Last year, about this time, I posted a photo on my IG account captioned, simply, “oh no”. It was a photo of Raines and I standing back-to-back…we were basically the exact same height. Now that photo makes me laugh. Not only does Raines tower over me, but I think his voice might be deeper than Mike’s.
There is now a man-looking-person where I expect a baby to be.
It’s been a really tender year for us. Raines has come into his teenage years during a pandemic, and it’s actually been…OK. Our life slowed down considerably and, frankly, I think it left a little more room for Raines to just be…Raines.
He turned fourteen a couple of months ago, and this age seems to be a mostly delightful (and sometimes miserable) in-between state. He can be helpful in a real, genuine way, like taking out garbage or hauling stuff, and he’s even started to reach over and pluck my skis/groceries/suitcase from my hands, carrying both my stuff, as well as his own.
Or…he’s an absolute bear, and is completely annoyed with everything I say or do because his mother knows NOTHING about ANYTHING. GOD.
Frankly, about half the time he’s right. Our world is so different these days, I can barely keep up. I think about all of those times Scotti and I would obnoxiously roll our eyes while Mom would say, “What?? What am I missing? WHAT?”
You just don’t get it, Mom. GOD.
And the joke’s on me because now I am her.
In general, I’m a pretty confidant person. I’m comfortable with who I am, and I don’t really fear looking silly or sounding dumb or not being cool enough (or even being cool at all) because that’s life’s big prize for surviving for 46 years: giving zero fucks.
But there is something different when it’s your own kid looking at you in disgust. Especially when there’s that corner of his forehead — the one near his hairline, with those baby hairs — that you used to kiss. And you remember all of those nights sleeping next to him and it was like you were one person, like you were teaching him how to breathe, to keep breathing, with every fiber of your being because he was just so tiny and so impossibly new….
“I love you so desperately!!!” I want to yell. “If you had ANY IDEA how loved you are, you would never make that face!!!”
But he will, of course. Make that face. He’ll make that annoyed, disgusted face because I am his mother. And mothers, to quote my friend Julie, “are the repository of all disappointment.”
So I, the repository of Raines’ disappointment, just take his grumpy, angsty, teenage looks. But I also get his snuggles and his silly dancing around and singing and his whispered dreams and his moments of quiet pride.
My mom told me, once, that life with kids just gets better and better as they grow. That it wasn’t (as I was insisting) all downhill from here. That watching your children grow into real, actual people was one of life’s greatest joys, and that this particular joy doesn’t end when your children are grown.
I was like, whatever, Mom. You just don’t get it. GOD.
Black or blue? Either way, I am very into this t-shirt.
Well, well, well. I was paging through the latest Free People catalog the other day, and it was all…low-rise jeans. And honestly? I didn’t hate it. If I’m going to do this whole thing again, the fit I want looks something like this image. I could just buy the high-rise jeans featured several sizes up (like the model in the photo), or…just go with Levi’s Low Pro jeans (in the ‘breathe out’ wash). Or…this Everlane pair has a similar vibe without being full-on 90s. Hmmm.
Sandals. These DV sandals come in a zillion colors…but the black/white stripe are especially cool. Nautical and artsy, but not too much of either. Love.
A non-clingy slipdress? I’m a longtime fan of slip dresses. I wore one to prom a billion years ago and never took them out of rotation, but my sister Scotti has never felt the love. So I was surprised to hear her wax poetic about Alice + Olivia’s slip dresses. According to Scotti, they’re lined, thicker than she expected, and — best of all — they don’t cling.
Technically, they’re called boleros. Are shrugs back? Based on how many I’m seeing (I mean even Old Navy has one)…the answer is YES. My three favorites are Frame’s, 525’s twist-front shrug, and this set by Free People.
Far out. Pax’s favorite snowboarding baselayers are Airblaster’s Ninja suit, which is 25% off at Backcountry right now. If you know Pax, the print he chose will be obvious. (Pax has the size L (10-12), and has room to grow.)
Holy grail. I’ve been using an old, now-discontinued Korres lip butter every night to keep dry lips at bay. I discovered it while dealing with chemo years ago (chemo dries everything out like crazy), and have been searching (for literally almost 10 years) for something as good. Well. I finally tried Laneige’s Lip Sleeping Mask and was BLOWN. AWAY. I’ve never used a product that so quickly zapped all traces of dry lips. It’s even better than my old Korres stuff. Also available at Amazon.
One more game-changing product. I just picked up a set of clean beauty brand Ogee’s sculpted face sticks and have never been happier with a makeup product…ever. They make contouring dead easy, blend flawlessly, and, as a result, leave me looking younger and a little glow-y. I cannot recommend the set highly enough. Oh and they’re certified organic, not tested on animals, and made in the US (Vermont, in fact!). Also available (for individual purchase) on Amazon.
Comfort junk food. Normally I try to round up a vegan recipe I really like (our 90% vegan thing is still going strong), but I find myself suddenly craving junk food. And comfort food. And then I came across the Twinkie Bundt Cake from Smitten Kitchen and THAT’S what I want to make right now. You’re welcome?
OK fine, this is vegan. One of our most-made vegan dinners is a basic white bean soup…but Love & Lemons just tweaked the recipe into something that sounds much more delicious. Can’t wait to try this one.
Hang in there gang.
I just wanted to say reading this sentence in this article bought on the tears. “I love you so desperately!!!” I want to yell. “If you had ANY IDEA how loved you are, you would never make that face!!!”
I have an almost 13 year old not with the freckles on the nose and hair that’s messy and he gives me that some line in disgust. “You don’t get it mom”. And he’s right and I try so hard. They don’t tell you about this part of raising kids. The pain of trying so hard but still not truly able to help with everything.
Thank you for the peek into your life each week. This week you hit me with the feels. We’re all doing a great job❤️
FYI: Laneige products are not cruelty free nor are they vegan, as per ethicaleliphant.com
Thank you Shana for always sharing the Real … or should I type it as Da’ Real? My daughter would absolutely eye roll me right now 😉 I am an old ANMJ reader and my two are 12 and 10 … so I always cherish the family life you share with us. It helps, so much, keep me a little more grounded … and with a laugh! And thank you for the Lip Mask rec – in cart!
I had a 14 year old son at 46…and now I have a 25 year old son at 57! Your mom was so right (SO RIGHT) that kids get better and better as they grow up. My adult sons are fantastic, and yours will be too! Btw, tell your mom how right she was while you still have the chance…
Loved your Mom/Raines writing.
But…. low rise? My body isn’t made for that nonsense anymore.
Shrugs as totally back in. There is a whole Balletcore (ballet clothing inspired outfits) thing happening for 2022. It is a mix between fancy and athleisure, plus off duty ballerina, and I am here for it. Also, incase you didn’t know ponchos are also back in as well. I think we are just ready to dress up again but not give up our comfy clothing in the same breath. It is body suits, shrugs, leggings and in pretty colors.