When did I get Cooties? Every time I reach out to kiss my 12 year old son’s head or give him a hug, he withdraws in a state of absolute panic! Apparently I forgot to get my Cootie shot. Cootie shots don’t have a long standing immunity. During my childhood we would give each other cootie shots by criss-crossing our fingers while shrieking “COOTIE SHOT! COOTIE SHOT!”
Today it’s done by drawing two circles on your friend’s arm. Kids are weird.
I thought this was a fictional disease but that’s all wrong. I’m here to set the record straight. This is a disease that affects the mothers of twelve year old boys. When a mother has Cooties it will cause her son to jerk in horror when she tries to show affection in any way, shape or form. The disease is not only physical. It manifests in emotional ways as well. For example, your son may come home and want to tell you something about his day. He will express his desire to share with you but then will announce that he has decided NOT to share because, in his own words; “You will go all Oh wow, gooey goo, want to know what I think?” crazy on him. You can’t bear these words so you convince him to share. He agrees but he outlines his terms and conditions. Mother is only permitted to respond stoically and with one word. The terms are agreed upon.
He tells you his story. The Cooties make you want to go all “OOHH AHH GOOEY GOOEY,” but you are trying to heal from this fictitious disease so you control yourself. You think of that one permitted word and blurt it out. He looks at you and says “Correct” and walks away.
This disease isn’t a joke. You may be tempted to ask him if your Cooties hurts him because you’ve noticed that he looks like he’s going into electric shock when you are close. His confusion is obvious. He may try to explain that he has sensory challenges. Then he may hug you intentionally to see if you still have the Cooties. He looks at you with a puzzled expression on his face because the hug felt kind of good and he didn’t find you repugnant.
And then he may laugh and tell you that he loves you.
You take that moment and tuck it away into the recesses of your heart. You wake up the next morning ready to fight another day of Cooties. Don’t give up the fight. Keep those Cooties at bay! The cure is found through persistence and love.