Why is it seemingly so difficult to find joy in the parenting of teens and share it? I have 6 teens (plus one tween) right now, and I can tell you some days it is no cake walk, however it is filled with wonderful moments and days of profound joy as I watch them rapidly racing toward adult hood! It is exhilarating and terrifying! I want to watch their lives with an open eyed expectation while holding my breath knowing there are pitfalls along the way. Skinned knees give way to broken hearts. Bicycles give way to (gasp) cars. Their choices can lead them down paths of no return, and yet there is so much to look forward to.
I love that my house is full of loud, often off color humor which I have to obviously curtail. I love that my referring has decreased as they have matured but that every now and again I have to "blow the whistle." I love I am often the go to girl for problems and when I am not, my husband Seth is...and when things are especially not parent topic comfortable they have learned to talk with each other!
It is a balancing act raising teens. When to hang on...when to let go...when to talk...when to listen...when to draw in the boundaries...when to let go...when to trust...when to investigate and show up at midnight to make sure they are where they said they were going to be. When my children were young I was physically exhausted, now I am just emotionally exhausted.
I have learned how to watch the roll-o-coaster and not ride it as the emotions are all over the place in a house full of kids! I have learned that eye rolling means "this aggravates me but thanks for caring." A slamming door means they really want more attention, and that sometimes the best thing you can do is nothing. The main thing I am learning from my teens is what my parents must have gone through when we were getting ready to leave the nest, and a remembrance of where I was as a young adult with no concept of the wisdom age, responsibility, and time brings.
Most mornings are mass chaos in this household for the span of an hour and a half before everyone catches the bus to school. There is some order to the chaos though. Alarms are set in varying time frames so there is some semblance to shower order. They came up with this on their own, which I feel means we must have done something right. Every fifteen minutes a new alarm goes off with the final teen waking up to his siblings telling him once and for all to get up so he doesn't miss the bus!
Then there is the music of the morning. Our lives seem to revolve around music. The other morning it was the "Eye of the Tiger" full of leaping air guitars, lip syncing, and dancing as they headed out the door. Previous to that my son serenaded me to "Aint No Mountain High Enough" which threw all of us into a good mood and fits of giggles. There are no dull moments.
Gone are the school yard days, kissing boo-boos, potty training, and everything else small children entail. It has been replaced with it's own kind of new mayhem, but with it has come the sweet sweet recognition of the people they are becoming. There are some days I shake my head and wonder where we went wrong but many more days I marvel at what we did right to be blessed with a house full of loud, fun, amazing young people!