Somewhere, unbeknown to me, a subtle metamorphosis has taken place. My once guaranteed-to-be-enthusiastic firstborn has morphed into a child who mutters and pouts and whines whenever he is asked to leave the house. Don't get me wrong, he is still a social butterfly when invited to do just about anything at all with his friends, but a family expedition? Nah. This summer I have bent over backwards to try - geocaching, meals out, orienteering, all manner of fun excursions which might appeal to a boy on the cusp of 11. Somehow they have all been met with the same reluctance.
And the thing that really gets me? Quite often when I have hauled him, protesting, to do whatever it is, he says, on the way home "Actually, that was quite fun after all". Aaaaargh. Because after listening to his moaning and groaning I am in a thoroughly stinking mood and have not been in the right frame of mind to enjoy it at all. It's exhausting.
Perhaps it's my karma catching up with me. I was always so judgemental about the families you see out and about, with children all plugged into their individual electronic gadgets, and thereby insulated from having to interract with their families or their surroundings. It's just that I don't want to turn into one.
There is one gadget though that seems to ease matters - my camera. Viewing life through the lens allows him to engage with what's going on, yet still be in his own headspace.
Which is, what I am assuming, is what is with the proto-teen attitude. Though I could be wrong. Feel free to enlighten me.