An Advanced Moment of Profundity

ff Note: This post is part of Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs, where all the cool kids are hanging out. (Moms are welcome over there!) I *might* even have a column called “Teen Angst” there. Welcome to my visitors from DB; thanks for stopping in!

I have written about the younger boy in terms of his teenaged moodiness, comparing it to frogs and John Belushi. The teenaged hormones in general? Well, they can suck it. However, I am pleased to report that in our house, it seems we have turned a corner. Michigan J. Frog-style regressions are few and far between these days, and it seems like we are starting to see more and more everyday the man he is going to be.

The other day he said something that impressed me so much it almost made me cry. It was after school, on the very first day. Once he walked in the door from the bus stop, I asked him how school was, and we were off to the races. I was thrilled that his excitement for starting ninth grade at the brand new high school had not been anticlimactic for him; in fact, that’s an understatement. Once I asked the question, he quite literally did not stop talking to me for 2 1/2 hours. He talked while I finished up my computer work, while I accompanied him to the kitchen for an after-school snack, in the car on the way to the store to pick up some school supplies, and in each and every aisle of the grocery store.

I asked him which of his good friends were in classes with him, and he started going through each and every class, naming friends. By that point in our extended conversation, as he named names it made me think of Harlan Pepper naming off all of the different kinds of nuts to his mother, and then he told me something that re-grabbed my full attention and filled me with pride from my head to my toes.

He said, “At lunch? Let’s see…well, lunch wasn’t so good because Iggy (I’ve changed the kid’s name) came and sat by me.”

I said, “I thought you and Iggy were pretty good friends. You hung out with him and Ozzy (also not a real name in this case) last year quite a bit.”

Before reading on, make sure you are sitting down (you probably are), because this part is amazing.

He replied, “Yeah, but I stopped being friends with them months ago, because I realized that I didn’t like my personality when we were all friends. Hanging out with them made me act like a person who I don’t want to be, so I decided it would be best to find other friends.”

As a parent, it doesn’t get much better than that. For a boy who is fourteen and a half, that is truly a profound realization, one that I myself didn’t completely learn until seven years ago at the age of 33. And I told him that. I put one arm around him and squeezed, right there in the middle of the grocery store, telling him how proud I am of him that he came to that conclusion all on his own. I also reinforced his good decision by telling him–the truth–that I have indeed noticed so many improvements in the way he’s acted over the last several months and had no idea that it was engineered by him on purpose. He thanked me, and then told me about the rest of his day.

So. Proud.



  • Jason

    YAY for mature decisions! The fact that this occurred to him as a Freshman is awesome, usually it takes much longer.

  • DysFUNctional Mom

    As well you should be proud. That's amazing and you have most definitely done something right! What a kid!

  • Deb

    I love it when my kids talk to me like that, but it's usually only on long car rides. And learning about not liking the person you *are* with some friends, that took me like 30 years to figure out. Nice.

    (…you got PINE nuts…)

  • House of Jules

    Although I already knew about this, I just read it out loud for the sake of my uterus; if only so it will understand there's no need for me to have kids of my own. They wouldn't be as impressive. YAY, J!

  • WeaselMomma

    A. I love Harlen Pepper and his reciting of nuts. What a great movie.
    B. I thought for sure you were shooting yourself in the foot when you hugged your son in the middle of the grocery store.
    3. I'm glad I was wrong.

  • PJ Mullen

    That is an incredibly mature statement, especially since he's just starting high school when the awkwardness is usually just beginning. Awesome.

  • LceeL

    Now there's a young man with a good head on his shoulders. Be proud. He's rare. Apparently, so is his Momma.

  • ciara

    wow, that's great that he's learned that lesson early. i keep telling my 12 yr old dd that she should try different friends cos seems like there is always drama w the ones she hangs out with…better yet, why not be friends w boys cos they don't bring drama lol much more simple. honestly tho, sometimes she's a little more mature than the friends her age so she has been gravitating towards older ones now which has been going pretty well for her.

  • Lindz

    You should be proud! That is profound and incredibly mature. I wish more of my students would act like that and I can only hope that some of them go home excited about my class.

  • Otter Thomas

    You should be proud of him. A great portion of society never makes realizations like that. Good for him.

  • Sue

    Pat yourself on the back for that! I can't believe how much our, I mean your, little boy is growing up!

    I think I might have been pretty giddy in a brand new high school too!

  • Melissa

    Wow, I wish I could have learned that at such a tender age…it would have saved me a lot of heartache.

    Good for you, Mom! Listening to him for 2 1/2 hours must have seemed like forever but with that kind of information handed over, it must have flew by.

  • surprised mom

    Wow! I can see why you are so proud. What a self-realization and how mature to act on it. What a great day for you.

  • Mrs4444

    This really choked me up, Melisa, because my friend Molly lost her son as a result of poor friend choices that got out of hand. He tried to make the same break your son mentioned, but he gravitated back and was lost forever. There but for the grace of God went your son. I'm happy for you all.

  • Michelle

    Wow. Now that's impressive. Can I just send the wee ones to you to raise and then you send them back when they're all fixed and good citizens?

    And now I have the frog song and dance going through my head. Thanks. A lot.

  • Scott

    Kudos to you! I hope that someday I am able to have a similar conversation with my daughters. Keep up the good work!