1. They will see those girl parts. Even though I have been getting dressed in the dark, in the closet or in the bathroom for years, there will come a time when they bust in on me partially clothed. This intrusion will be prompted by a bona fide emergency like finding that yellow t-shirt that I told them to put away three days ago. Or telling me that their brother is so annoying when he talks like “that.” In this moment, they will realize that I have the same body parts as the people on TV and music videos but with different fat to muscle ratios. They will also get a visual of the properties of gravity first-hand. The science teacher can thank me later. This incident will suck all of the oxygen from the room and they will literally flee from the scene. I will hurriedly finish getting dressed and go directly to the bank to open a savings account to fund ensuing therapy. There is a high likelihood that we will never speak of this event, even after I have gone to confession and endured sleepless nights.
2. They smell. Actually, there is no word in the English language to accurately communicate teen boy sweat. I called this phenomenon “Sweatmones.” Their hormones—and they kick in early people—turn the sweat into a living, breathing entity and it is stronger than an army. Much like a Sherman tank, it rolls over any deodorant like child’s play. The odor hangs in the air; slapping you in the face over and over until you want to pass out. The good news? There is a careful layering process of scented body wash, (soap is totally old school), shampoo and deodorant that gives parents a reprieve from sweatmones for approximately 10 minutes out of every 24-hr period. If you can get them in the shower, that is.
3. They cannot stop touching each other. My husband and his two brothers still wrestle on the floor at least once a year, and their combined ages hover around 150. So, why would I expect the younger pups not to follow suit? A punch in the arm is like an exclamation point on any sentence and they punctuate OFTEN. They-and I mean father and sons—have a goal line stance drill that plays out in the middle of the family room floor with the dog barking in circles around them. The pictures shake on the mantle, I cringe as heads graze the very edge of the coffee table and they are in heaven. BECAUSE THEY ARE TOUCHING EACH OTHER.
4. And they cannot stop touching themselves. I cannot, will not, provide any details on this because, blessedly, I have no details on this. The saying “Ignorance is bliss’ originated with some mom of a teenaged son who had a pretty good idea that her son got “handy” but never wanted to confirm. I am squarely in her camp. The fascination never, ever ends for them. They touch and adjust constantly. Wearing boxers and a t-shirt IS “dressed”, and is how they are most comfortable, BECAUSE THEY CAN EASILY TOUCH THEMSELVES. Enough said.
5. They call all of their friends by their last name. I am forever meeting boys with no first names. It is awkward when speaking with their parents. I want to tell them how wonderful their son is and what a pleasure it was to have him hang out with us. But I feel like that sentiment is more sincere when you actually can repeat the child’s name. Conversely, my sons are now just “Stiles” to legions of young men. So, I am forced to pull out the school directory and look up the kid’s name and repeat it over and over in the car until I can spit it out without the book to prompt me. If I refer to anyone by their first name, my sons give me a blank stare like I am speaking a foreign language. Decoder rings all around.
6. There is a word limit. When they were younger, my kids NEVER stopped talking. It was word vomit tall day long. My guess is, as they aged, the word count dropped by approximately 1000 words a year. All modifiers disappear. So, by the time they are 14 there are only four words left. 1) Yes 2) no 3) good and 4) bad. UNLESS they are talking about sports. Sports brings out modifiers, re-enactments, hand motions and facial expressions to rival a Broadway show. If they are involved in the sporting event, add at least 1000 words and rampant exaggeration.
So, consider yourself warned by someone who has been there. Good luck ladies because, boy (see what I did there?), are you going to need it!