I wonder how long it takes a teenage boy to learn the art of giving compliments and how long they have to practice on their moms. Actually, with my son, it’s not the giving he needs to practice. It’s the stopping.
The most recent lack of stopping started in church on Mother’s Day as the children’s sermon ended. As she stood before the gathered kids, the director of Christian Ed had asked what they thought that day was. Among the figiting, untying of shoes and twisting of hair came the answer “Sunday?” When she challenged them to think harder, they guessed spring, Easter, and a few other things. She then asked them to think about who might be with them in Church that day before answering. Normally, when a minister asks a question at a children’s sermon, the answer “Jesus” is usually a safe bet. But that morning they seemed to sense that she was looking for something a little less obvious. Eventually one of the kids offered up “Moses?” My teenager was actually getting into his persona as perfect-son-doting-on-his-mother that he had donned for church that morning. I didn’t mind that this wasn’t the permanent state of affairs — He’s a teenager; I’ll take what I can get. He winked at me and laughed with the rest of us. Finally the kids were given a variety of gifts to remind them of their mothers’ love and Gods love, including a super ball to remind them how much they are loved even when they’re bouncing off the ceiling. Leaning in my son asked, “Mom, did I give you a lot of grey hairs?” I just smiled and said, “Maybe a few.”
That would have been a nice moment, if he could have left it at that.
But no. He starts with the not-stopping as he adds the compliment he’d been thinking up.
“You can’t really see them today.”
Again, he’d reached a good time to stop or start back-pedaling. I asked him if that was to imply that you generally could see grey hairs, (at 6’it’s entirely possible that he sees things I don’t as he peers down at me.) lobbing him up the opportunity to lie through his teeth which I am well aware that he is capable of doing. Confident now in his bonding with his mom on Mother’s day, he forges ahead — with honesty.
“Only the top third of your head.”
It only took me until Tuesday to dip into the household funds to have my hair highlighted to disguise the grey.
© Laura Hedgecock 2009