Life With Two Teenage Boys

Dude came to me yesterday and said, “Mom. I need help. I am tired ALL the time.”

“What? Why, are you falling asleep in class?”

“No. Well, almost. I can’t concentrate.”

“Do you think you need to go to the doctor?” (I don’t know why I asked this, going to the doctor is ALWAYS our last option).

“I don’t know.”

Hmm, the fact that he said he wasn’t sure instead of an immediate “no” caught me off guard.

“Why don’t we try some things first before we go to the doctor.”


“Because I can tell you right now, son, they are going to suggest you change your diet, are going to ask about your sleeping habits and if you exercise. Then, they’ll probably give you drugs. Because that’s ultimately what people want when they go to the doctor – they want a pill for whatever ails them.”

He shrugged.

“Tell you what,” I said, “tonight, why don’t you walk a mile on the treadmill and drink a protein drink. Then, in the morning, eat a bigger breakfast, something more than just cereal, do some jumping jacks and push-ups to get your blood flowing and you can have a little coffee. Do you want to try that?”


And that’s exactly what we did. We’ll see if it makes a difference.


Me and Jazz were in the car this morning waiting for Dude.

I honked the horn several times.

Still, he didn’t come out.

When the clock continued to tick toward the dangerous if we don’t leave right now we’re going to be late time, I got out and was walking into the house when Dude came out.

“Let’s go, son! We’re going to be late!”

“I can’t find my homework.”

“Your math homework?”

“Yep. But forget about it. We don’t have time.”

We got into the car and I was pulling out of the driveway when I said, “Did you check the papers on the counter?”

“Yeah.” But he didn’t sound too sure.

I pulled back into the driveway and together, we ran into the house to check the papers out on the counter.

His homework was not there.

“Okay, we don’t have time for this. We’ve gotta go,” I said and we jumped back into the car and zoomed off to school.

“Maybe dad threw it away.”

“That’s possible. You know your dad, if it’s sitting around and in the way, it irritates him and he tosses it. I’ll check the trash when I get home.”

“Nah. Don’t bother. I’ll just re-do it.”

“Dang it, Dude! You need to put your stuff away! You went through all of that for nothing. Now you have to do it again.”

Dude is not the best organizer in the world.

He shrugged and I dropped the kids off. I came home and checked the trash – no homework.

Now I’m curious. Paper can’t just develop legs and walk off (unless it’s from Bent Objects then, who knows). Where in the world was Dude’s homework?

Kevin and I met for lunch and he suggested that it was somewhere in the black hole that Dude calls his backpack.


I picked the kids up from school.

“Did you find your homework?”


“Wow. This is frustrating.”

“Tell me about it.”

We came home.

“Jazz, you might want to make a trip to the bathroom and brush your teeth, your dentist appointment is in fifteen minutes.”

“Hey mom,” Dude said.

“Yep?” I said while scanning for new email.

“I found my homework.”

“Where was it?”

“Near the XBox.”

“Ohhh yeah,” I said. “I remember you went in to watch Jazz play his game after you and dad finished your homework. Oops.”

Dude grinned.


“What’s up buddy? Is something wrong?” I asked Jazz as we pulled up in front of the dentist’s office.


This is the part where I ask 20 questions. I know, from experience, if I happen on the right question then, and only then, will Jazz confide in me.

“Is it school?”


“Is someone giving you a hard time?”


“Is it band?”


“Is it your friends?”



“Is A. being a butt again?”


“Does it have anything to do with the girl you thinks likes you?”


“I don’t want to talk about it,” Jazz said.

We walked into the office, Jazz signed in and is called back shortly thereafter.

In the meantime, I’m running scenarios through my head. It could be a number of things. Jazz tends to get his feelings hurt pretty easily and often times, it ends up being a misunderstanding or he made a bigger deal out of something than he should have.

The dental assistant comes out with Jazz and gives me brief instructions on the spacers she put into his teeth. He’ll need to wear them for a week in preparation for his braces next Wednesday.

As soon as we get back into the car, “So, tell me what’s bugging you.”

“It’s complicated, mom. I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Does it have something to do with H.?”

He shrugged.

“You can tell me. I won’t say anything, I’ll just listen. Sometimes it’s nice just to get it off your chest.”

He shook his head and stared out of the window.

After we got home and he had had a chance to settle in his room, I approached him again.

“Okay, tell me what is going on.”


“Okay, fine. But remember this, whatever it is, it’s not the end of the world and if your friends see that it bugs you, they’ll just keep doing what they’re doing. And you know what? If H. is not interested in you like you’re interested in her, then whatever. Be friends with her. It’s her loss. You’re a wonderful, thoughtful and caring person, don’t get sucked into the drama. Okay?”


And thus continues my life with two teenage boys.