The fact that my son's first conscious use of underarm deodorant coincided with the advent of his first math final in high school shouldn't come as any sort of surprise. It is a milestone that will stand alongside his first ride on a two-wheeler and his first, well, just about anything. It is one of the joys of being an only child. When he decides that he wants to learn how to boil pasta, it is a moment with which we have to reckon. In many ways, each new day is a revelation, and his parents must discern which are photo-ready and which, like the above, are worth mentioning on Al Gore's Internet. That would also be the terror, if you happen to be the son in question.
And so it goes for this next generation. We, as parents, probably pay way too much attention to the day-to-day moment-to-moment goings-on of his life. This includes his relative ability to wake himself up in the morning. There was a time when I was greeted by his shining face more mornings than not, but since he has evolved into a full-on teenager I spend a lot more time dealing with the body under the covers who responds to my "Good morning" with a snort or a grunt. I have felt the tug of the sleep vortex for some time now, and he is definitely aware of it. We have tried numerous alternatives, turning on the light, shaking his bed, pleading. I even tried cooking bacon in the kitchen to lure him from his slumber. It currently takes our entire village to rouse him on any given school day. The fact that it's not getting easier has been discouraging for me. I want to believe that I am giving him the skills he needs for life, even if it is simply answering the bell to the clarion call of corporate drudgery. I understand that teenagers need more sleep than other humans, but because this one is mine I feel the need to buck the trend. Especially when he is taking his first math final that morning.