Corby Winters Column

Surviving Planet Puberty

by Corby Winters, Guest Columnist

The Little Black Dress is our guest columnist this week. Enjoy!

Recently, I was told I was in the middle of midlife. I am sure I appeared shocked. I suppose in some world 29 is midlife, but not in mine, I thought to myself.

Then reality hit. Okay so maybe the old calendar indicates I am in the middle of midlife, and maybe I'm a little past 29, but don't tell Winters or anyone else for that matter.

No midlife for me. I am in the midst of puberty, spelling bees, musicals and mini meltdowns from The SONs of Thunder.

Some days I hardly recognize The SONs or the world we live in.

Many times I ask, "Am I on another planet?" and "Are these my SONs or simply alien impostors?" Yes, that is it! Aliens have embodied my darling, charming, delightful SONs of Thunder. 

Winters and I have definitely found ourselves on Planet Puberty. And we have every intention of surviving.

So in retaliation for this invasion, I went on strike. That was effective for a very short time — until I realized the SONs did not really understand the true meaning of "a strike" and unfortunately, I crossed my own picket line a few times. But the word "grounded," now that they understood. However, they had rarely experienced being grounded until the world as we know it changed with the invasion of pubescent teens.

Now Winters and I are willing to try just about anything.  We are back to writing out goals, objectives and setting plans in motion. Lack of electronic access is a never-ending discussion, so much so that I simply say, "Do not speak. Don't say another word." Yet this bothers The SONs, who think we have a "tone." They prefer more harmonious discipline on Planet Puberty.

Oh my, have I become my mother? I ponder ... Well, she would be a hard one to top.

Once my brother and I drove her so crazy she threw spaghetti at us and then beat the pots and pans together. When we were adults and recounted the story to her, she simply smiled and said, "It was macaroni noodles not spaghetti." My only retort was "Mom REALLY, it was pasta!" I adored my mother and I figure every great woman deserves a breakdown once in a while.

I am pretty sure she was menopausal. And my dear friends, menopause and puberty simply do not mix! So far I have managed to outrun that one.

As for me, I have never beat pots and pans together except to make music with The SONs and I have only served them pasta on a plate.

However, I did nearly have a nervous breakdown trying potty training with The SONs. I used to wear evening gowns and sing on stages to hundreds of people.  I have a master's degree in counseling for heaven's sake. And I can't teach one tiny little child to poop in the potty!

What is up with that? I am pretty sure I shed some tears over potty training three SONs and it never got easier. Now thank God I can laugh about it. I will blame the tears on postpartum depression at the time and I am sticking to that story.

Sometimes life is just hard. It doesn't matter if you're potty training your child, your SONs are trying to come into their own, or you are burying a beloved parent.

Life is full of moments that seem insurmountable.

We have friends on the same planet.  We can relate — and laugh — about our common experiences. Growing up isn't all that bad either on Puberty Planet. We have food, water and air. Well, as far as the air is concerned, I have air so long as it hasn't been sucked out of me over some great debate that the invaders need more computer time, games, toys, electronics.  

We are still in charge on the new planet, although sometimes it appears there may be a revolt any minute. So we say words like "strike," "grounded" and the best, "I love you" — and then give them a big hug! Oh and we say a lot prayers on this planet, trust me on that one.

How can you make it? Pray a lot, listen to them, find a good church and seek wisdom from those who have taken the journey. More importantly, remember the aliens will leave and your sons or daughters will return. 

Finally, savor the moment. Life is short, even on Planet Puberty!

......................

(The Little Black Dress, also known as Corby, is married to staff writer John Winters. You can follow her adventures over at corbywinters.com or contact her at corbywinters@live.com .)




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