Funky body odor. Dirt stashes. Increased food budget. Gamer talk. Texting with girls. Pleas for a later curfew. It’s official! I have two 13 year old boys! How did this happen?! I mean, I know how it happened, but I can’t believe it’s happened.
I remember the day they were born and the peace and calm I felt regardless of the facts they were born 10 weeks early and one of them needed help breathing for the first 3 days. Somehow I knew they would be okay despite the doctors careful explanations of the regression most premies go through. I knew my boys would continue to improve daily with no setbacks. And that’s exactly what happened. They grew from 2 lbs 10 oz and 2 lbs 15 oz to 4 lbs each within a month! The doctors let them come home a month before they were supposed to because they never regressed!
The transformation that occurred that first month they were home was no less a miracle. If you’ve ever seen a baby at 30 weeks you know that they tend to resemble wrinkly old men with alien shaped heads. At least mine did. (They were beautiful nonetheless.) But after being home for a month they looked like chubby faced cherubs. Once again despite the doctors warnings that they may be delayed and take time to catch up, they progressed within the normal to top percentiles. And they continue to amaze me to this day.
However, as with every stage of development, there are challenges. The most recent being letting them stay home by themselves. It’s been a topic of conversation for a while now not only in my home with the boys themselves, but also with my Ex as we try to stay consistent in our parenting and work as partners. It’s not easy and there’s been a lot of compromising. Mostly because he is EXTREMELY protective and I am just a little over protective. I can understand his concerns, but I also firmly believe that these two kids, who are genuinely good kids, deserve the chance to prove their budding maturity by coming home on the bus and staying home for a few hours by themselves. The compromise? They can take the bus 2 days a week. But it was a struggle to get even this agreement.
During this transition into adolescence I find myself teetering between being their advocate and fighting for their right to
party have a little independence, and questioning whether I’m making the right decisions. And the questions keep coming. Do I give in to their incessant requests to watch The Walking Dead? Do I let them buy Mortal Kombat for their Xbox with their own money? Do I let them have a Facebook account? When are they ready for these things? UGH! There are so many opinions out there too, which just makes things even more confusing since I’m one of the rare breed of people who can see sense in both sides of most arguments.
I never thought I’d say this, but some things were a lot easier when they were each 4 lbs with apnea monitors, strict feeding schedules, reflux and less than 3 hours a night of sleep for mommy!