20 Sep
2015
Posted in: parenting
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Relieved about Mothering a Teenager

teenage boy holding a photo of himself as a baby

I woke up this morning the mother of a teenager, and I feel relieved.

Yes, time goes too fast. Yes, I cannot believe our oldest is 13 years old. BUT, despite all the times I’ve felt like I failed our son, he’s thrived for 13 years, and I can see the all those lessons we’ve taught him taking hold.

Today I’m patting myself on the back and high-fiving Craig. We’ve been parents for 13 years with no instruction manual or training detailing how to handle all the myriad of tasks and obstacles we’ve faced, and all is well. It’s not perfect, but I’m feeling ecstatic about who our teenager is and where he’s capable of going. I also feel annoyed at times because he’s a TEENAGER. That boy can drive me batty.

boys sitting in the grass smiling

Being the oldest isn’t easy. He isn’t getting my “A” game as a parent. Every milestone he reaches, is new for us. We’re doing this together. He’s had to teach me every step of the way as much as I’ve had to teach him. I’ve sensed him changing, filling with hormones, over the last few months. He watches us more closely. We’re his most constant example for how to be an adult. Most days I can’t believe I’m an adult and now I have this person watching me and taking notes. I want to do better for him. There’s a lot I have to learn about being an adult, and he’s going to help refine the person I am.

He seems more capable and worldly at 13 than I was at the same age. He’s responsible even though I tend to harp on him to be even more. He can be articulate. That teenage son of mine knows how to have a discussion with us and win. I’m proud of the young man he is and what the future holds for him.

I’m sure my mild-mannered teen will one day raise his voice or slam a door. I’ve been known to throw an adult-sized tantrum myself. Each stage of childhood has had its challenges, and I know the teen years hold some whoppers of their own. I won’t say I’m prepared because I most certainly am not. I’m approaching the teen years differently than I thought. I’m excited about this boy we’re raising and not near as wary.

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