It is so much fun watching my little people become, well, not so little. I am big enough to admit that I bought hook, line, and sinker into the myth that raising adolescents would be awful. It is a given in our society that teenagers must be incredibly difficult, stubborn, obnoxious beings that suck our will to live every day of their life. Apparently we are supposed to white-knuckle our way through these horrific years until they come out on the other side with maturity. Drugs are often needed. For the parents.
Now, I currently *only* have a thir-TEEN year old. However, as she nears her 14th birthday I continue to be amazed by her personality, sense of humor, and creativity. I love her! I enjoy talking with her and finding out what is on her mind. I think her take on life is super cute and very astute at times. I see childishness still lurking and sure, my patience grows thin at some of the more obvious lapses in judgement she makes. However, my patience grows occasionally thin with my other children for age-appropriate issues, too!
I think teenagers get a bad rap. They aren't eat-their-belly cute like babies. They aren't babble-misprounced-words cute like toddlers. They aren't entertain-you-with-wild-imagination-and-schemes cute like grade schoolers. They aren't even tender-your-heart-for-their-awkwardness cute like tweeners. Nope, these mini adults are just smaller, more immature versions of their final selves with all the personality perks and baggage that any other human being carries through life. Their idiosyncrasies are clear. Their strengths and weaknesses are becoming more and more plain. And the clock seems to be ticking towards that final transition into the "real world."
I remember so well the painful place of being stuck half way between little girl and all grown up. The jumble of emotions and new discoveries that both thrilled me and frightened me (when I was brave enough to admit it!). My conversation and questions ranged from the lofty to the downright absurd. Yes, I remember well the place in my own life that Hannah now inhabits in hers. And honestly, it sometimes feels like just yesterday. Then I watch my teen do something so very... teenish, and suddenly it feels a million years ago that I walked this same path. Funny how time works.
I don't know how my life is going to change as my parenting grows up with my children. Or more importantly how I am going to change. I have a lot of ideas, concepts, and parenting rhetoric fighting for breathing room in my head. But I hope that I remain humble towards the understanding that my assumptions about my children and my parenting could always be wrong.