Breaking news: My 13-year-old son says I don't understand him.

Which is not news. I haven't had a 13-year-old yet who thought I understood anything they were going through. I'm now officially oh-fer-four in this department.

So they think.

A good parent remembers what it feels like to be a kid at all ages. Partly because empathy is a great thing, but mostly because remembering your own teen years helps you know the best hiding places for contraband.

Not remember what it feels like to be a kid? Honey, I'm still trying to lose the vivid memories of seventh and eighth grades:

Of being madly in love with Arthur Hoffman. Not knowing that he'd grow up to be a boorish snob, knowledge that would have kept me from crying into my sodden pillow for nights on end.

Of being the "chunky friend," not knowing that I'd look back 40 years later and smack myself in the head because what was I thinking?

I was a stick. I would give my left leg to be that weight again; an act, come to think of it, which would indeed make me that weight again.

Oh, yeah, I remember like it was yesterday; so much so that I have written a blues number dedicated to the 13-year-old in each of us.

Imagine, please, a smoky middle school gym (and, yes, I know that no one, least of all kids, can smoke in a middle school gym; work with me here), and in that gym imagine a certain blond young man wearing a black suit and a porkpie hat.

In a spotlight.

And everyone's looking at him.

Which he hates.

Because he's in middle school.

And he has the blues (I'd have you imagine a tune, but he's not that good with the harmonica yet).

I gotta do chores (Duh-duh-duh-DUH)

Pick up the dog doo every doggone day

I'm just glad we have a basset hound

And not a Clydesdale.

Oh yeah, I got me the blues

The Thirteen Year Old blues

I'm so blue,

I'm out of albuterol.

My report card is bad.

Pre-algebra's not a breeze.

All those x's and y's

Are gettin' me D's.

‘Cuz I got the blues!

The Thirteen Year Old blues

I'm so blue,

My middle name is Roquefort.

My iPod died.

In the washing machine.

Turns out that checking the pockets

Is my chore too!

Oh yeah, I got me the blues

The Thirteen Year Old Blues

I'm so blue, I'm filling in for the moon

August 31, 2012.

My mom bought me underwear

Does she think I'm a kid?

How the heck can I do gym class

In Spider-Man Underoos?

‘Cuz I got me the blues

The Thirteen Year Old blues

I'm so blue,

Picasso painted me in 1903.

Oh yeah, I got me the blues

The Thirteen Year Old blues

I'm so blue,

The Oompa Loompas just rolled me out to the de-juicing room.

Oh yeah, I got me the blues.

The Thirteen Year Old Blues.

I'm so blue, Levi's called.

‘Nuff said.

Ahwatukee Foothills resident Elizabeth Evans can be reached at Her column appears monthly.


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