Going on 13…

What a sea change this number brings…

To see your little cuddly baby grow into a toddler and then a pre-schooler and finally now a teenager (yeah, that’s what I mean by 13 here) is not something you grow accustomed to easily. All other stages before this seem not quite alarming, but this number 13 sure makes you sit up and take notice.

Because when he turns 13, you will suddenly realise that the little guy who would always sit literally pressed against you, squishing you even, though there’s lots of space on the sofa, now sits at a comfortable distance from you. When you start realising this and deliberately make an effort to sit closer to him, he moves slightly away without a second glance and that pricks you somewhere deep. Believe me, it hurts bad! (All these years of nudging him gently away so I can have some breathing space and now I can have all the space I want…and yet I am hurt. I wonder why? sigh!)

When he turns 13, you will notice that the eternally sunny and cheerful person you once knew has turned moody and not to mention a bit grumpy too, for no apparent reason. And here we are talking about someone who was a happy-go-lucky, merry-maker almost all the time…

The little boy who would narrate all about his school and sports team in great detail without stopping for a breather, now only answers in nods and hmm’s. You dare not persist any further or else you will be rewarded with dramatic sighs, grunts and eye rolls in abundance.

And when you talk nostalgically about the action figures and toys he used to love, he gives you a look as if you were a basket case.

All the tight hugs and kisses start dwindling and become a rare commodity and any physical display of affection is a strict no no. Oh no, we can’t have any of those anymore, at least not in public.

Be prepared because 13 is the year when you will cry copious tears silently for many days and many nights. Every time he pushes away or gives you an indifferent look, you feel a pang of sadness piercing your heart.

The little guy, who wrote beautiful things about his mom in his English essay, now seems to find pleasure in mocking her ideas and crashing her suggestions.

You will be amazed at how grown up he would look at times and how child-like the very next minute.

But with all this, I am learning to cherish the moments;

When he comes into the kitchen and puts his arms around my waist and tells me he loves me and quickly disappears before I even realise what had happened;

When after a tough one hour struggle to help him complete a difficult project or assignment, he slips in a beautiful heartfelt thank you note;

When after a meltdown, he walks in after he calms down to quietly apologize with sadness written all over his face;

In all those unexpected moments, I am caught unawares and get a glimpse of that little soul hiding behind the teen facade. I want to bottle up all those moments somewhere safe so they don’t fade away in my memory.

With all that the year 13 brings in, there are those moments when he incessantly talks about the cricket match he played and gets all candid about how he was holding the bat and how he hit the ball, and that’s when I get to relive those past years; of the jolly-good carefree childhood years which he is slowly leaving behind and trying awkwardly to embrace adolescence; Trying his best to deal with the bouts of emotions that he doesn’t quite understand but still wants to show that he is grown up enough to handle things on his own.

No matter how difficult this period, the 13th year seems, I still don’t want to forget any of this. In fact, I am determined to enjoy this phase too, like all the others that came and went; because like all the others this one will come and go too…Yes, I blink and it will be gone.

And so I want to cherish this in all its glory because no matter how hard it might be at times, it still is an important milestone for my baby!

Crying and laughing and loving all the way!

To all the moms with their lovely thirteen year olds, hold on tight to these fleeting years. It will be gone before you know it, to give way to the more understanding, mature and confidant young lads and lasses.   And you will still miss these messy adolescent years. So don’t let them pass you by like a blimp…Cherish!

Love them when they say they hate you; Love them when their friends take precedence; Love them because you are the only one who will love them for who they are, no matter what! And they need to know that…

#tomomsofthirteenyearolds #confusedcrazyadolescentyears #whattoexpectfromthirteenyearolds

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “Going on 13…

  1. Oh my goodness! Kalpana ma’am! It is so obvious. U reflected millions of parents and their emotions. I seriously have to take the pledge to read this very often.

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