A TRIBUTE TO MOTHERS OF TEENAGE BOYS
By Kat Stickroth
Oh my goodness! I had forgotten how it was. My little Petey is now “fully emerged,” as veterinarian Dr. Rice described my pup’s maleness. The two week process created mayhem with the following count: chewed up eyeglasses, annihilated rolls of toilet paper, and the cat is hiding in the closet. I feel like the single mother of a teenage son.
I remember when the hormones started rising in my own sons, Matthew and Sam. I often wondered if my sweet boys had been kidnapped and space aliens planted in their place.
Upon arising in the morning, they would walk past a perfectly good clean bathroom, out the kitchen door at the other end of the house, and anoint a tree in the back yard. I often scolded (to deaf ears) that they should be mindful of the privacy and decorum of living in town. I was grateful our house sat way back off the road so neighbors could not see.
Throughout the day, I’d walk in the kitchen and have to close cabinets and drawers. Every single one would be open. What were they looking for? That is, the snack cabinet made sense, but what about the cabinets holding fine china, or the one with cooking spices? I’d close them all, then go fold laundry or do yard work. Upon returning an hour later, doors would be flung open again. Couldn’t they remember that certain cabinets held nothing of interest to them? So why open them? Did they think I rearranged the contents every hour to keep them guessing? I just didn’t get it.
I purchased a gallon of milk on the way home after church on a Wednesday night. Opening the refrigerator the next morning, expecting to add milk to my coffee, I’d find the jug empty, still sitting on the top shelf, with the cap lying next to it.
The kicker was whenever I asked Matthew to empty the garbage. His eyes would glaze over and he would appear distracted, as though listening to an inner voice, “YOUR-MOTHER-IS-SPEAKING-TO-YOU. HER-LIPS-ARE-MOVING. ACT-LIKE-YOU-DON’T-HEAR-AND-SHE-MIGHT-GO-AWAY.”
The miracle of it all is that my boys grew up into responsible, well-adjusted men who provide for their families. So I can only hope that Petey pup will settle down after this week’s surgery and mature into the dog I hope for.
Originally published February 24, 2016 in the La Grande Observer newspaper. Reprinted with permission.