10 going on 13: And so it begins …

A door has been closed, both figuratively and literally.

Our eldest child Isaac turned ten in early December. With every passing month he moves a step further away from being a boy and a step closer to becoming a young man.

I’ve written a few times about the changes he has started going through over the past year or so. He is increasingly self-conscious, refusing to dress or undress in front of anyone else. Body odour – no more going for days between baths or showers. Mood swings. Sometimes even aggression. Only of the mild variety, but coming from a boy who was (and still is, mostly) such a kind and thoughtful soul, it has been a dramatic shift.

Yep, puberty is well and truly under way.

In truth, it probably started around his ninth birthday. According to the NHS website, boys are 12 on average when puberty begins, although it can start anywhere between eight and 14. So he’s earlier than many but by no means unusual.

I’m quite sad about this.

It’s not that I want to deny him growing up. We all grow up eventually, except for Peter Pan and maybe the current President of the United States. I guess I’d been hoping he would remain a boy for a year or two longer, rather than turning into a grunting, monosyllabic proto-teenager. All of a sudden it really does feel like he’s 13 rather than 10. Those cute baby photos seem like an awfully long time ago now.

Which brings me back to where I started. A door has been closed both figuratively and literally. Figuratively in the sense that it feels like we have waved goodbye to our little boy. (Actually, not so little, as he’s already taller than his Grandma.) And now that we have split the boys into separate rooms, his bedroom is now his own personal cave. Come bedtime the door is quite literally shut – and Toby has followed suit, just because.

All of a sudden, our upstairs feels like a very different place. No longer can I just peek into the boys’ room to check on them after they have gone to bed. Now I have to quietly push open their separate bedroom doors and it feels more like an invasion of privacy. It’s not a pleasant feeling.

Isaac is unmistakably spreading his wings and taking flight. Before we know it we will be dealing with girlfriends and alcohol and O-levels. (I’m not sure which order I’d prefer to tackle those in …)

Still, at least he hasn’t turned into Harry Enfield’s Kevin the Teenager. Yet.


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