Saturday, October 4, 2008

Times, They Are 'a Changin'...

Keith has provided hubby and I with some lively conversation as we discuss all the new and wonderful (and sometimes, not-so-wonderful) things going on in his Middle-School life. He is ultra-aware of all of the "changes" he is about to go through, and looks forward with excitement and great anticipation to "growing up."

Recently, he came home from school, obviously distracted and somewhat jumpy.

"Are you okay?" I asked.

"Yeah, I'm fine," he said, looking at my ear.

I ducked my head to move my eyes into his line of vision.

"What?" he asked.

"Are you okay?" I repeated.

"Yes, mom. I'm fine," he insisted.

Later that day he quietly came to find me and made sure I was alone.



"Something happened today at school."

"Oh. Are you okay?" I asked, mind spinning wildly with all sorts of thoughts about what "something" was.

"Yeah... We had an assembly in the auditorium... Just the sixth graders... We had 'the talk.' They talked about 'puberty.' It was embarrassing."

"Oh. I guess it was a little embarrassing... Did they just have the boys in there?"

"No. They had the girls, too. That was part of what made it so embarrassing. He talked about getting hair under your arms- and other places, too. And he talked about how our voices are going to change," he said incredulously.

"Wow... Did you already know everything he talked about?" (He and I had "The Talk" about 2 1/2 years ago when he cornered me with one of those questions you can't get out of.)
"Uhm... Yeah. I think so."

"Who talked to you?"

"Ooh! It was some guy from the pregnancy center," he reported, whispering the word "pregnancy."

"Was it a good talk?"

"He was kind of funny. At first he said, 'Today we're going to talk to about a word that has an S and an E in it.' Everyone got all red-faced. Then he said, 'I was talking about respect. What were you all thinking?' Then we got even redder.

"He kept using the word 'puberty.' Everyone was bright red- like glowing!"

I could feel his embarrassment, but another part of me had a hard time not smiling.

"Well," I asked tentatively, "do you have any questions?"

"Nah," he dismissed the idea easily.


"Okay, well if you do, please let me or daddy know." (Especially daddy, since he's been able to effectively avoid all such discussions to date.)
"Sure," he said, already moving on to the next thought.

The next morning I was downstairs getting breakfast for the kids, when Keith came down and asked for milk. I grabbed the milk and continued on with my routine.

"Hey mom?"


"My voice is changing," he announced.

I looked up at him, incredulously. "Really?"

"Yeah," he said proudly.

"Why do you think that?" I asked carefully.

"Well, because I'm going through puberty," he said with authority.

"That's what you talked about yesterday in school."

"Yeah. But I really am. My voice is really changing. Can't you hear it?"

"Well... Sort of, I guess."

A huge grin broke over his face. He walked away looking like he had just won the Heisman Trophy.

I was able to hold myself together until he was back upstairs. Then I allowed myself to laugh quietly.

Wouldn't it be interesting if they really did go through puberty, voice changes, hair growth and all the other teen-ager things, simply by the power of suggestion? Well, maybe "interesting" isn't the exact right word...

Keith is, indeed, getting older and growing and changing. Perhaps not at the rate he imagines or desires. But he never lets life get dull around here. He is a joy to watch. And it is wonderful to get to be a part of it all!

If you see Keith anytime soon and you want to score some big points with him, just tell him how much lower his voice sounds. But beware: his head is likely to swell with pride so that you and he both don't fit in the same room...

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