That strange place between boy and man

Now that the cold weather is upon us, I made a point of spending some time last weekend digging through my teens’ winter clothes. Now before you go and give me credit for being a good housekeeper, I should warn you that “digging through” does not mean pulling out boxes of neatly folded garments that I would have put away at the end of last winter. Nope. I’m not that organized. For me, “digging through” means exactly that: DIGGING THROUGH.

It was at the end of this little exercise (actually, not so little considering just how disorganized I really am), that I realized that my son needed a few things on account of he grew about three feet over the summer.

First stop: Old Navy

 Dear Old Navy, I can always count on you to carry my son’s size in jeans: man-tall / boy-slim. So thank-you for that.

Even though my son is more than halfway to “manhood”, in many ways he’s also still very young.

Oh sure. He’ll take it upon himself to carry in the groceries or open the jar of pickles, which in many ways shows that he’s on the verge of being a man. But mostly he’s still on the edge of boyhood.

I’d like to stop here for a minute to make one thing clear: I LOVE THAT.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not ready for my kids to grow up.

Back to our story . . .

While I was browsing through Old Navy, doing the ‘shopping’ part of shopping, my son was busy at the giant gumball machine getting himself a super ball for a dollar.

It’s all good. I mean who WOULDN’T want a super ball for a dollar – especially when they’re stuck shopping with their mother?

Next stop: The Bay

Luckily shopping is easy with my son because he enjoys it just as much as I don’t. And our work would have been done at this point except that my mother had asked me to pick her up a pair of slippers.

So off we went to The Bay for slippers; all the while my son was busy bouncing his ball as we walked. I didn’t mind because as long as he had that ball, he wasn’t complaining, right?

Finally we found the women’s slippers department where I immediately got into ‘seek & find’ mode because at this point, even I was tired of shopping.

About ten minutes into my search I looked over at my son and realized that he was trying to get my attention in a not-trying-to-get-my-attention kind of way. He was standing very close to me with a look on his face that said, “I need you to fix something but I don’t know how to say it.”

“What’s up?” I asked as I continued to look for the perfect pair of slippers.

“Mommy . . .?” My son doesn’t call me mommy very often anymore so when he does I kinda notice.

“My ball went over there,” he said.

“So go get it,” I told him without really looking up.

“I can’t,” and as he said this, he discretely pointed with his chin to an area behind me. I can only describe the look on his face as . . . a cross between uncomfortable and disgusted.

It wasn’t until I turned around that I realized WHY he couldn’t go get his ball. It had bounced over into the bra department a few aisles over.

Apparently, this is forbidden territory for 15-year-old boys.

Yup. I’m glad about that too.

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