On Saturday night, my fourteen year old son was tugging gently at his hair when I peeked into his room to say goodnight, something he has done since infancy to soothe himself. It’s a sign that he is deep in thought, worried, chewing on something that happened that day or the day before.
I asked what was up.
“I’m socially awkward.”
On Friday, the last of his eighth grade class found out where they got into high school. Although he has known since Thanksgiving, it must have hit him suddenly that change is coming. I received two phone calls and an email from his teachers that day saying he was distracted, and could I please have him finish his assignments over the weekend.
… so the hair tugging on Saturday made sense.
“And no one thinks I’m funny.”
I held back a laugh. He is funny. Maybe just not 8th grade boy funny.
On Monday afternoon, I received a request from him for a free workout app. This from a kid who dreads exercise.
“What’s this?” I asked.
“I’m feeling self-conscious.”
I approved the download, and he did a workout before dinner, bragging about the number of squats and sit-ups he did. Then before bed, “Can you start waking me up early?”
“I want to work out, and I should shower before school. And can I try a fried egg for breakfast? I hear they’re really good for you.”
“I’m proud of you,” I hugged him.
“It’s puberty, mom. It sucks.”