Boys, Bubbles and Butt-Cracks
If you can believe my Beloved, everything you ever needed to know about boys and friendship can be described in three simple terms: Snow globes, bubbles, and butt cracks.
I guess I should explain.
Our boychild is on the cusp of, well something. Not entirely sure what yet, but he’s at the tail end of his primary school education and about to move into the high school years. At the same time, as you’d imagine, he and all his mates are approaching puberty- that wonderful, wonderful time in a parent’s life.
Naturally, there are a lot of changes taking place. But it’s the out-of-body experiences that are causing the most concern.
As we all know, those who sat through sex education classes at school, or even more embarrassingly, “The Talk” our parents gave, boys and girls mature at different rates. In different ways. At this stage of the game, boys seem to lag behind- physically and emotionally. Here’s the crux of the matter. Not even the boys in my boy’s group are moving at the same pace. Some just aren’t keeping up on the social side.
I won’t go into the gory details but this means a few, well, let’s just call them ‘moments’. And more than one conversation about how to deal with it all.
Since my Beloved has the same hardware as our manchild (if you know what I mean), I have been trying to encourage him to do the father-son thing, and talk to him not only about the physical stuff ahead, but also how to deal with mates. I suspect there is some Post Traumatic Stress about his own memories from a similar age (can’t say I blame him as my own experience wasn’t a walk in the park) so he’s been a little reluctant in approaching this task. So imagine my utter amazement, not to mention amusement as I overheard their little chat the other night.
After a day at school with a number of ‘moments’, our son was feeling a bit low. I was in the process of settling the girlchild into bed when I wandered past my boy’s bedroom door to overhear the lad and his dad saying something about bubbles, and butt cracks. “What the?” I muttered, only to be told to move along, it didn’t concern me.
On my return journey the topic seemed to have shifted to snow globes. Again the mystery was not to be revealed as I was again shooed away.
It wasn’t until my son came in the next morning for a chat of our own that he filled in the blanks.
Here’s how it goes.
At the start of every school year all the students are put into different classes, some end up with their friends, and some don’t. Our school’s Principal in particular likes to shake things up. As my Beloved explained, the kids are floating around like the flakes in a snow globe. Some settle pretty quickly, others take a bit more time, but there’s usually one that takes a lot longer to come down. Like our boy’s buddy, he’s taking a while to find his place this year.
Not a bad analogy I thought.
Now for the bubbles. Our son has been with one group of guys since Kindergarten, they are great mates, get along really well for the most part and have stuck together. Like a little bubble. Over the years a few new friends have joined up with our lad, due to extra kids coming to the school, classroom placement, similar interests, whatever. There’s your second bubble. OK so the two groups occasionally come together, but like two bubbles, never really join up – there’s a line down the middle. According to my Beloved, that’s our lad. A common denominator if you like. (There are actually a couple of the kids who would also make up that line, but for simplicity, and since he was only talking to our son at the time, he was in the middle.) In imagining how the two bubbles look stuck together but not completely joined, and being typical males, they came up with the image of a butt, and the centre line was- you got it (do I really have to spell it out?)…
After the laughter, our son seemed to get it.
You see, in my Beloved’s opinion, as long as the kids realize that they can all still be friends, even if not totally stuck together all the time, things should settle down eventually, once that last flake finishes floating.
So there you have it. Everything you ever wanted to know about boys, bubbles, and butt cracks. And how to solve friendship problems in adolescent lads. You can thank me later.
Once you get any unsavoury images out of your head.