I am having great difficulty in trying to understand the workings of a seventeen year old boy’s brain. I can understand a seventeen year old girl’s brain a little better because I was one…once..a long, long, looonnng time ago. My son is a very clever chap and highly inventive with a heart of gold and yet manages to make me crazy and is driving me to pull out a rare bottle of Lafitte Rothschild that is hidden behind a glass case. There is a brass chain holding a plaque and a mini mallet on the outside that reads: “Break glass in case of emergency”.
What is it about a teen boy that makes their brain stop working and experience hardship in the “logic” area. Is that part of the lobe on a continual lunch break? I know my son can put two and two together, but it’s when he has to think about putting them together is when the trouble begins. He will find a loop-hole to master mind a scheme between the TWO'(s). I have spent a lot of my” mom” time ascertaining “mom” knowledge that is based on experience with a little pinch of hindsight. I have pitched independence and autonomy to my son and left him to hold the cards until they spring out like a magician who has lost control of his deck. Maybe I should switch to Domino’s, at least they fall in consecutive order.
My son has been preparing for his SAT’s and I have left him alone with only minor nagging in order to conquer this feat . A feat that is to predetermine where his future college will be. A feat that was developed to stir anxiety in a teen just by uttering the words” number two pencil”. A feat to jam his feet into over-sized Ive league loafers. He managed to sign himself up for the test center and print out his golden ticket for his special day. He also arranged to buy the Study guide and prep until he was too pooped to prep. He announced in his big -boy voice the evening before the big exam that “he is ready“. READY...for what? Is he ready to get into the car, is he ready to get out of his flannel Guinness pajama bottoms and put on some Khaki’s, is he ready to possibly clean his room, or is he ready to PREPare some breakfast?
I asked my son what time he needed to arrive at the testing center and he assured me it was to be bright and early, “around 7-ish”. It was the ISH that worried me. I asked him to check his Willie Wonka ticket for the arrival time, but he pooh-poohed that notion, and had it in his head that he knew the time. ” I got this, MOM“, were what I believe to be his exact words. It takes approximately 25 to 30 minutes to reach the testing site. Halfway there a light bulb exploded in his head and he decided to pull out the chocolate bar that held his winning ticket and read the instructions that listed the necessary protocol for SAT test taking. It was now ten to seven and I was breaking the law in two states to get him there on time. My son mumbled the direction section and then I heard him yelp in a broken teen voice. Under the list of necessities and PERTINENT information section; it stated in bold print that he needed his student I.D., and, “oh yeah, it says to bring your ID and arrive by 7:45” ………CRACK!…………..
That was the sound of my breaking the Lafitte Rothschild glass container………not a car accident.
I turned the car around and returned home so he could grab his ID and have a little time to, oh, I dunno…..THINK about what just transpired with his independent brain…...oh I got it mom….. “ That’s OK son, mommy doesn’t mind getting up at 5:30 a.m. on a Saturday to prepare a healthy breakfast for you so your brain will have all the enriched nourishment it needs to remember all that information you study from that big fat Prep book that cost a small fortune. No worries, it’s just a test that determines the fate of millions of kids each year. Maybe you could borrow an ID from one of the Princeton candidates”. We drove all the way back home and then back again to the test center in order for my son to make his scheduled debut. My last words to him were; well my second to the last words were; ” Phone me when it’s over and I’ll pick you up here..right here…same spot… don’t wander….don’t move”.
He phoned me when it was over and I told him I’ll be there in about a half hour. I arrived at the school and waited outside for a few minutes. He was no where in sight, mind you, he’s six feet tall and not hard to miss. I went inside the test center and there were a few students left lurking in corners violently texting on their cells.. Probably got their results already and are forwarding them on through the Harvard information super highway. I returned to the car and waited another ten minutes. Still no sign of his blue sweat shirt. I saw a message on my phone from an unknown number and I listened to it. It sounded like someone gargling salt water. I returned the phone call and there was no answer. I do not like chasing a teen down and I was never a fan of the game Hide-n-Seek…………SMASH!…………
…………..that was me stomping on the case holding the Lafitte Rothschild.
He phoned me and wanted to know where I was and that he decided to go over to his friends house who lives a few blocks from the testing area. He said he left me a message. It might as well have been a message in a bottle. I staggered to erase my menopausal anger for a few moments to collect my thoughts to navigate my car over to pick him up. When he jumped into the car all he could manage to say was how tired he was from taking the SAT’s. Oh my heart goes out to him for having to endure such pain in filling in Scantron circles.
I blurted out: “Son, what part of DON’T MOVE don’t you get?”. …..” What intricate part of your brain told you to send me on a wild goose chase to locate you. What part of the garbled message from Jacques Cousteau was I suppose to interpret?” He retorted back: “you need to have more understanding.”………SCREECH!………
That was me reaching for the emergency corkscrew in the glove-box……
“Oh I understand you had the wrong time scheduled in your brain, and I understand you forgot your Identification card, and I understand the unlimited mileage and gas used in transporting you to and from and to and from again, and I understand you’re borrowing an unknown phone, and I understand messaging can get distorted, and I understand enduring twenty hours of labor and pushing out a nine pound baby boy can be hazardous to one’s brain; But I don’t understand your logic right now”.
He states emphatically: “Because I wanted to go over to Josh’s house”.
………and POP! goes the cork…….
I want(ed) to thank Carl Brigham for his insight and development of the SAT’s. ” He derived that they could be used with accuracy to predict a person’s innate mental capacity; however, these tests failed to help with knowledge of baseball trivia, brand names, and cuts of beef. “ AND also to help a son to stay put when his mother tells him to stay put…….
Ahh…pour and sip…….