Koala update: fourteen years

Someone told me the summer between ages 14 and 15 is the one where things really kick off for a teenage boy.

I’ll let you know if it’s true, but here’s what I already know:

Body image… is a thing. A big one. In boys. I should have known; I should have remembered (I have two brothers after all). But seeing it up front like this is a whole other second-hand experience of it.

I could spout cliches about time will tell, look at your genetics, I was a late bloomer, but you know. And I know. It won’t help the way making it through the other side helps.

All that self awareness – as inward as attention paid to body image tends to be – has another side. An outward side. You’re growing a sense of awareness for the people around you, especially your sisters, definitely also your friends, and also for us. What hurts, when it hurts. With awareness comes action, and that’s where we see growth. It’s a great kind of growth, and honestly, not something everyone gains with age and wisdom.

And then there’s a whole new side to taking on responsibility. I can see the transferring of ownership of your actions, wants, deeds to your own self. You want, you do, you get. The motivation is beautiful, and priceless. I see it in your pushing to go to American summer camp this year. That is all you. You should own it, and be proud of it, and if it turns out to be as memorable a summer as we’d all hope – that’s yours.

In some ways, I’m just here to pay the bills; that is to say, support you in the passenger seat, as you step-by-step become the driver of your own deal.

Navigate on, kid.






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