First Hiccup, now my kid: The horror of puberty

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Yesterday, I bought my son deodorant for the first time. He’s getting to an age now when I know puberty (and all of the associated hormonal melodrama) is right around the corner, but I guess I was hoping to squeeze a few more years in before having to have any of those mutually embarrassing “your body is going through some changes” talks. And God, I’m as lousy at them as I always suspected I’d be.

In researching online, I discovered I’m not alone, though, at least in the deodorant department. Technically, my son is past the lower age limit at which puberty can begin, and there are literally dozens of websites and online forums with parents posting that they’ve had to buy their kids deodorant, and asking if this was normal. (Apparently so.)

So now in our bathroom, next to the Crest fruit-flavored, sparkly toothpaste and Iron Man toothbrush, we now have a little thing of Arm & Hammer Essentials deodorant. I read lots of good things about it online from other parents; it’s aluminum free and gentle on a kid’s underarms. Also, apparently buying a product that includes an antiperspirant as well as deodorant isn’t a good idea for kids, because of the harsher chemicals. Who knew? Now I do. In the span of 24 hours, I feel like I’ve become a guru on the subject of kids’ armpits.

Yesterday, my son also announced that he was “too old” for Disney’s new movie, “Planes: Fire & Rescue,” when I suggested we go and see it. Where my daughter’s eyes lit up at the prospect, his nose wrinkled and he rolled his eyes in a way I suspect will soon become all-too familiar. And this morning, he made breakfast for us: scrambled eggs and bacon. “I don’t need any help,” he told me when I tried to get the butter out. “I can do this all by myself.”

At least he still lets me hug him.

The first small waves in the tsunami of adolescence are making landfall in my house. I’m bracing myself for what’s yet to come. 

(And dear God, did I just find a whole internet topic on “precocious puberty?” Precocious? If memory serves, psychotic is more like it…)

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Back in the saddle, outside the box

10451726_10152264443228558_3796504134047502670_nI’ve been thinking about restarting a blog for a long time, if only to have a place where I could vent my brain occasionally about life, love, work, writing, family life, etc. Yeah, I have Facebook for that, but sometimes it’s nice just to jot something down that absolutely no one else in the world may ever see. I blogged for years when I first began my pursuit of publication, and have kept copies of all of those old blog posts, even though my original blog is long gone.

So what made me finally bite the bullet and blog again? This picture. I needed to see this. I’ve read some pretty scathing remarks from readers on plot choices I made in Dark Vengeange 2. I knew when writing  Dark Vengeange 2 that the choices I made wouldn’t appeal to everyone, but I made them anyway because I felt creatively they were in the best interest of the series as a whole, that they would keep the stories moving forward. I could have given those readers the sugar-sweet HEA they wanted, but then there would be no place left really for the Brethren to go in my opinion. I’ve opened up a lot of doors creatively to keep this series interesting and engaging for me as a writer, and I hope, for you as a reader. In other words, I plan ahead, and my stories NEVER stop with the words “The End.” I’m always thinking of what will happen next, and planning for the next book, and I want to give readers an overall series story arc that’s engaging, exciting and unexpected.

I will never stop thinking and writing outside of the proverbial box. I’m never going to compromise what I feel makes a stronger, more powerful, poignant, or passionate story just because I’m worried someone out there might not like it. If that pisses someone off, I’m sorry. If that means I lose you as a reader, I’m sorry.   That wasn’t my intention. Just the opposite, in fact. And to those readers who have contacted me to let me know they enjoyed the book and couldn’t wait to see what happens next, thank you. That was my intention.