not making an impact on him yet. But, it’s coming, I know it.
He started the “big kids” youth group at church. He was super psyched about that. But, “big kids” youth group brought along with it, more advanced topics of biblical study with guys only retreats, all nighters and winter camp, which is coming up this weekend. (Hello, it’s 4 1/2 hours away!! Is that necessary? Who cares if it’s a wonderful program with a history of impacting youth for the Lord?? It’s my baby and it’s 4 1/2 HOURS WAY!!)
I have to sometimes beg for a hug. Or, I get the sideways, quickie hug. Not too much begging. But, for a kid who’s been glued to me for the past 11 years, it hurts the few times he does!
He’s starting to roll his eyes at me. ROLL HIS EYES!! I know what that means. It means, whatever I’ve said or done to warrant the eye roll is apparently dumb or uncool. I’ve done some eye rolling in my time, and I know this to be true. I’ve even caught my mother coming out of my mouth, “Go ahead and roll your eyes again and see what happens, go ahead, do it!” Sigh.
I’m told this season only gets worse before it gets better. My mom tells me that. My dad tells me that. My friends tell me that. Everyone tells me that. I know it to be true. I am assured though, that we will emerge on the other side in one piece. Not only do my family and friends assure me of this, but, more importantly, the Lord assures me in His word:
2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
If we, even through the craziness and chaos of this season, bring our boys (and girls) up in His word, they will be okay. And, so will we. Because, after all, He’s got our back!