As a mom, I’ve heard horror stories about teenagers.
But I’m here to tell you… mine is my favorite. I honestly wish someone had told me approximately 100,000 times before he turned 14 how much I’d enjoy him now. “The days are long, but the years are short” would’ve seemed much easier to believe and deal with if I’d known eventually, I would not hate life a lot of my days.
The difference between teenagers and not teenagers is that before teenagers, they’re physically exhausting. I cannot with the chasing. When I say stop, you should just do. Don’t make me run you down before you hit the street. A little self-preservation here, people, if we could please. Just don’t touch the things. Don’t eat the things. Don’t be stupid about the things. Eat the things I give you without pretending I should be some sort of mind-reader. Don’t eat pancakes today when you know you have every intention of treating me like I served you poison tomorrow. Don’t make me look like a liar when I tell my mother “Yes! Pineapple is their favorite!” only to laugh while you spit it out when we’re there on Sunday afternoon. And, for the actual love, stop pooping, unless you plan to do it in the toilet like a real human person. And also, why are we so sensitive? Why is that a thing? What’s your issue with sarcasm? Catch on, please and thank you. This is why you’re cute, isn’t it?
However, teenagers, now this I can work with. I’d rather be emotionally exhausted everyday of my life than the run around portion of growing up. Things I’ve learned about my kid since he turned into a person:
He has cool stuff going on and can carry on a conversation about the stuff.
He likes to listen to real music with adult people singing.
His friends are funny and I don’t mind hanging out with them. (Fun example, tonight he was texting friends about RSVP-ing to his birthday party and one of them asked “Wait, when is this”? and one of his other friends texted back “It already happened, we’re at the place”, just to mess with him. It’s disturbing how a bunch of teenage marching band kids are my people).
I can say stuff without him freaking out and crying.
He’s liked most of the same foods for an actual, measurable amount of time.
He doesn’t run into the street anymore.
He has goals that have nothing to do with the bathroom.
He cleans up (and this is probably one of my favorites) after his own self.
HE ALSO CLEANS UP AFTER OTHERS. YES.
He can help the smaller one with things that I don’t want to do again with another kid.
If he wants something done, he can do it, and if he doesn’t, it’s on him.
FREE BABYSITTING. ENOUGH SAID.
He’s leaving soon. Wait, what? I’m sorry, cruel joke. Now that I’m enjoying and also feel like I’m accidentally being a little successful at parenting, you’re taking this one away from me?
He just turned 15 a couple weeks ago. Last year, he and my dad (retired, but can’t seem to retire high school guidance counselor. Yes, he was mine. That’s a different story) started touring and looking at colleges. He thinks he knows what he wants to be when he grows up. He legally can go get his driver’s permit. And I’ve never been so good or aware of how important it is to enjoy the moments with him. The fun part is, not only will I remember these moments, but so will he. I’ve never cried at any milestone. Ever. Literally. I was peacing out as fast as possible on the first day of preschool. Now, I cry when he does anything. It’s outrageous. And embarrassing. But, it’s also a sign that I’m finally present. Soon, it’ll be “one down, one to go”.
The next one is a girl. I can only imagine this might be a totally different post when we’re dealing with that. HAH!