So we were at the mall the other day and found ourselves on an elevator with three teenagers. Ordinarily, Nic is so engrossed in 'pushing his buttons' that he fails to notice anyone else.
I curtly tell Nic to stop pushing the button, well aware of the glances and snickers the three are sharing. So Nic stops. And does something he has never done before.
In turn, he looked over his shoulder and fixed each boy with a look that I recognize from the inside--the same look I trot out every Sunday when some one makes the mistake of looking at us like we are a disruption and/or an abomination.
Watching this look emanating from my son's eyes elicited both a thrill and horror; a thrill at the fact that he's got both mom and dad's confidence and daring.....and horror for pretty much the same reasons.
All of this happened in the 30 odd seconds it took for the elevator to get from one floor to the next. And as soon as the door opened, I grabbed G by he shoulder with one hand and Nic at the elbow with the other. An unauthorized (but deserved?) dogpile had no place in my schedule. Nic, undeterred, continued to glare at the boys through the glass walls of the elevator as they continued upward. I grabbed Nic's chin and forced it my way.
"Really?" I wanted to know. "You really want them to come back and kick your ass?"
"Stupid teenagers," Nic muttered, his eyes cutting sideways.
So this tells me two things; he is developing an awareness of what he looks like to everyone else and he is starting to care what other people think, to such a degree that he is actually communicating what HE thinks right back.
Many implications in this development. It's all good, but as we know, Nic likes his lessons learned the hard way. This takes us to a whole new level.
Middle school: ready or not, here he comes....