I love my teenagers. I am grateful for eye rolls and smelly socks and messy rooms. The island of the empty nest is sadly closer on the horizon than I’d like it to be, so I cherish all the good and all the bad. They are my life and I adore them, the good the bad and the ugly.
But. BUT. Somedays, I really don’t like these people that live with me. They irritate me, they drain me of energy, my calm and my rational thinking and humor. There are days when they push every button I have, sending me into a version of myself that I become with no one but them.
Somedays, I am tired of being the grown up, the mindful person in a house of chaos. While trying to have a conversation with one teen about important life things like a summer job, college recommendation letters and planning the weekend, I am immediately vilified, told my expectations are too high and that I “always ruin E-V-E-R-Y-THIIIIING.”
Say what now? I just used my most calm, conversational voice and my best empathetic mom energy, carefully choosing words, tone, inflection and the like. I timed it perfectly – after the snack, after the daily rundown of what happened with whom and where, before the hours of homework, etc. I did what I was supposed to do. AND still, I am met with a bunch of teenage shit.
Sigh. I get it. The kids “these days” have a lot on their plate, blah blah blah. And I get it, I am a mom and they are teenagers and they are growing and their frontal lobes aren’t fully developed and they are pulling away because that’s what they are supposed to do. And I get that I need to have a thick skin…
I have such thick skin that I could give an alligator a run for it’s money. I meditate, I read, I love, I am. And yet, these smelly, messy people still irritate me. They, in their adult bodies with their toddler like, self centered ways bug the shit out of me some days.
People like me. I have friends. I have colleagues. I am respected. I am friendly. Teenagers, however, when you’re not on your game, can humble you like no one else – making you feel like you are the most uncool person on the face of the earth EVEEEERRRRRR.
And that’s another thing I don’t like about my teenagers. The sweeping generalizations.
I am the ONLY ONE who has to come home early.
I am the ONLY ONE in the whole school that can’t have my phone upstairs.
NOONE ever has to check in with their parents.
EVERYONE is going to the party.
YOU are the STRICTEST MOM in the whole town. EVERYONE thinks so.
To this, I giggle internally. Maybe it’s more like a maniacal laugh as my mental musings pat me on the back for being an original.
Another thing about these beautiful people with the glowing skin and the agile bodies? They flit from being an overflowing wealth of information and gossip to just plain mumbling. When they feel like it. They make me feel like I am losing my hearing. Sometimes, they become mute, only grunting while slurping big portions of cereal. They clam up in an instant. We go from having a great conversation about anything to “Yeah, maybe, I don’t know, grunt, hrumph, silence.”
It’s exhausting at best, and maddening at it’s worst. Teenagers. Sigh. These burgeoning adults while still dependent on Hubs and I are wanting so badly not to be. The cling and they run. They love and they act out. They grow and regress. They are teenagers, they are children. They drive me out of my mind.
The Yiddish proverb “little children disturb you sleep, big ones, your life,” is oh so very true. It does not by any means diminish the challenges of living with and raising wee ones – not at all. All stages of childhood and adolescence are mixed with struggle and ease, joyous wonderment and frustrated incredulity.
And while I am more than along for the ride, living it loving it and being grateful for the joys and the struggles, it just so happens, sometimes, I don’t like my teenagers. And I’m kind of ok with that. Today.
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