Teenage boys are naturally awkward. They can't help it. Fortunately for a few, natural charm overcomes gawky as they make their transition to manhood with a little more self-awareness. On the opposite end, there are those that you silently ache for as it is apparent that they are adorably clueless to the scene around them. These poor adolescents are struggling with:
- a tenor voice that is struggling to become a bass.
- locker rooms (*shudder).
- the inability to realize that public flatulence is NOT COOL.
- the frustrations surrounding unrequited attention from the girl who doesn't know he exists. (Is it just me or does it sound like I'm prepping to write Taylor Swift's next big hit?)
Fortunately, the two teenage boys who approached my front door tonight are far from that last category. They were more than decent, polite and well mannered as our exchange began. Without knowing it, their request that I support their football fundraiser provided me with a moment of,
"Wow. I really do live here. This fundraiser means I'm a neighbor lady. I'm totally legit." Because truly, there are days when I wake up and feel that I'm an impostor living the life of someone who is far more experienced in the ways of Motherhood than I am. PTA sign ups? Really?
That moment of validation (?) was reason enough to go search out the checkbook. I'm sure Andrew is shaking his head in disbelief as he reads this, but honestly I had no idea what the Dominoes card I was purchasing entitled me too. My bet is pizza. I didn't ask for the details.
To my complete frustration, I am a people-pleaser and am certain that I will never outgrow my desire to make a positive impression (read: I want to be liked by everyone). I was like,
"HECK YES, I'll buy one. Do you take checks?" And with that Lottie and I disappear into the kitchen.
Did I mention that they rang the doorbell? For my children, that sound triggers Christmas-like enthusiasm. Potentially, in their minds, that bell ringing could be indicating the possible arrival of a friend! Ooooh. Right? They SQUEAL when it rings; whether they know who is there or not. Eliza flew down the stairs, but wasn't fast enough, as I arrived first.
Henry, who remains upstairs in the bathroom, is equally curious to know who our unexpected guests are.
"Mom! Come help me put my clothes on." He wails. Wanting to find my check book as quickly as possible, I disregard his request. A small red flag begins to wave.
"Why aren't his clothes on?" Lottie's unpleasant mood steals my attention away from that thought. Finally, I have found a pen that works. As I sign and date my ten dollar check, the foyer is suddenly ringing with laughter.
I can hear Henry's footsteps as he darts in the upstairs hallway from one end to the other. Before I locate him, I see the two teenage boys. Their eyes are filled with tears from laughing. The one I know from Church is red in the face. Wiping away a bead of sweat from his brow, he leans over to calm himself down.
"Your kids" he pauses to take a deep breath, "are SO funny."
Eliza, who is giggling behind the door, peers upstairs. On cue, Henry pauses at the top of the stairs, wiggles his stark naked bum at his audience below and then darts out of view. What should I say?
"Um, I'm sorry?"
Because I am likewise AWKWARD (still waiting to outgrow that phase of my own life) I begin to over-communicate. I know. You're shocked. It's a defense mechanism I've developed to put to sleep (and/or bore to death) whoever it is that finds themselves sharing in a moment of awkward discomfort with me. All feelings of "I'm an adult who keeps it all together" vanish as I shut the door, in the middle of my verbal tirade/apology.
I'll close by saying that our door is always open to visitors. But please, consider yourself warned as it would seem we have a little ruffian in our midst.
(I LOVE you Henry!!)