Officially a Mom to a Teenage Boy.

My only offspring is now a teenager and as expected, it kinda hurts my mama heart. His voice is lower than I’m comfortable with, he’s as tall as I am, and his friends are “dating” (but not him, so he says). We don’t hold hands anymore, but he still kisses my cheek before leaving the house so I will consider that a win.

Never could I have imagined 13 years would pass so fast. And what am I doing? Looking through old pictures finding it impossible to remember my man-child being so small and cuddly.

This day 13 years ago, I was clueless. I had no idea what the hell I was doing: I overfed him his first week home and watched him projectile vomit in his crib. I’d never cried with a newborn in the bathtub at 3AM before, brand spanking new experiences. Later that week, I dropped him. They say babies are less fragile than they appear, and he proved that to be true.

PSA: Don’t fall asleep while you’re holding your baby in a chair – they’ll barrel roll all the way to the ground.

His first word was, Hi! And it didn’t stop until it was almost unbearable.

Hi. Hi. Hiiiiii. Hi! HI! hi. -Bennett

Ya know the song Rumor Has It, By Adele? When it finished, he asked: What do you think Umar has? When he picked our brains about shooting stars he said: I’d give my wish to mom.

Now that we’ve begun the teenage adventures I’m grateful that he’s still a sweet boy, just now a little more stinky and way more annoyed. Thankfully, proper documentation is not a problem for when I’m feeling sentimental, sad, proud, and weirded out – all at the same time.

There was the Elmo phase, his first real obsession. Middle of August, it’s hot and humid and like a diamond in the rough he spots an Elmo costume at a rummage sale. Kid could care less how sweaty he was, lived in the thing all summer.

When they’re toddlers, you can’t look away for more than a second, but on the other hand, you don’t even want to. You just stare at them like,”you crazy little person, what the f*** are you even saying? Why are you so adorable? I can’t believe I made this little monster who’s destroying everything“.

and it’s kinda magical.

When he was four my dad snapped my favorite picture of us, oh, and this was also the first year he was able to write out requests to the Easter Bunny.

Dear Easter Bunny, Please bring me tattoos.

He stole the show on our wedding day. From the moment he crept up on me while taking pictures, his robot dance moves, and genuine silliness…he made our day over and over.

He began showing initiative to save money by jumping in a ride with a stranger instead of using his own coins at Chuck E. Cheese, that was a proud moment. Another personal favorite? He insisted, swore up and down that he would love tomato juice. Why? Because red was his favorite color…and tomato juice is red. Life is actually that simple when you’re five years old.

He also declared his like for big butts, and couldn’t lie about it.

…and I busted him taking his first selfie.

There was the time we pulled a pretty stellar April Fools joke on him…

His voice on that video is so small, and he hasn’t grown into his teeth yet, but if you listen close to the beginning: “I love you guys.” He’s always been one to randomly throw out an I love you and I assume that means he’ll make a pretty great husband someday (to the girl I’ll try my best to like).

And just like that, he’s a big kid. There was always a preconceived notion in my brain saying little kids are harder to parent. My big kid likes to sleep in, and so do I. The challenges don’t get easier, they just change.

I’m not scared of the teenage years, not even intimidated. I know him. Is he going to give me an attitude when I don’t deserve it? Yes. Is he going to do half the shit I did when I was a teenager? I really really hope not.

December 1st

Every year December 1st comes around and reminds me that my kid is another year older, another year of his childhood – gone.

Nine. Nine years old. Which means I started brewing him like ten years ago. To think I’ve committed myself to something for that long is impressive – I mean… I know he’s my kid and all – but shit. TEN YEARS?!

I lay in bed at night and wonder if I’ve done anything that he will resent me for later, or even now. We’ve reached an age where everything is rememberable (I made that word up). My kid’s memory is insane. What is he going to throw in my face when he’s 16? What does he have in his back pocket? What could we have done this past year, experienced or changed that would have shaped him differently?

Good Lord, what have I fucked up?

Parents with small children – enjoy the mulligans while you can. Soon they will be 8 years old and throw in your face that time two years ago when you said we could do that one thing, after that happened – and it’s all happened…

SO WHY AREN’T WE GOING?!

The last few Decembers that have passed I’ve tried to wrap my head around the concept of raising a big kid, rather than a little kid. It’s a really weird transition. I have to tell myself, or my husband looks at me with an, are-you-fucking-serious? look… to allow my totally-capable-kid do his thing – whatever it is. If he succeeds on the first try – great. If it takes him 45 minutes and nothing has been accomplished – okay. If he blows the house up… at least he tried to do it on his own. Life Experiences!

The best difference is instead of helping, teaching and taking pride in watching the light bulb click, I’m sitting back and taking in his pride for being able to do this, that and the other on his own. There is nothing in the world I love more than the smirk my kid gets when he has accomplished something, especially when I wanted nothing more than to either a.) do it myself or, b.) tell him how to do it.

A lot of things have changed in 9 years, thankfully, some of my favorite things things have stuck around. He still wants me to tuck him into bed. He still blows me kisses from across the school field when I drop him off in the morning for school. He still lets me call him any obnoxious nickname I can think of. He still wants me to read to him. He still wants to hang out with me – and that’s awesome. 

Every year has given me a variety of things to feel bittersweet about. At this point, we’re half way to 18 – but I’m not ready to wrap my head around that quite yet. Double digits next year…

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Dear Bennett

I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be. -R. Munsch

Year One

Time To Come Home

I was scared crapless, you were not. Lots & lots of crap…more crap than I ever thought humanly possible.

You learned to roll over & I lost all ability to take a long, careless shower.

It wasn’t long after you mastered crawling that you were taking your first steps. Ambitious as ever, you started running & learned quickly that hills can be dangerous when you got that scar on your forehead.

Your first favorite word? Hi. Hi. Hiiiii.

halloween#1HI! 

This is the year I rapidly learned the value of a Friday night in. Before we knew it…you were two.

Year Two

You hated being dirty; this was the cleanest year in the history of you. There was no tolerance in your little body for sticky hands or muddy pants; and for that…I was thankful. [I trained you well].

We had many conversations – mostly silly nonsense that gradually became more & more logical. This is the year your gears started turning & never stopped. The year you started asking why.

shadow

This is the year I rapidly learned the value of curiosity. Before we knew it…you were three.

Year Three

Your independence & your silly began to show this year; constantly on a mission with a giggle.

Your you-ness began to shine. If there was any chance you’d grab someones attention – there was nothing off limits.

Your giggle was infectious and still is, every so often…it’s the same at eight.

Three Year Old Silly

This is the year I rapidly learned the value of slowing down to laugh. Before we knew it…you were four.

Year Four

Your ability to make friends where ever you go was becoming the norm.

Your little heart, always in the right place [you get your people-pleasing gene from your mother].

You certainly were not a baby anymore… and reminded me often my assistance was not needed.

My most favorite photograph of the two of us was taken this year.

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Fun Fact: Dad was behind those yellow flowers – making them all pretty like for us.

This is the year I rapidly learned the value of raising a little boy. Before we knew it…you were five.

Year Five

The very first year of T-Ball…

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Most days, that’s how you felt about it.

As the season progressed you continued to practice & try your best.

By the end of the season – you were more like this…

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This is the year I rapidly learned the value of patience. Before we knew it…you were Six.

Year Six

As a new 6 year old you raised $360.00 for Special Olympics & jumped into a pool of ice water – for a good cause.

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I was proud of you then & I’m still proud of you today.

Later this year… you danced until you dropped at Mom & Dad’s wedding.

bennett dance
You did a mean ‘robot’.

You stole the show & that was a-okay with us.

This is the year I rapidly learned the value of being a Boggs. Before we knew it…you were Seven.

Year Seven

You were toothless for a while.

toothless

You chatted up the ladies.

ladies

You took selfies.

selfies

You made me flowers for mothers day.10277712_10152470865075452_5530614702072964475_n

You stole my heart…just like you have every other year.

This is the year I rapidly learned the value of life. Before we knew it…you were Eight.

Today… you’re half way to being able to legally drive a car.

Happy Birthday My Love.

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This is the year I will rapidly learn the value of something.

No matter what it is, I’m happy you’re the inspiration behind it.

Love,
Mom


Update: December 8, 2015: Another Year Older.


Year Eight

The beginning of this year had some rough patches, you got it together and showed your ability to overcome less than desirable situations… like changing schools.

first day of 3rd grade

By the time 3rd grade rolled around, you met new friends, rode your bike around the block by yourself for the first time and proved you could officially eat more than me.

eating

We met Harry, the only other redhead that’s as cool as you are…

BennettandHarry1

and you were the most awesome Halloween sidekick there ever was…

batman and robin

This is the year I rapidly learned the value of your individuality. We got a grasp on how to be – and how to raise a big kid. Before we know it… double-digits.

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

― Dr. Seuss, Happy Birthday to You!

 

The Tooth Fairy Gives Cash Bonuses For Pain & Bad Decisions

With his tone mocking that of an angry teenager, Bennett says…

“I am not going to bed tonight with this tooth in my mouth!”

So where do we go from here?  …The obvious of course.

We decide we will tie a string to that little tooth & secure the other end to our pantry door in the kitchen. Brandin went downstairs to collect the materials. (String.)

We had some pretty great expectations for what was about to happen – all of us. ‘Had’ being the key word. How silly and naive for us to believe that it would go exactly as planned.

Attempt #1: WHAM! The string flies off the tooth.

Attempt #2: WHAM! Bennett is still attached to the door. Bennett, you can’t jump forward with the door. 

Before we attempt a 3rd time we have a small family discussion. The result was that Bennett was still all in.

We gave him the chance to back out…please remember that as you read on.

Attempt #3: WHAM! Again, the string flies off the tooth.

Brandin gets down on his knees and re-ties the string to Bennett’s tooth. This time a tiny little piece of Bennett’s gums get stuck in the knot of the string & It starts to bleed; There is absolutely no way to untie the string.

Frantic is the perfect word to explain Bennett’s demeanor once he felt the pinch & saw the blood.

Fun Fact: I was videotaping this entire ordeal – which is what it had become. It was no longer funny. It was no longer cute…it was a messy ordeal.

There was this moment I was watching the screen on my camcorder, tears are streaming down his cheeks at a rather rapid rate & I realize…

This is getting weird.

That’s when I put the camcorder down.

Brandin gets back down on his knees, face-to-face with our bloody mouthed son to evaluate the situation we were dealing with.  I resorted to the corner of the kitchen, trying to keep my dinner down. In case I didn’t mention it sooner – I don’t handle the whole “teeth pulling” scenario very well.

I don’t typically have a weak stomach, but there is just something about pulling a tooth and leaving a bloody hole that doesn’t agree with me.

THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN!

From the corner I hear, “I don’t know Bud – Mom is going to have to take care of it.”

Pull it together Jen…

I’m not sure what came over me – but I went into full-blown “Mama-Beast-Mode”. There were no other options; I had to get that tooth out.

This had to end.

I marched over there & looked directly into my son’s eyes, gave him (and myself) an encouraging smirk…(I tried to smile, but that also didn’t go as planned) and I plucked his tooth out.

String still attached, dinner still in my stomach.

Success!   

That night, the tooth fairy was generous; apparently there is a cash bonus for pain & bad decisions.