I Am Now The Mother Of A Teenager

I’ve always heard scary things about parenting a teen; so far all of
them are true. The trick, I think, is to not let them know you’re
alarmed by their behavior; and really, there is no reason to be afraid.
I keep telling myself that the arrogance, the self-righteousness, and
the rudeness are just part of a river that’s running down the stream.
He once had colic, and now he doesn’t; so this all too will pass. Yet,
sometimes he shines like a precious stone. 

He crossed that line to 13. I woke at 7 a.m. to guitar rips from Guitar Hero World Tour, blaring out of the basement: Welcome to your new world; you’ve entered the realm of adolescence. We’re all in this world; Mom, Dad, right down to the youngest who’s in preschool. This awakening was not that much unlike his 7:30 a.m. birth, 13 years earlier. The shock at that hour was the same then as now. 

Finding that constant part of him that is pure and timeless is now my new challenge. At one time, at age 4, I could see him so clearly, as he clearly stated what he felt and what he wanted. Now a soft barrier keeps those pieces from view; sometimes you know him clear as a bell, while there are moments when the familar parts of him are locked up and hidden away; I wonder if he even knows where to find them. Uncovering those gems can give me an edge when I try to reason with him, and maybe even a lifeline for him. Seeing all the great gems inside of him, even when they're hidden, I hope, will ease the transition. As vital as seeing the good is, this is sometimes a hard thing to do.

Sometimes though, a teen doesn’t need reasoning. Whether they like it or not, they just need to hear your limits — and the consequences. Within those boundaries, teens find their room to grow, and a parent finds peace.

Still, it was gratifying to hear him say, “Mom, the Guitar Hero World Tour was the best birthday present I could have ever got.” I swear, he said that same thing when he was 4, and he found Buzz Lightyear (with the wings that popped out) standing under the Christmas Tree.

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