There is something so sweet about young boys (just like the thumbnail pic and the one above). And then they become feral teenagers. I figured I better follow up with 15 Things I Hated About My 15 Year Old to show I wasn’t a totally heartless wench of a mother. I will start and say he is a twerp 65% of the time. He is annoying as hell, but he is lovable as they come, too. He’s not my little boy any more, and I’d like to think I’m raising him to believe chivalry is alive and well, and that he needs to treat everyone with the utmost respect.
- He fights for the underdog – My son will be friends with anyone, as long as they have a decent moral compass. Popularity is never part of the conversation regarding whom he befriends. Often, he befriends the underdog because they are kind human beings, and he will fight for them when others find them easy targets. It doesn’t hurt that he stands taller than most of the bullies.
He can carry on an adult conversation with adults of all ages – Perhaps because of the school he attends where the students are on a first name basis with the teachers, and the fact that he’s traveled the world so much, and has to present his Eagle project… whatever the reason, he can look any adult in the eye and carry on a conversation about almost any topic. People I know continually tell me how impressed they are with his willingness to have conversations with them and his ability to be so conversational. I smile at this since half the time at home, I just get grunts.
- He’s committed to large ideas – He is one step from becoming an Eagle Scout and his project is making a town park to better the community. He took an oath to become a Scout, and he’s taken this oath to heart, referencing it many times throughout various writings about genuinely wanting to better the world around him. In 8th grade, he had to apply via essay to have the right to present the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on the Washington DC trip. He was one of the winners, and in his essay wrote about being a Scout and wanting the chance to thank those who serve and have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country’s freedoms. I still get weepy even thinking about it.
- He wants to wear his Eagle Scout uniform as his high school graduation outfit – He’s a sophomore, and he’s already asked if this is an appropriate thing. This just makes me smile. He is proud of the dedication and years of work it has taken to become an Eagle Scout. And so am I.
- He’s passionate about ideas – The election is this year – as we all painfully are aware – yet in order for him to defend some of his ideas for supporting his chosen candidate, he has asked for books to read to learn deeply about peripheral issues. Color me super impressed here.
- He reads the news – Each morning as he eats his breakfast and before our daily dose of MLB (NFL, NHL, NBA – pick the season) and WWE <deep cleansing sigh>, he fills my husband and I in on what’s happening around the world. He’s our own personal news aggregator.
- He will not be a bystander and he will not back down from people He will stand up and call people out and has zero issues about any backlash. He is intolerant of abusive behavior/words towards other people. If he believes something to be right, then he will stay on task with the issue and continue to call people out. Last year, there were several boys who were treating others poorly, and most people wouldn’t stand up to them for fear of these boys’ backlash. My son verbally took them on, reported their behavior, continually followed up about the issue. I feel like belting out Tom Petty’s I Won’t Back Down.
- He’s extremely athletic and has big dreams surrounding this: He attends a sports academy for one sport and travels on another regional scouting team for a different sport in the summer. He understands how hard taking it to the next level is, and is willing to do whatever it takes to make these dreams happen– sure, lots of kids are athletic. There are fewer who willingly sacrifice their time to push themselves harder every day to achieve higher heights athletically.
- His attitude – While this can be the bane of my existence, it’s also the thing that’s allowing him to learn to engage in debate – this is a loosely used term for him because 90% of the time, he’s flat out arguing; however, his fierce attitude will pay off later in life. He just needs to continually learn the finer points of savvy debate. That, or he’ll get his teeth kicked in.
- He doesn’t conform – He has his own sense of who he wants to be and if he wants to carry a Dory backpack, and someone says something to him, he has no issue with it. He considers them to be small-minded. Yes. A Dory backpack.
His moral compass – He wants nothing to do with mean people or people who make poor decisions. He is a genuinely sensitive young man who works to create harmony in the world around him. I think he was a monk in a former life.
He will dance with his mom – We recently attended a friend’s wedding, and my son gladly danced with me. He and I have some funky moves, but several people commented on how few teenaged boys are willing to cut a rug with their mom on the dance floor.
He is goofy as a summer day is long – He will make you giggle with his facial expressions, his words, and his actions. He’s totally OK in his own skin. He still thinks the knee fart (cup your hand behind the crook in the back of your knee and pump your leg up and down) is funny. Truthfully, when he does it, it makes me snort.
He can laugh at and learn from his own mistakes – His teacher asked him to stand at lunch the other day and read his 1st week of school reflection – it was about learning how to overcome his struggles and deal with his frustrations – something the whole school needed to hear, and they gave him a standing ovation because it resonated with them all. He is learning to become a man.
- His teachers tell me how wonderful he is – I’ve always said the measure of how I’ve raised my children is how they behave for others. I appreciate their positive commentary because I generally want to punch him in the throat. I’m genuinely glad to know he is such a positive contributor to his academic community.
mother-son thumbnail image credit