Being a teenage boy is not easy.
Until your teens your body is perfectly reliable. It runs about, often slapping one hand against its leg as it does so to mimic riding a horse, it climbs trees, and it always has a graze on one knee that you have no memory of getting.
Then suddenly it takes on a mind of its own. Hair sprouts under places, in places, around places. It sprouts on your upper lip, to your pride, but as softly as gossamer, whereas on all other parts of your body it has the consistency of steel wool.
Your mind takes on a mind of its own too. Previously it was fully absorbed by football and by any TV programme which contains what is known, with good reason, as “schoolboy humour“, such as references to farts, burps or the fact that someone called Kenny is dead. Now it is occupied by thoughts of girls. All day, every day.
And thoughts of girls are as close as you get, because whenever you actually meet one your face turns the colour of a sunset and you suddenly lose the ability to speak. The latter part of that sentence is just as well, as your voice has a mind of its own too, often changing pitch in mid sentence from barrywhite to mickeymouse.
And then there are the zits. In your new-found interest in girls you wear the coolest clothing (flared brushed-denim jeans and cheesecloth shirts if it’s the 1970s, I’m afraid to say), you spray yourself with something strong-smelling, then spray yourself again just to be sure, you wear your hair in the latest style (don’t ask, just remember that the 70s were the era of Led Zeppelin and David Cassidy), but the whole effect is spoilt by the fact that you have a face like a pizza.
School suddenly becomes immensely more difficult. Sums (the number of apples you have left if you give so many to someone else) evolves into Maths (vectors, Venn diagrams and metres per second per second). In French you are made to read books written entirely in French. Science develops three separate heads, as if it were Science Fiction, and you have to go on field-trips to look at fields, cut up frogs and learn, although no-one has ever found a use for this later in life, what the reproductive organs of a rabbit look like.
While struggling through these difficult years it is often hard to realise just how much your parents love you and are proud of you, but they do, oh how they do.
Tinson1 is twenty today. He has come through those years as a great young man and our love and pride is as strong as ever.
Happy birthday son.