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The Battle of The Pants…

When I was thirteen I was sitting in math class, minding my own business…learning…when I felt a little tap on my shoulder. The boy behind me was passing a note forward. Taking it from him I looked to see who I needed to pass it on to. But it was addressed to ME. Confused at what it could possibly be about, I carefully opened up the note so the teacher would not see. In another girls handwriting it said the most horrible things about the pants I was wearing. I heard chuckling behind me. I was humiliated, embarrassed, and pretty much mortified.

First of all, I don’t think I ever showed anyone the note, not even my best friend. Secondly, I stopped wearing my favorite pair of jeans–at least for a while. Then one day I remember coming to the conclusion that I didn’t care what “she” thought of me. That in fact, there was nothing wrong with me, or my style at all. There was, however, something wrong with her. Because normal people don’t go around destroying others. Besides, it never looks good making someone look bad. {In hind-site I wish I would have kept those pants I would have them framed on my closet wall right now}. That experience has stuck with me through all these years and I’m actually grateful for it. I feel it was a learning opportunity and a small defining moment in growing stronger as a person.

Why am I sharing this? Well, today this memory has come to the forefront of my mind because my innocent 13-year-old, my sweet but very stubborn boy, WILL ONLY WEAR THE SAME PAIR OF PANTS TO SCHOOL EVERY DAY {sorry for the shouting}. Getting tired of washing them every night I ordered four more pair on-line, but the address defaulted and they were delivered to our old Texas home. Eventually they were forwarded but today I still, rather impatiently, await for these darn pants to show up. The truck is due to be here this very afternoon it it will only stop snowing. I have to take a moment to give myself some mom kudos here… the past few months I have spent several hundred dollars in Levi’s jeans and Nike sweats just to get him to wear long pants, but none were good enough. Yes, a mom fail. But a teenage boy fail too since he refused to go shopping.

As a result each day as he heads off to school in the SAME PANTS. I know that Jr. High is a horrible phase to get through and kids can say mean and nasty things about each other, there is bullying, feeling outcast, feeling friendless, all of those hurts to deal with on a daily basis. On top of it all, it is stinky, hairy, zitty,  and uncomfortable in all the ways imaginable. It is an emotional time where kids walk around with a lump in their throat for days from holding things inside. Then one small, insignificant little thing can happen and it sends off a major lash out or tears for days. Bodies are changing and things are innocently shown to said mom, “look I have hair going all the way up to my belly button now”. Believe me, I have all the feels for what my teen is going through. Being new to the school and not having anyone to sit with at lunch, trying to find a niche or a group of kids to fit in with, waiting for someone to reach out and maybe being too shy to reach out first. All those things are tough.

But the pants, dude?! This one should be easy to grasp!

Most days you can find this momma urging my boy countless times to shower each night and sometimes even going so low as to bribe him with extra privileges if he WILL JUST TAKE A SHOWER or at least WASH HIS FACE. Begging him to brush his teeth two times a day. Trying to talk reason into him as he refuses to wear anything but the same pair of pants to school. I am famous for saying “Choose Your Battles” but personal hygiene right now is number one on the list. However, it is ridiculous to think that I’m ever going to win battle of the pants.

So today I have given up. Today I have decided to let go a bit on this one and let him experience life in all of its horrible, scary, and ugly ways. Yes, he’s wearing his favorite pants again. No, he didn’t shower or wash his face AND I’m just not sure if he brushed his teeth. But what I do know is that I love this almost grown child in a man sized body more than life itself. I also know that in four and a half years {aka the blink of an eye} he will be graduating. Thinking about this fact alone stings a bit more than I even want to admit. So today I’ll let him be him. And that’s okay, because those new pants should arrive here any minute!

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