Saturday, September 26, 2015

Meet my drunk teenager

Because I am the world's best mother, I gave my cell phone to my 15-year-old son. I carried that phone for 5 years. He had it for 3 months and then jumped right into the neighborhood pool with it in his pocket.

Look, I wasn't mad (see world's best mother reference above). I know it's not technically his fault. The rolling wave of testosterone that's unfurling in his blood blocks oxygen to the brain. It forms an actual barrier somewhere just south of his neck. This is science, people. You can't fight it.

My boy is walking around in a paralyzing fog of hormones that makes him, for all practical purposes, drunk. He's exactly like me after five beers. Laughing too loud, interrupting everyone, walking into stuff, falling off of stuff, convinced everything he says is hilarious, jumping into the pool with his iPhone in his pocket.

But now that he's just like me after five beers, he can legally learn to drive a car? OK, people who make the rules. That makes total sense.

He used to smell of warm dinner rolls, fresh cut grass, clean laundry. Now he's shrouded in musky fumes whose origins I prefer not to contemplate. He used to hold up his tiny, dimpled hands to let me know he was ready to be carried. Now he's a head taller than I am and speaks mostly in grunts.

Well, except that time he jumped into the pool with his cell phone in his pocket. That event traumatized him into temporary talkativeness. 

"I'm so sorry! I'm SO SORRY!" he moaned. Pause for two beats. "So, can I please get another phone?"

The flip side of my drunk teenager is that he's super useful. He can mow the grass and spread the mulch and drag the garbage out to the curb and make lunch for himself and his little brother and carry ALL the heavy stuff. 

For years, I felt like a baby/toddler/little boy sherpa, forever schlepping their little bodies and all their gear everydamnwhere everydamnday. These days, when I pull into the driveway with a carload of anything, I just hop out and saunter into the house, leaving the cargo for the teenager to unload. 

Most of the time, he even greets me in the driveway. He knows the drill. He knows who buys the cell phones around here.

Well, unless there's something fragile in the car. I still carry that stuff. You really don't want a drunk teenager hauling your breakables.

Just leave that in the car. I'll carry it in.