Thursday, January 4, 2018

Riding in (Flaming Race Cars) With Boys

While on Facebook today, I was reminded what a joy it was to raise a teenage boy. By joy I mean absolute terror filled, unbuckled ride in a flaming race car ride through life. It was by far the scariest thing I've ever done.

A mom was sharing pictures of her 14 year old male offspring who had managed to burn himself rather severely by taking a pot of boiling water and flinging the contents into the air to see if it would freeze mid-air in the cold weather.  Conclusion, it did not freeze and still came back down at the same temperature as it was when it went up.  Genius 14 year old spawn ended up scalded.  
This poor mother was begging someone to tell her that her son would in fact grow some brain cells and make better decisions than this one day.  I couldn't give her the comfort she so desperately sought - for I have raised a small penis-bearer from birth to adulthood and there is little hope.  I tried to soften the blow by telling her that when they turn 18 they at least become their own problem, legally.  There will still be those “Hold my beer” moments.

All I could tell her in my answer to her “When will he grow up” question was this:
“He won't... Ever! The good news is, they eventually turn 18 and become their own problem. Things my son did.
1. Arrow roulette - group of boys stand in a circle and one idiot stands in the middle with a bow and arrow. Said idiot shoots arrow straight up into the air and the other members of the idiot group watch it go waaaaayy up and try not to get hit when it comes plummeting back to earth. Idiots. Yes, we stopped them once we realized what they were doing.
2. Skateboarded off a chicken coop roof and gashed his arm open to the muscle and tendon. Required stitches.
3. Fell skateboarding, lost consciousness and had a seizure. Came home and told me a day later when he and his friends were laughing about it.
4. Purposely put 1 inch holes in his ears in the form of "gauges".
5. Punched a wall and crushed three hand bones when he hit a stud. Idiot needed surgery and pins in his hand for 8 weeks.
6. Went skateboarding down a steeply inclined paved road. Picked up so much speed that the board fishtailed and got away from him. That landed us in the ER with road rash on one half of his body, scalp stitches and a broken wrist. I learned two things that day.
A. My son is really bad at skateboarding and risk assessment and;
B. Idiots heal.”

Bless her heart, I didn't have the heart to tell her that this was all in his last few years before he turned 18. I didn't mention having to call the Poison Control Center on him five times as a baby because he got into EVERYTHING. I didn't mention him falling off the bunk-bed. I certainly did not mention him taking a boat into the middle of a lake even though he couldn't swim; and yes, he TOOK - as in stole some person’s canoe - AND went into the middle of a lake where he could have easily drowned. I found out about that one a couple of weeks later when he told on himself. I didn't tell her about seeing him walk out of the woods at me with a head-wound pouring blood down his face. He looked like an extra from The Walking Dead. My heart stopped! That was the day I found out how profusely tiny head-wounds and scratches can bleed. He thought it was funny. I immediately became an advocate to legalize pot for mothers.

Some things are just better left unsaid.

So, I have spent the day reminiscing over raising my kids, and especially raising my son.  He has absolutely been the joy of my life and the terror of my soul.  Im sure any grey hairs or wrinkles I acquire in my life will be 90% due to raising my son.  Sure, my daughter gave me 5-10% of them, but my son made me earn my stripes.  While I can laugh over the chaos he put me through over the years, I have to smile at all the love he gave me too. I could be ready to strangle that little pain-in-the-ass and he’d hug me and say “Mom, I love you” and my heart would just melt. And the thing I’m most proud of is that he turned out to be a good person. He may still scare me to death, you know, getting in a car wreck, flipping his car, and not telling his mother until after I saw him because he said he knew I’d freak out. Yes, this happened around Thanksgiving. And while I may have unleashed another goofball, man-cave dwelling, testosterone-driven Dude on the world, I have also unleashed a good man, a kind person, a beautiful heart.  I’m pretty proud of that. So, hold my beer and watch this...