We had an hour to waste between having the glasses ordered and coming back to pick them up. The kid, as mentioned before, had to start wearing glasses for the first time. I would be wearing them full-time from now on (they are NOT bifocals...they are progressive lenses).
It had been awhile since we had been to a mall, so we decided to walk around and get something to eat while we waited. Taken in by samples on toothpicks, we went for the steam-table, Chinese-style place. Here we loaded up on honey and orange chicken with noodles to take back to our table.
We ate quietly while people watching. It was a Saturday night and groups of teens walked around as couples or in groups. The last time the kid had been here on his own was when he and H were dating, over a year ago. Not one to like the mall with its echoing noises and crowds further impairing his hearing, the kid prefers to hang with friends in less busy places now.
After eating, he didn't want to look anywhere really other than Hot Topic for the rest of the waiting period. This got me thinking (some more) about him and his style. Other than an occasional shirt or hoodie from HT, he has never asked to shop at certain places. I never thought about going to the mall when shopping for him, or to look at any of the those brands that seem to draw in teen boys that favor laid-back style, like American Eagle, Hollister, Aeropostale', etc.
Mainly because I am cheap and partly because I am dorky-mom personified, I buy whatever I can from Target, Old Navy or Kohl's, usually without him around.
ME: Hey, I got you a shirt today. *throws shirt so it lands on kid*
HIM: Cool. Thanks. *wears shirt later that week*
He hasn't said anything, so I guess he doesn't mind what I get too terribly much. We walked past the booming sound and strong cologne scent of one of these stores when I finally asked: Did it ever bother him that he didn't have more "name brand" clothes? Did he want to look or buy anything from these stores?
After walking enough of a distance past Hollister so that our eardrums would stop throbbing he answered:
"I don't really care much about what I wear or what others think. They're just clothes. And these places are annoying."
Laid-back answer from a laid back kid. I said OK and we kept walking. We were almost back to the eyeglass place when he spoke up again:
"I mean, I like what you pick out for me anyway. You have cool taste in clothes and such. I like your style. It's cool."
Resisting the urge to say "AWWWW" and squeeze him like Charmin in the middle of the mall, I thanked him and we went to get his glasses.
(Apparently our similar tastes apply to slightly-retro, black-framed "we're not hipster" glasses too. Mine on the right, if you can't tell.)
We checked in with a different person since the previous "look specialist" had left for the day. The extremely nice salesperson asked the kid if I was his sister.
I think when we hear this it is from me being casual and him being an older teen. An illusion of sorts. I was wearing a blue "Regular Show" shirt and the kid was wearing a Voltron shirt in the same color blue. We both had on jeans and Skechers, and we definitely had not paid much attention to our hair in the last few hours, with it falling all in our eyes. The kid has blue eyes (though lighter than mine), dark blonde hair with some strawberry to it, and is almost as tall as me.
"No, way!" the kid exclaimed, "That's my mom! Ugh!"
It's OK. I let him do that, after all he is seventeen and I am mom. Besides, there are two things I know. First, he thinks I really am kind of cool. Not that being a cool parent has ever been a priority to me, but it is nice when you can do your job and not be mocked all the time. Or at least some of the time.
The second thing I know is that he prefers his hoodies in a size larger than his t-shirts, which means I can fit into them too (barely). That includes this specific one that he wants for Christmas. If possession is 9/10ths of the law, then I am ahead in this game. This mom likes Deadpool too, you know:
Besides, I can always go back and get him this one instead. Loki is cute, right? I won't even fight him over it:
So, either I have the style of a seventeen year old boy, or my seventeen year old has the style of a 36-year-old mom*. Either way, I still think we are cool...for now.
*Yeah, I know which one it is. How about helping a sick person feel a little better today and pretend it is a legitimate question? Thanks!