Vail Daily columnist Linda Stamper Boyne: Welcome to the teen years
Vail, CO, Colorado
I have been thrust unwillingly into a new phase, and I don’t think I like it.
I am the mother of a teenager.
I realize there was nothing I could do about it. It was inevitable. But I still haven’t quite adjusted.
Seems like just yesterday that he liked me or, at least, humored me. I’m trying to wrap my head around the fact that suddenly everything I do, say, ask or gesture is somehow wrong. I’m sure in his opinion, I even breathe wrong.
The sudden idiocy of his parents was illustrated perfectly when we were outfitting The Teenager with ski wear for the winter.
I wasn’t present for the purchasing of the jacket but was told this story. Picture the Boyne men walking into a ski shop, heading to the jackets. His dad stopped at a graphic-print, colorful jacket, similar to one The Teenager had been looking at online.
The Dad: “Hey, Bud, this is a cool one.”
The Teenager responded with a dismissive grunt accompanied by an eye roll.
On they moved to the next store. The Teenager went directly to the object of his desire and pulled it off the hanger.
The Teenager: “This is sick!”
The Dad: “That’s the exact same jacket I showed you at the last store that you didn’t like!”
The Teenager: “I meant that YOU couldn’t wear that jacket.” The Teenager then went into a two- to three-minute oral presentation on why a man of his dad’s advanced age couldn’t wear that style of jacket and why he couldn’t carry off the multi-colored jacket, that he should stick with jackets of a single color. The sales girl looked at his dad with a look and a nod that said, “Yeah, he’s right.”
I took on the shopping for the pants and other accompanying gear. In one store, he was trying on The Right combination of hat, goggles, helmet and gloves with his jacket, when the guy helping us said, “Dude, you’re going to steez it.”
I need the Urban Dictionary app on my iPhone.
I can accept a certain level of steezy. I’ll allow the slightly oversized jacket and the functional accessories to his taste. However, I draw the line at the pants. Call me crazy, but I insist on ski pants that actually cover the boy’s lower half and stay on him while skiing.
The Teenager held up a pair of ski pants that would have fit Bode Miller and said, “These are perfect.”
Me: “No. The color and style are fine. The size, no.”
The Teenager: “Mom!”
Me: “Those pants would get in the way while you’re skiing. You couldn’t do your whatever things on the jumps or ride the rails if you have to keep grabbing onto you pants so they won’t slide down to your knees.”
The Teenager: “Yes I could.”
Me: “How embarrassing would it be if I had to take you into the emergency room to treat you for frostbite on your butt? Or, worse yet, do you want to explain to ski patrol, as they load you into the toboggan, that you blew out your knee because you got tangled up in your pants?”
The Teenager: Nothing but a steely stare of determination.
Me: “Bud, you are not going to be one of those fools with his backside hanging out of his ski pants. I don’t care how steezy it is. You will not be the Lil’ Wayne of Beaver Creek.”
The Teenager: “Mom, don’t use that word.”
The stare continued, eyes boring holes through me, his thoughts of the embarrassment he would have to endure wearing ski pants that fit him.
I suggested that if he didn’t wear an appropriately sized baggy pair, we could run down to the Thrifty Shop and get him a nice pair of hot-pink bibs or perhaps a nice pair of ’80s stretchy in-the-boot pants. Advantage, Mom.
Current music icon reference aside, I accept my descent into the clueless and unfashionable for the sake of my boy’s health and safety. It’s a small victory at the price of my coolness, but I’ll take it.
Linda Stamper Boyne, of Edwards, can be contacted through email@example.com.