Who would have thought that raising teenagers would make you want to pull your hair out and run away? I know, I have heard it from those who have teenagers and those whose teenagers have grown up, but I never thought mine would be so difficult. I should have known when they were little their stubborn willfulness would continue to get worse. I love my two children with all my heart but some days I want to run and hide.
For instance, I have come to understand that I can never say anything right, never do anything right, and I am somehow never there when I am supposed to be. However, I always seem to be there when someone needs to get a ride somewhere or picked up. And somehow I am the greatest mom when it is close to someone’s birthday or Christmas.
Patience, is a virtue, my mom would always say, except I don’t recall her having much patience for us three kids while we were sitting in the back of a hot car fighting with each other. My father, on the other hand laughs and laughs when I complain about my children. You see, I wasn’t exactly the greatest teenager in the world. I never used the front door; always my window. My friends would never go to the front door, they would always knock on the window. I seemed to always stay under the raider as a kid, even when I wasn’t making the greatest decisions.
As for my kids, it all comes down to trust. I have to trust that the world won’t break them or hurt them. I have to trust when someone wants them to do something dangerous that they will walk away. I have to trust that they will always be safe. Trusting that they will survive everything life throws at them is the most difficult thing a mom can do. When you can no longer hold their hand to cross the street that is when you realize how terrifying it is to be a parent. Or when they are gone until midnight and your body can only relax when the door opens and you hear that they have come home. Or when they are crying about something that happened during the day and refuse to tell you about it. These are the times you have to have faith and trust that they will survive the harsh realities of life.
As for me, well first and foremost, I am sorry dad for making you worry about where I was and if I was okay. I finally understand. As for my kids, I have to remind myself what it was like as a teenager and how they are learning how to walk across the street everyday alone. I have to remember how independence is the most important aspect of a teenagers life and that learning to live in this world without your parents constant assistance is the ultimate goal. I also have to remember that when they were willful and stubborn as toddlers that I did not want to break that part of their spirit only guide it to a more productive end. There is an end in sight and I am hopeful that all the things I taught and all the things they learn on their own will keep them safe.