Sometimes being a parent is hard. The crisis of the moment is the most important thing in the world - and it's hard to explain that it really IS just a moment in his life and not the way it will be forever.
This morning my boy was bemoaning the fact that he has PE this semester - which means "dressing out" in front of everyone. It's a little embarrassing. He's a bit on the pudgy side at the moment. His growth pattern as been to pudge out for a bit, then shoot up, all that extra fat stretching out and fueling extra inches. It doesn't help that his favorite "activity" is video games and he loves food. There's a bit more than a coming growth spurt can account for, hence the extreme embarrassment at having to undress in a locker room full of other boys.
I told him that the other boys were changing and any looks he got were cursory (checking others out and comparing yourself to them is normal). He wailed that I didn't understand.
Oh, yes I do, son. When I was a sixth grader, I was a chubby little girl and I too had to change clothes in an open locker room. It was embarrassing - but I lived. I got through sixth grade and PE dressing out all the way through twelfth grade. And guess what? Your dad was in the same boat as you too.
Being unsure of yourself is very common on the cusp of adolescence. I wasn't immune. Neither was your dad. And neither are you.
The good news is this: it doesn't last. One day you'll look back and realize that as dire as it seemed at the time, it was really nothing. Just a blip in your life.
As this conversation was winding down, a song came on the radio and we both fell silent. My eyes teared up and when I turned to look at my boy, I realized that he had teared up too.
"What does it mean, Mom?" he asked, wiping his eyes.
It means that you'll grow up too fast, your life will go by in the blink of an eye, and at the end of it, you'll realize that every moment of your life was just that... a brief moment in time.