“There is a natural progress into adolescents where kids must shed the skin of their own innocence.”
There will come a time when your child will transform from your wide eyed and earnest elementary school sweetie into a too cool for school, preteen eye roller. It may take different forms in different kids, but that little bouncing bubble of sunshine you once thought you knew, will start to take on new proportions of attitude that will seem like a body snatcher has invaded him or her and snatched all the sweetness away.
Oh, it’s still there and you will catch it in the occasional pure moments when they are unguarded and unself-conscious. But most parents I know, find themselves mourning the days of their tweens eager earnestness. Because along with the onset of body stink comes the onset of stink eye being leveled evenly and regularly on the world. They will become experts of all things cool, the only people in the world who truly get humor and every word will now take on a dirty double meaning. In other words, they become total stinkers. Literally and figuratively.
I find, with my almost twelve year old, it comes hand in hand with a healthy degree of humor which makes it far more palatable. So while his proclivities and attitude are certainly saltier, it’s also pretty damn funny. So much so, that his fifth grade teacher recently admitted to often having to turn his head in class after my son makes a certain remark so that the kids don’t see him cracking up.
There is a natural progress into adolescents where kids must shed the skin of their own innocence. They will often cast derision on that part of themselves that they see in other kids who may still believe in Santa or love that silly song from preschool. It is, in part, a letting go of their childhood and at the same time a mourning of this purer part of themselves. The snarky attitude is a rite of passage in discovering who they are, by proclaiming who they are not.
I take my son’s sense of humor as a good sign that he has not become too hardened and cynical in all his 11 years and 9 months. It gives a mother hope that he can still find levity even whilst in the throes of adolescent hormones and navigating the subconscious pain of letting go of his innocence.