Thursday, May 16, 2024

What it's like having teenagers

Being a mother to young children is relentless. They need you very first thing in the morning, all throughout the day, and into the night as well. Phoebe recently developed a little "chirp," where she says, "Mom. Mom. Mom," at just the right pitch to make my skin crawl. It's incessant. All. Day. Every. Day. 

Teenagers aren't like that so much. 

I can go hours without seeing my older girls. They host their own parties. They skip out on things they never used to skip out on (like trips to the library and swimming pool).

They are so capable. They do laundry. They cook. They keep up with their school work. 

That isn't to say that they don't still need parental interaction. They definitely do. It's just more sporadic. They just need it on their timetable. 

So sometimes we stay up until midnight talking about stasis theory.

Other times we put the little kids to bed and watch an "older kid" show together. 


The other day Rachel walked into the kitchen and saw me wearing a pair of navy blue shorts that I'd ordered—as part of my uniform for being a stroke and turn judge. I was just trying them on, but found that I actually really liked them, which was exciting for me because I haven't really liked a pair of shorts in years. But these ones fit nicely and I felt pretty darn good in them. 

I mean, they're nothing special. They're just, like, sweat pants...but shorts. Super casual. But definitely shorts I felt comfortable and confident wearing. 

So Rachel walks into the kitchen and she goes, "Are those new shorts?"

I stuff my hands into the pockets—to demonstrate their pocket-having qualities—strike a pose and say, "Why, yes, they are!"

And Rachel says...

She says...

Rachel says: "Huh. I don't hate them."


And that is what it's like having teenagers. 


"Well, thank you," I said. "For not hating them. That means a lot."

"Oh!" Rachel said, realizing the implication of what she'd said. "I didn't mean...! I mean, like, they look like something I might actually wear."


In short: teenagers are cool because they can do a lot of things all on their own. They might not follow you around the house whining to be picked up all day. They might not completely destroy every room they enter—and may even help put things back in order for you! But they will definitely still need you at odd hours of the day. And they can be fun to hang out with. And they will surely keep you humble. 

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