Who’s Pregnant/Doing Drugs/Getting Wasted Everyday/Running Away?!

A while back, Big Son was in a weird mood.  “You know I’m going to be seventeen soon? And then I’m going to finish high school?”

“Yeah, so?”

“Well, seventeen is soooo old! What have I really done with my life? What have I achieved? Where am I headed? It all seems so meaningless right now, you know? I don’t know what to do. I’m so confused.”

His angst was freaking me out. I went into “No-nonsense-Mother-Mode.” (Embedded in my psyche from years with my own mother.) “Is this where you tell me you want to quit high school?”

“No.”

“Is this where you tell me that you’re doing drugs? Getting wasted at school?”

“No!”

“Okay, Is this where you tell me that your girlfriend is pregnant?”

A very emphatic, “NO!”

“Okay, well you know if any of those were true, I would still love you and I would hit you over the head if you didn’t talk to me about it. So what is it then?”

“Nothing. I’m just questioning my life and the path I’m on. High school is nearly over and  it feels like there’s nothing left out there for me. Im so old and I havent achieved anything meaningful.”

I rolled my eyes. “Oh puh-leeaze. You’re only seventeen. Way too young to be freaking out over what you think you have and haven’t achieved. Get a grip. Go do your homework. And clean your filthy pit of a room while you’re at it. The mold growing in there is doing bad things to your brain.”

Fast forward to now. I’m thinking about my upcoming birthday next month. Deep sigh. I confide in Big Son. (Because who else am I going to talk to?! The neighbor’s cat that scrabbles through our garbage?)  “I don’t want to be one step closer to forty. It’s soooo old. I don’t feel really old. I feel like I havent even started living yet, you know? I mean, what have I really done with my life? There’s so many things I havent achieved yet, so many things I should be doing. I don’t want to have another birthday. And  time is running out. And I’m in a capital L for Loser place in my mind, you know?”

He raised an eyebrow at me and said, with a completely deadpan face. “Is this where you tell me you’re on drugs? Getting wasted every day when we go to school?”

“Huh? No.”

“Is this where you tell me you want to quit being a writer, quit being our mother and run away to be a plus-sized supermodel in a KMart catalogue? Or a professional Ryan Reynolds stalker?”

“No!”

Then he looks worried. For real. “Is this where you tell me that you’re going to have ANOTHER baby? And I’m going to have to babysit and look after ANOTHER little brother who steals my stuff or ANOTHER little sister who hogs the Xbox?”

“Hell no!”

A shrug. “Okay, well in that case – puhleeaze, you’re only 38 mum. Way too young to be thinking about what you have and haven’t achieved. Get a grip. Just hurry up and finish writing your next book already.”

I’m miffed. “Thanks for nothing. That’s not a very nice thing to say to your mother when she’s having an inner crisis.”

Another shrug. “Just doing it your way.” A huge smile. “How does it feel?!”

I scowl. “It sucks. And you forgot the bit where you tell me that you love me no matter what. I think I’m going to go do drugs now. And get wasted. And quit being your mother and run away to be a show-dancer in Vegas. But first, I’m going to have twins so you can have ANOTHER little brother and sister to drive you nuts. Ha! You’re going to be soooo sorry that you weren’t more sympathetic and helpful to me in my time of need.”

Big Son didn’t look worried at all. Or even the littlest bit regretful. “Whateverrrr mum.”

I think I’m going to talk to the neighbor’s cat next time I have a pre-mid-life crisis. Talking to one’s children is highly overrated.

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21 comments

  1. Poor Big Son. I can't believe he thinks he's old! Talk to me in another 15 years kid! I can't help but wonder if it's this modern world that makes us believe we need to have everything together by the time we're 10 that makes us all have mid life crisis' when we should be enjoying every moment we have.

  2. Big Son is freakin' hilarious..LOL..LOL!! Lan above is right as 17 is sooo not old. But it seems that he is a mature enough kid to be thinking about his future, which is a good thing. So good job Lani! I would have to agree with him when he says you need to hurry and finish writing your next book already! LOL!

  3. Malo Lani! I've only just started following you blog and it's so refreshing and comforting to know that I am not the only mother having her words regurgitated back to her by her children. I really enjoying your sense of humour (yes sometimes we deflect our craziness by using humour!) and honesty with your writings, especially with your kids. My sixteen year old is now doing the ‘It’s sounds like you’re feeling frustrated mum and I’m hearing… ’!?! Eh, please! Looking forward to your visit to BrisVagas in May! And especially When Water’s Burn… there’s a teenage girl inside everyone woman lol – just got to find her Daniel!Glenda

  4. Haha!!! I had this conversation with the boyfriend in January. I turned 23 and thought, I'm still living at home, still an intern, still not sure where my life's going to end up….I'm a failure!!!!! He told me to shut up because I'm only 23 and plenty of 23 year olds r still living at home and at least I'm out of college. (Easy for him to say, he's 22 in his own apartment with a full time job at an accounting firm, the loser) I've decided that noone understands!!!

  5. Oh how I've missed your blog. I've been on a bit of a hiatus, but I just wandered over here today. I'm glad I did. I've missed a lot. Anyway, Big Son, although, 17 sounds so wise for his age. You guys did a good job with him. I just turned 35 last week. But my body feels like it's 40 so does it really matter how old I am? I've abused my body w/ sports, weight gain, pregnancy, and yo yo dieting that I wish I felt like I was only 35. lol You have good genes Lani, you don't look your age, you lucky duck! Hopefully when my big son starts pointing out my mistakes I will be have a clever comeback. lol Or else my scatter brain will have gotten worse and my son will be thinking of committing me to a home by then.

  6. I am amazed by kids abilities to remeber the wrong things! You can forget to pick up your toys but you can remember two weeks ago when I said we could go for ice cream when grandma visited. Amazing.

  7. Ha! I think I feel like that every year. Oh to be seventeen again! The skinniness, the freedom, almost no bills at all! Oh, and no toddlers taking off their diaper and running off to pee on my carpet…gotta go.

  8. Ms Kellerman I know for a fact that you are a lean lithe, exuberant energetic TWENTY_SEVEN year old! Okay youre chasing a diaperless toddler but still youre full of vim and vigor! Oh to be 27 again…LOL

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