Teenagers. To some of us the very word brings hefty sighs, queasy stomachs, wild memories and to a few of you, fond thoughts of either your teenage years or your child’s teenage years (very few, I am sure). They should come with owner manuals for each one. We have five children and one is on her way out of these years, one is firmly ensconced in it and one is on the way in.
Our eldest daughter is now 19. Her “teen” years were actually rather smooth. We had our moody moments, rolling of eyes, snootiness and talking back but to be honest not enough that, as I sit here, I pull my hair out at the memory. But now that she is out of High School she is floundering. She has a part time job but doesn’t really know what she wants to go to school for. She, actually, just the other day, made the following statement, “Mom, I want to join the circus. Do you think they would hire me? What could I do?” I responded back with, “shovel elephant dung?” with raised eyebrows. She then sent me a link to an application for joining the circus…. Ummmm I thought she was kidding!!! I guess the joke was on me.
Our 16-year-old daughter, on the other hand, seems like she will never exit the “teen” years. Each day seems harder than the last and the last was awfully hard. We love her to bits and pieces and want the best for her, but may be the best is….. death. Just Kidding. But honestly, where does she store all the attitude and emotions? She suffers from anxiety and is medically home-bound this year. She is taking three courses on-line with her High School and one course in the building. They are being totally awesome working with us and her current challenges. But there are days when I pull up at the school to drop her off for her second block class and she is unable to get out of the car, due to anxiety. I lose my cool, I count to 10- backwards, I breathe. Breathing has become an absolute necessity. In through the nose – out through the mouth. I lose my temper with her at least once a day. She has class at 9:00! And she can’t get up. She is such a pain. We have discussed over and over the responsibilities that she has as an almost 17-year-old…. and she responds with, “I know” and “but mom…..”. She means well. She is a good kid. She has a huge heart and loves to love people into being better people (by that I mean she tries to fix everyone). But what she really needs to do is work on herself.
Our 12-year-old son, the only boy in the family -besides dad- seems like adolescence will never come. He is still such a child. Now don’t get me wrong…. I want him to enjoy his childhood for as long as possible, Santa Claus, tooth fairies and all, but there are things where his maturity would be greatly appreciated. Like getting out of the car in an appropriate manner, LOL. I was lead to believe, when he was born, that boys are harder as babies and easier as teens….. Well he was a very easy baby- all of ours were- so….. what does that mean for his adolescence? Can anyone tell me before he hits it and I pull more hair out? I mean should I be ordering a wig for the future? Because after him there are two more girls!!!
Raising teenagers are God’s way of paying us back for what we did to our parents when we were teenagers. Well let me just say…. “Mom, Dad I am soooo sorry for all that I must have put you through!” And to God…. “Ummm, I didn’t think that I was that horrible of a teenager, but apparently, You did. So, I AM SORRY.” Just kidding. But seriously, as our good ole country doctor once told me when I asked him why my son wouldn’t potty train. “How many 18 year olds do you see walking around with diapers on? He will be potty trained when he is good and ready. And you will miss it.” He was right of course, what I wouldn’t give to hold a baby, smell their scent and change a diaper or two. But I guess I will just have to wait to be a grandmamma – I can wait. Teenage years, I hope, will be much the same. Because even though they may be rough, after these years of turmoil and frustration, comes the empty nest. That I can wait for too. They can all be 40 and living at home as far as I am concerned, because my kids are awesome, with dirty diapers or teenage angsts, they are awesome!
So I guess what I wanted to convey is that although there may seem to be no light at the end of the tunnel… there is. And it is a nice soothing light. One where you can look back and be proud of the person your child/children has become.
I found a website that has poems written by teenagers, it can be an eye opening experience:
and Ohhhhhh, that makes sense….
Good luck and God bless you all.
Blessed with Five of my own teenagers, tweenagers and soon to be’s.