I have two teenagers and three more coming up through the ranks. Can we talk about that for a moment?
I entered the parenting of teens with a bit of trepidation. Teenagers, after all, have a reputation for surliness and difficulty. It didn’t take me long to realize something, though.
I like my teenagers. Oh sure, they’re weird. Their ability to produce dirty laundry is legendary. The cost of feeding them is getting close to mortgage payment territory. They’re a little malodorous on the days when they decide hygiene is for quitters. I don’t get two-thirds of their jokes because most of them are inside jokes with their buddies. Their voices are deep like their dad’s. It’s kind of other-worldly to have to look at the people talking to discern whether it’s your husband or one of your sons. I can’t lie about that. One of them is taller than me by a mile and the other subtly sidles up and measures himself against me several times daily. He is either gaining rapidly or I am shrinking.
My goodness, though, what these young men can do. They hoist 50-pound bags of flour, sugar and chicken feed around like they’re nothing. They draw straws for the privilege of mowing the lawn. I haven’t put one toe or thumb on either our riding mower or our push mower in a couple of years. They walk and clean up after the dogs. One of them has taken over our gardening and the other loves to make breakfast for the family. They babysit their little brothers from time to time so their dad and I can scoot the two miles into town to have a cup of tea-for-me-coffee-for-him. That we sip quickly, praying that we will not come home to a house afire or a pile of teeth that were knocked out while stunts were being attempted, is neither here nor there. Those 15 minutes of toe-tapping time are extremely relaxing.