You know all about Boy Wonder — the kid who grew nearly five inches last year who’s now suddenly sprouting pimples and hair in all the … places. While I knew it was only a matter of time until we’d meet again, I’ve got to tell you, I wasn’t expecting to see you so soon. You see, my son is still a kid. He likes Legos and SpongeBob. He eats SpaghettiOs and argues with his brother over the toy in the cereal box. And yet here you are, showing up at my front door and expecting to stay here for like the next seven years or something. You really should have called first.
For those of you who might not know, parenting a kid along the puberty path is beyond weird for you, your kid, your family members, and probably even your mailman. There are things happening. Unspoken things. Things nobody wants to talk about but suddenly has to. It means using words like “penis” and “vagina” more often than you want to. It’s pubic hair and maxi pads. It’s hoping your kid doesn’t ask awkward questions and then worrying when they don’t. It’s pretending to be comfortable answering awkward questions and then hoping you answered them right. It’s performance and information and openness and it’s scary and amazing and real. [read more…]