I’m 3 months and 14 days away from mothering 3 official teenagers.
Scary. In 3 months and 14 days, 3 teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 will dwell in my house with their mass of raging hormones, their sheer size, and their budding intellects that increasingly MUST be expressed.
Believe it or not, I’ve actually enjoyed parenting teens more than I enjoyed parenting small children. Folks always say the early years are exhausting physically, the teen years exhausting emotionally, and that teen-age girls especially can take you out at the knees.
All that’s been true.
But there are also huge perks about teenagers:
- They can wipe all their own orifices by themselves
- They can pack for trips all by themselves
- They don’t need babysitting—especially if you trust them
- They someday, eventually, will get around to taking their driver’s test and then be able to chauffer themselves and their siblings around
- They lift heavy objects
- Some of them can cook delicious meals and love it, while another can cook but constantly resists
- When they want to talk, the conversation can be amazingly deep, hilariously funny, and just as nice as with a fellow grown-up. Sometimes even better.
Yet my most favorite teen quality is their increasing self-awareness and growing ability to manage relationships. Notice I didn’t say manage emotions. Unfortunately for my kids, their parents haven’t quite learned how to manage their emotions, especially when riled up, so it’s pretty hard to expect our kids to do so. And when they’re having a teen hissy fit, the noise, chaos, and accusations can be overwhelming to the point that I regret that they learned to speak.
But more than once in the past several months, I’ve had my most volatile teen come back a couple hours later and say with a giggle, “Wow, I just had a fit—I was kind of out of control. What do you think was up with that?”
Or even better, with mournful face, “Mom, I’m sorry I just threw a fit. I know I totally lost it. Will you forgive me?”
That self-awareness, coupled with apology just warms my Mama soul.
Despite all the wonders of teenagers that I love, there also comes the reality that the range of blog topics keeps diminishing. Any time I do tell a story, unless I seriously try to cloak the guilty party’s identity, I ask permission first. But there are so many great stories I don’t even ask permission for, knowing the wrath and wreckage that would ensue. So you’re missing stories on:
- Friend problems
- Friend struggles
- Boy issues
- Friend drama
- Body odor, pimples, fatness, etc.
- Friend betrayal
- Faith crisis
Maybe someday, when my kids are middle-aged, the whole truth will come out. Until then, know that what you read is only the tip of the iceberg of what goes on in this home.