Pegging Those Teens

7 Feb

Peg Leg here has two teens.  And, even amongst friends, sometimes I feel a little uncomfortable admitting that I really like my teens.  If you listen to the news, most teens are pregnant, drug addicts, drop-outs or gangsters.  If you listen to most of my friends, they are snotty, spoiled, selfish, oblivious, absentminded and irresponsible.  I confess that I can easily jump in and participate with my mom-friends in an hour long conversation about the negative character traits of teens.  You should see how we feed off of each other’s stories…we are like 5th grade girls with girlfriend drama.

In general, though, my kids are pretty awesome.  I am frequently surprised by how much I like them.  When they were sweet babies, toddlers and dirty-faced, school age critters, I never imagined it could be just as good, and, sometimes, better with teenagers.  Yes, they are big, demanding, loud, messy and stinky, but they are also clever, witty, smart and down right hysterical.   Sirskatesalot and I stare at each other wide-eyed when one of our offspring uses an epithet while telling a story at the dinner table, searching the other’s face for how to respond.  But then the punch line is so funny we break into laughter and forget to reprimand the storyteller.  It reminds me of when they were first graders telling jokes they had made up that were so NOT funny, but made us bust out in fits of laughter.  Only now, they are older, wiser, funnier and the jokes and stories are spot on.

While sometimes their decisions or attitudes are maddening, watching my teens grow into themselves is fascinating.  The path from teen to adult is a curvy, windy one filled with hills and valleys, but I think it it is important to let the teens do the driving.  I am enjoying these last, fleeting years with my kiddos.  I’m trying to give them credit, to back off, to let them do the driving, to let them set the pace and to let them choose the destination.

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4 Responses to “Pegging Those Teens”

  1. Eve Alosio February 7, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

    Jennifer, Very well stated and I always love the positive bent especially about teenagers-who for me has been the toughest time. Luckily I know there is hope- once they past that stage. For me it’s usually around 18. You have a great partner in Sirskatesalot (love the pseudonyms!) I have good kids, yet they can be maddening. Single Moms have a tough road because there is no help or back-up and if there is it- is usually on the opposite side of wherever we stand. As one of mine is already off and married, and the next one is going to college, I hope I did enough. I listed the places the 4 of us have visited. Taking them to Hawaii twice alone- I feel brave. Taking them with friends during ski weeks to Death Valley, snowboarding, skiing, Lake Tahoe and other adventures, I hope they remember it fondly. Girls bring a whole different set of qualities in which they are verbal and never forget that time when “you said or did that!” So that is another hurdle with girls. I already texted an apology to one of mine this morning for my morning meltdown! ugh!

    You do have terrific kids and you two are great parents. I need to remember when in the heat of an argument that they are not ours but borrowed for us to “teach them how to walk and then how to walk away.” Hoping they never really walk away completely! Loved reading about your love for teenagers on a day when I need to remember our time is limited with them.
    Eve

    • NTP February 8, 2013 at 3:47 am #

      Beautifully put, Eve. I, too, have experienced the highs and lows of parenting teens. I have to say that there are probably no two teens that I’d rather hang out with than my own. Not sure where I went right since I’ve done plenty wrong but my 19 and 16 year old are now very pleasant to be around. I’m not going to lie, my 19 year old daughter’s nickname by dad was “emotionally unstable” and “brain under construction” but it’s been confirmed by lots of innocent bystanders that my two teens are very pleasant. I know the offspring of Ms. Bossy and Sirskatesalot, and I would concur that they are just as lovely to be around. Yay to us, the parent survivors! We still have far to go, but so far, so good:)

      • bossybostwick February 8, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

        I concur, mscooksalot. Your teens are “very pleasant”…K may be more pleasant if you would just make her damn bed 😉

    • bossybostwick February 8, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

      Eve, you are a rock for your girlies and I love all you have written about motherhood. On days when my sweetie is
      “being verbal” I cannot imagine having three girls, but you do it seamlessly 🙂 I am also a fan of texting apologies. It is so nice to not have to wait til the end of the day to make amends. As, NTP said, “Yay to us, the parent survivors!” Come hell of high water we will show these kiddos how to be great and in the process, hopefully we can continue to enjoy them and their crazy quirks.

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