Sympathy Puberty and Me

You know how some men experience some of the same symptoms as their pregnant wives? I’ve heard tales of morning sickness, bloating, even labor pains.

They call this “sympathy pregnancy.”

Well, I’m pretty sure I’ve discovered a similar phenomenon. But it involves me and my adolescent son.

Yes, friends, I’m suffering from sympathy puberty.

Exhibit A: Acne

Why is it that my skin was near flawless when I was a teenager, but once I hit 35, I turned into an oil-plagued pizza face? Remember the zit-turned-seeping-wound that I sported at my 20-year reunion this summer? And just this week, coincidentally right when I had to shoot a video that will be reviewed by certain national TV journalists, out popped some sort of boil-like blemish, smack-dab in the middle of my forehead. Of course I couldn’t leave it alone, so by the time I made the video, the blemish had grown twice its original size and was raw and scabbing. Today I went to work with a Band-Aid on my forehead. The gig is in the bag, I’m sure.

Exhibit B: Irrationality

If you’ve spent much time around tweens or teens, you know that they will argue things that aren’t rational or make any sort of sense whatsoever. Lately I find myself jumping to exaggerations and unfounded conclusions. “I forgot to make Boy #3 brush his teeth before school this morning. Great. Now instead of three cavities he’s going to have 10 cavities, and they’re probably going to have to just pull out all his baby teeth, and then his adult teeth underneath are going to be so rotten that they’ll have to just go ahead and pull those too and he’ll have to wear dentures. He’ll get made fun of at sleepovers when he takes out his teeth to soak them overnight, he’ll become extremely self-conscious, and he’ll live with us until he’s 45.”

Exhibit C:  Voracious appetite

Like a growing teenage boy, I’ve been devouring everything in my path lately. Only a tiny fraction of it being actually healthy. Today for lunch I had about 17 Hershey’s Miniatures, 2 cups of coffee and a can of Coke. Last weekend I polished off 3/4 of a gallon-sized Ziploc bag full of a dill-flavored snack mix my mom had sent home with me (for the kids, of course).Tomorrow we’re going to my in-laws’ house to watch the Iowa/Iowa State football game, one of the most exciting football games all season, and all I can think about is the cupcakes with black-and-gold frosting we bought to take with us.

If my voice suddenly drops an octave and I start shaving my legs AND my upper lip in the shower, I’m going to be really worried.

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