We had a bad day today, Beau and I did. My friend Mary, my Mother, and Scott helped talk me down from my upset, I think I'm a rotten Mother, we're all lost, everything is going to go up in flames, peak of the panic mountain place. He was just this surly angry weird kid all day today. Like a total stranger, and I suppose this is typically the beginning of his thirteen year old teenage behavior stage, but it's still so surprising.
I knew this was coming. I'd been warned by every parent I've ever met, and just like I never thought I would need reading glasses, no not me, somehow I'm better and different from everyone else, oh the ego, I thought our relationship was so special and open and wonderful that we would sail through the stormy seas of hormonal teenagerhood with nary a capsizing. But I was wrong.
It's just all so alien to me and yet I know it's normal and even healthy for him to need to pull away. Mary told me to get out my Freud and dust him off, grrrrr, Freud. I just love my son so so much and when he behaves horribly and is rude to everyone -- he actually walked up to me when I was talking to another Mom at his school picnic and said, right in front of her, "My nuts hurt! I want to go." I just stuttered to a stop right there, "I Ummm, uh, I'm sorry, I can't believe my son just said that. Please excuse us," and then I led him away from this woman with her mouth hanging open, this woman I had just been having this great conversation about weight loss surgery with.
And of course I just had to be the Mom who let him dye his hair abut five or six different shades of red, blonde, orange and black. Then I took him to the only store he wanted to go to, to buy some clothes for school, Hot Topic, this punk/goth recycled me in the eighties with safety pins and band badges store. I bought him everything he wanted and what did I expect, overnight he looks like an angry goth boy with black pants covered with zippers and chains, black wristbands, a black sweatshirt with a hood lined in red. I just thought, "Hey this is his life, let him pick his own style, have fun, whatever," but I didn't expect his entire personality to undergo a radical transformation to match.
When he came home today he had a complete meltdown because I misunderstood a cue from him to break away from the kids and speak with him privately. He was winking at me but he was also winking at little George so I just didn't get it. Then he stomped off and sulked for an hour. Then he locked himself in his room and came out later and yelled at everyone for leaving things in front of his door when he refused to answer the knocking when we were trying to get him to come out and get his stuff. Then he freaked out because he thought one of the cats touched his food, yelled Fuck, and threw the pasta and his fork into the sink and stomped back to his room. Then he ignored my asking him to come to my office, ignored my calling him on the intercom, ignored my pounding on his door, and by the time I got the master key, unlocked the door to his room, let myself in, and saw him lying face down on his bed, pretending not to have heard me by having covered his head with pillows, I just turned into this monster mini version of my Mother and freaked out at him. I yelled, I swore, I attacked him verbally, and I've promised myself I wouldn't do this.
Then later after I had calmed down I went back into his room, lay down beside him, put my arm around him and apologized for letting myself get so out of control. I apologized for swearing at him and told him I would try to remain calmer the next time. I explained why I got so upset. I tried to reason with him, but he just stiffened up, refused to make up, refused to let it go or to apologize for his behavior, (which basically ruined six people's night, too long of a story to go into, and I'm so tired), and then said, "I just want to be alone," which is his right but really hurt and is completely out of character for him. I feel like I'm losing my best friend, and I know that I shouldn't need or want anything from him all at the same time. I'm the Mom, I'm supposed to take care of and be here for him, not the other way around. But we've been so close for so long and it just hurts so much...
I'm going to go see the movie Thirteen, maybe it'll help me understand what he's going through. I remember thirteen, I haven't forgotten, but I feel like I've failed somehow as his parent. That I didn't give him enough structure or boundaries or something...