Monday, November 22, 2010

Tweenagers?!

“I’ve never seen a kid so excited about going through puberty.” - Hudson (about Branson, to my friend and fellow carpool-mom driving home a few days ago)
Branson has been assuring us since the day he turned eight that he’s a “tween,” and yet insists that Hudson is not a tween, even at nine. He’s talked about puberty enough that Hud and Basden roll their eyes.  I'm sensing another round of the all-too-familiar tug of war where Bran's spreading his adolescent wings in an effort to hurry and grow up, and we're checking out the impending scenery to preserve his innocence as much as possible.

Our school gave the “human growth and development” talk last week. Ugh. We’ve talked with Bran enough (Corbin especially) that we felt comfortable for him to take part, but it’s still unsettling. At the parents’ meeting a couple of days before the actual event, Corbin came away more than a little surprised with what they would discuss with these ten-year-olds, and in such detail. Even while we maintain pretty open communication with our son, who feels like he’s ten going on thirteen, there were a couple of topics that Corbin knew they had to talk through before Bran heard them from his P.E. Coach.

However, Bran has evidently been talking it up in carpool this week, because both carpool moms (who don’t have fifth graders at our school) knew “the talk” was coming. Bran told us last night that even though Coach prefaced his talk with “absolutely no laughing, this is serious business,” there was no way of keeping it in. I think my son covered his face with his coat and still shook with laughter - I just don’t know at what. Only Daddy was privy to that. Which is fine with me.

One thing I’ve been thinking about this week is the Pritchard’s opinion on their school’s sex talk in Going Public. They actually did not allow their children take part in those classes, and they say it was because they wanted the subject matter to be taught in accordance with morality. I like that. Our situation is a bit different, as every parents' will be, and we live in a different part of the country, so the talk might differ considerably, but I appreciate the Pritchard's effort towards OPEN communication combined with a deep conviction for teaching their children the biblical model of marriage and sex.

So in light of this and more, I feel like things are changing a bit in our family. We’re looking at possibly adding on to our house, because it’s appealing with these bigger bodies to have bigger spaces. Boxes of cereal and gallons of milk disappear from our kitchen at an astonishing rate. Kids meals are for our girls only, as our boys have moved onto adult entrees. Child-size plastic hangars are scant in the boys’ closet, as their shirts simply slide right off. And the one jack-and-jill bathroom that all four of our children share is more than a little cramped.

Change is on the horizon, I can feel it. In all of this, I’m enjoying these four little (!) ones, and Corbin and I are working to parent with the big picture in mind. On our knees, focusing on the big picture, with two official tweens in the house. Here we go...