Monday, February 20, 2006

Overgrown Child

My friend A and her teenaged brother T were with us this weekend. This is the first that I was seeing T and my reaction was one of distinct discomfort. Maybe because he is at that uncomfortable cusp age between boy and man.

As much as I tried to think of him as a child (which he is) I could not. He has an adult male's body and the mind of a child that really he is. As long as he acts his mental age all is well - but every once in a while his hormones seem to take over causing his behavior to alter dramatically.

I tried hard to think about other teens I have known recently and could not recall anyone else who acted the way T did. Maybe I had not spent enough time with those kids, maybe I had not observed them closely enough. Given that T has been on a steady diet of processed and genetically modified food since birth, I wondered this was a case of precocious puberty. Lack of reading, TV and gaming addiction did not help either.

I was relieved to see him leave this evening. I cringed when he hugged me goodbye. One generation ago, I may have been old enough to be his mother.
As I shut I door I felt a surge of sadness for a child whose body had outpaced his mind and abbreviated his childhood.

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