I really hope that people will take this in the light-hearted spirit in which it is written. The Bible says that Jesus lived at home with his parents until he was 30 years of age. Which must have included his teens…
The front door opened, then slammed shut. Jesus stomped into the kitchen and dumped his schoolbag onto the floor. Mary smiled at him.
“Hi, son,” she said. “How was your day?”
“Fine,” said Jesus.
“What did you do at school?” she asked.
“What kind of stuff?” she persisted.
“Today was Biology,” said Jesus. “We learned what ‘begat’ means. Apparently it has something to do with rabbits.” He walked to the larder, took the last unleavened biscuit (leaving the empty wrapper in the larder) and started towards his room.
“Do you have any dirty clothes?” asked Mary. “I’m putting a wash on.”
“On where?” asked Jesus.
“On the stones at the river,” said Mary.
Jesus looked down at what he was wearing. “I’ll change out of this school robe and you can wash it,” he said, and carried on walking.
“Tidy your room while you’re in there,” said Mary.
Jesus gave a long sigh. “O-kay,” he said. He tramped off to his room. Once there, unbeknownst to Mary, he tidied it with a wave of his hand in the manner made famous by Mary Poppins, though without the singing. He returned a few minutes later to the kitchen, carrying the robe. He now wore a Hell’s Angels T-shirt. This did not mean then what it does now.
“I wish you wouldn’t wear that,” said Mary. “It annoys your father.”
“You have no idea,” said Jesus, “just how true that sentence is.”
“It’s time for your dinner,” said Mary. “It’s your favourite.”
Jesus sat down at the table and began to eat. Mary sat opposite him while he shovelled food into his mouth like a stoker filling a train’s boiler, though that metaphor did not of course occur to her. She tried to make conversation.
“How’s that Mary girl?” she asked.
“What Mary girl?” asked Jesus warily.
“Mary Magdalene. I saw you carrying her parchments home from school yesterday.”
Jesus blushed through his acne, and ate even faster. Mary smiled to herself. He stood up from his now empty plate.
“Where are you going?” asked Mary.
“Just the lads – Peter, Luke, Matthew. We’re meeting at the mall.”
“What’s the mall?”
“It’s what we call the two shops in the town – Lazarus’s sandal shop and Martha’s vineyard.”
“And what are you going to do there?”
He suddenly blushed again. “We’re helping the elders,” he said. “We visit the sick and people who live alone. We read to them and keep them company, and bring them loaves and fishes.”
He looked at her, saw the pride in her eyes then suddenly gave her the enormous, brilliant smile that only a teenage boy can give to his Mum. He hugged her.
“See you later,” he said.
She watched him as he left. She waved vigourously at him from the window, to annoy him, and he flipped a brief wave back, mortified that anyone might see him.
Mary reflected that he was everything a teenage boy can be – sometimes moody, sometimes irritating, sometimes surprising, always magnificent.
He was going to make a wonderful adult, she thought to herself. His hour had not yet come, but it was not very far away.