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The Misshape of Things to Come

15 Aug

As my son’s second birthday approaches, I can’t help but think ahead to what he’ll be like when he’s older. Especially since he is already growing up so fast.

Obviously, I can’t possibly predict my sons future interests based on what he likes as a toddler! I highly doubt he”ll still enjoy “Yo Gabba Gabba,” climbing up and down stairs, and pulling tissues out of boxes as much as he does right now. But I always say “find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in you life,” so go for it, tissue puller!

But really, about the only thing I can predict for him, with nearly 100% accuracy, is that for much of the time between the ages of 12 and 17, he’s going to be hideously ugly.

puberty, reddit, toddlers, parenting, sons, teenagers

My son is beautiful. Truly. He has a chubby, cherubic face with puffy cheeks, gorgeous long eyelashes, bright eyes and a body curly mop of hair that won’t quit. He’s an adorable little kid (objectively speaking) and I have no doubt he’ll grow into a good looking man. But that evolution won’t be without some hiccups.

When he’s a teenager he’s going to be gross. And I don’t just mean his personality, which is thus far delightful but will be obscured by a cloud off angst around the time he turns 13.

Puberty is cruel. And that’s without even getting into the dating and the sex and the lack of dating and the no sex that comes with the early stages of it. I’m talking about the way it takes your beautiful child and turns them into a sideshow freak. All you have to do is look back at any number of family sitcoms and watch as the adorable little child star slowly evolves into Frankenstein’s monster.

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The examples are endless: Ben on “Growing Pains”, Jonathan on “Who’s the Boss”, Kevin Arnold on the “Wonder Years”, Paul Pfeiffer on the “Wonder Years”, everyone else on the “Wonder Years”, Stephanie on “Full House”, Malcolm in the Middle, Chandler on “Friends”… the list never ends. I mean, did you catch a glimpse of Haley Joel Osment as a teenager? Just terrifying.

I have a long way to go before I watch my son transform into Brundlefly, but he’s growing up very quickly already. It won’t be long before my sweet-faced little viral video star is staring back at me from behind a Lon Chaney mask.

I will still love him, despite his terrible face and obnoxious personality and horrible taste in Skrillex-Roots-Fusion-Rock or whatever the latest music craze is, because despite what my blog might lead you to believe, I am a good person and a good father. And I will empathize with him because I – like everyone else – have gone through it. But it won’t be easy. Because the last thing I want is a reminder of my own terrible transition from boy to man, especially since mine hasn’t even finished yet.

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Actually, the last thing I want is to stare across the table at some Island of Dr. Moreau looking kid who’s loaded with acne and snaps at me when I ask him how school’s going.

For now, I’m safe in the company of what is very likely the world’s new standard in toddler beauty. But no one outwits Mother Nature, not forever, and we can’t get him plastic surgery until his metamorphosis is complete. So there’s another storm coming, this one purely biological, and there’s nothing I can do about it.

Except maybe send him off to boarding school.

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2 Responses to “The Misshape of Things to Come”

  1. musabee August 15, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

    What a terrible age. I feel like it takes a toll on everyone around the 13-15 year old, but they think they’re the only people to ever go through something so awful.

  2. mrmomman August 16, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

    Love the Lon Chaney reference.

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