a real mother

The World According to the 13-Year-Old

Older Boy is 13. Dare I say, very 13. (My mother is quick to remind me that I was very 13 once myself.) And he isn’t afraid to call it as he sees it. His observations lack that one, often crucial ingredient – tact.
So it was no great surprise while we were in the truck the other day, he started laughing in the backseat. “Mom, you should see your arm, like where your tricep should be. It’s an arm goiter!” he announces breaking into another spasm of laughter. Of course, Younger Boy joins right in.
Then Older Boy reaches up to give the arm goiter a poke with his finger. “Look! It’s like a tether ball game. Let’s see how many times we can make it go around.”
Then one night I’m standing in the kitchen after a long day of yard work. I’d just showered and put on one of The Husband’s really big, old gray t-shirts. Older Boy walks in, looks me up and down says, “Mom, you’re kind of letting yourself go here. You’re one step away from a trailer park in that. All you need is a baby bump and a cigarette.” And then he gives me that final look of “don’t ever show up in public to pick me up looking like that.”I couldn’t agree more.

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