Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Let the wild rumpus begin

We now have more teenagers than “other” in our home. WoW!

Our middle child (oh, the issues he will have to discuss with his therapist someday) turned 13 a few weeks ago, it’s hard to believe he’s a teenager already. For one thing he’s still pretty sweet, and it seems like only yesterday he was a little boy (probably because yesterday he WAS still a little boy).

Maybe it doesn’t seem like a big deal to have the “teens” invade (it is an invasion, make no mistake, as surely as if a spacecraft landed in our backyard). To me, sigh; it’s sad and fun and frustrating everyday, sometimes all at once. I love that they are getting older and they are becoming individuals with their own personalities and opinions, on the other hand, there are times when I am soo annoyed by their opinions and personalities that I could scream.

For example. Our son who is 16 was planning to attend school today without shoes. Honest Injun. NO SHOES! When I explained to him that this simply wasn’t acceptable I was informed that it is really ridiculous that I am so concerned with what other people think. Yeah, that and the fact that walking around a high school all day barefoot is really disgusting and probably not very safe.---This by the way, is the same boy who doesn’t believe in taking out the garbage.

Then there is the 15 year old. Sigh, an enigma wrapped in a riddle Batman. This one has MANY layers. More onion than parfait.

Our sweet middle boy has always been so peaceful and kind, but recently I have seen the teenager starting to peek through the little boy shell.

When you have a house full of little boys sometimes you long for quieter days and more maturity, trust me when I tell you I have learned {the hard way, of course} that 13-19 does NOT equal quiet and mature. It does equal, louder, hungrier, sometimes smellier friends, huge grocery bills and crashed cars. All logic has gone out the window, forget trying to have a conversation that follows any straight line. And girls. Yep, now they LIKE girls.

It’s bittersweet to me. I am glad to see their strength and independence, but I know the reason they need strength and independence is so they can leave us and strike out on their own.

We hope that we have done all we should have to prepare them, knowing of course that we are learning just like they are and we have let them down plenty of times. Sometimes I want to scream-“Stop, give me another chance! I’ll do so much better this time.” But that’s not the way it goes. One kid, one chance, do your best, and hope they survive it.

I hope that when the time comes I can greet it with more joy and less regret, and that someday they will know that I really did try so hard to be a good mother. I wanted to prepare them for everything, I wanted them to have everything, I wanted them to be happy. I tell myself, my own mother surely must have wanted all that too. But I am still a dissatisfied customer. Maybe that is why I worry so much that my own smarty pants teenagers will fly the coop and never look back.


blah blah blah said...

NO Shoes huh? I guess I pulled silly stunts like that but for some reason I think teens today are crazier and crazier and then I stop and think 'is that all that different from what I pulled'? No, probably not. But no shoes in a high school filled with kids who don't bath and janitors who don't do all that thorough a job does seem a little scary. Ah, to be young again and not think about safety.

I think that something happened to our parents generation, but I don't know exactly what it was. Maybe it was Formula. Maybe it was careers or the 'have it all and more' mentality but something happened. Or maybe something just happened to my parents, I don't know I guess. anyways, I like to think that parents today (maybe not all, but a lot of them) are trying to do better for their children and see that all of their needs (not to be confused with wants), emotionally as well as materially, are met.

I think my mom wanted to be happy and not the other way around and that we didn't make her happy and she kept seeking other avenues (usually in the form of alcohol, drugs and men) to make her happy. She still isn't happy and I am still unsatisfied with her.

blah, blah, blah
sorry to ramble.


wesley's mom said...

I am trying really hard lately to keep the perspective of-"Oh, yeah, I did stupid things too."-If "me then" showed up at my door to hang out with my kids I would probably not be too happy. All in all we have great kids. They're just a little goofy sometimes. I'll take that anyday over boring and lifeless.

I think my parents were more concerned with their own happiness too. Maybe that is the generational thing--Me Me Me.
Whatever it was I find myself hoping, I guess, that they -deep down somewhere--cherished me the same way I cherish my own children.

Whew, I am sappy today, huh?

blah blah blah said...

Luckily I can remember quite well my teenage years. Everything I wanted to do was deemed wrong by mother. There are a lot of things that look or sound weird, but are really harmless. I find myself mostly concerned with the way young girls dress, I'm going to be too strict with the daughters I know. But for the most part (dressing like a prostitute excluded) clothes and hair are a way for a teen to express themselves and we should be careful not to limit their need to express their opinions, even when we disagree.
I do realize that I sound like Dr. Phil, sorry. I'm not sure if I will still feel this way in 13 years, but I hope so.