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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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Peg Leg Perspective

3 Feb

Being a Peg Leg stinks.  I will admit, there have been minutes, days, these past few weeks when I am feeling a bit down, bummed…ahem, sorry for myself.  However, I had perspective drilled into me as a child and I remind myself many times a day in the whole scheme of things, this whole Peg Leg experience is not a big deal.  I had many, many eye surgeries as a child and most of them required extended hospital stays at California Pacific Medical Center.  When I was little, pediatrics was combined with pediatric oncology.  You can imagine what the kids were going through.  We shared tutors, a play room and nurses.  We knew the details of each other’s medical issues.  My mom was a nurse.  She made it clear that there would be no pity party for me.  I would live.  Period.  “Do you know what these kids would give to just have an eye surgery?”  I got it.  Even at age nine, I got it.

We all get doses of perspective in life.  The clear vision we see during these times, the appreciation, the acceptance, and the honor we give to life is amazing.  It is something to be celebrated.  Yet, life gets busy, we get better, we forget.

My Peg Leg has helped me remember.  A friend’s son recently had a bad accident.  His cast is WAY bigger than my boot and he is a child.  He cannot have the perspective from years of life. This sucks more for him than for me.  We put our legs up, we play chess.  He laughs.  He does not complain.  I admire him, his strength, his ability to just deal with what has been handed to him and to try to make the most fun with what he has.  A cast from heel to groin at age 13 does not sound fun.  He does not complain.  He smiles, he laughs, he will live.  He will be OK and he knows it.

I get it now, too.  I won’t deny that I am bummed.  I miss running more than I can explain and I miss being totally independent and in charge (which in my house means being mobile 100% of the time).  However, I get it.  I know this is temporary.  I know I will be OK.  I know my pity party is trivial.  Tales of a Temporary Peg Leg are just that.

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