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Published June 04, 2012, 11:30 PM

Tofflemire: Yikes! Now grandson is a teenager

It’s official. I’m now the grandmother of a teenager. My older grandson celebrated his 13th birthday a few weeks ago.

By: Kathy Tofflemire, INFORUM

It’s official. I’m now the grandmother of a teenager. My older grandson celebrated his 13th birthday a few weeks ago.

Amazing. Wasn’t it just the other day that I went shopping for the smallest outfit I could find for him to wear home from the hospital?

He didn’t want any birthday gifts. He wanted money. Sounds like a teenager to me. He figured that cash from his mom and dad and grandmothers would allow him to purchase the iPod he had his eye on. Music – another thing of importance to the teen set, although he’s been a music aficionado for a long time, thanks to his mother.

I was OK giving him money. As the boys get older, shopping for them becomes more difficult. I long ago stopped buying clothes for the older one. He has very specific tastes. His younger brother cares not a whit about his attire, but as the recipient of hand-me-downs, he’ll be fashionable whether he cares or not. And he’ll have an ample supply.

We celebrated the birthday with dinner at my grandson’s restaurant of choice. (Grand Forks Herald columnist Marilyn Hagerty would approve.)

His special day was a relatively quiet affair. He would have been highly embarrassed if it had been similar to his mother’s.

When she turned 13, I wished her a happy birthday and welcomed her to the teens – on a marquee atop a building on Minot, N.D.’s main thoroughfare. If memory serves (and it often doesn’t), she took it quite well.

Of course, with age comes increased responsibility. Now that school is out, my grandson must spend more time ensuring the well-being of his younger brother. I find that an interesting turn of events since, up until now, the biggest threat to the 9-year-old’s well-being was probably his older brother. Let’s face it: Younger brothers are annoying, as are older ones.

Since their mother is an only child, she learns something new about a sibling relationship every day.

Now that my grandson is entering his teen years, I’ll no doubt begin to worry about him making his way down the road to adulthood unscathed.

Right now, I am grateful that he is doing well in school, excels at sports and doesn’t yet have a girlfriend. His “posse” seems to be a good bunch of boys, which I think is tremendously important. Peer pressure at this age can easily turn a youngster in the wrong direction.

But what I am most thankful for is that he hasn’t gotten too old, yet, to want a hug from his grandmother.

Kathy Tofflemire is a copy editor at The Forum.

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