I have been dreading the teen years for so long. Everyone told me I should. They pull away, they become defiant, they smell. Okay so they do smell a little but so far I am loving the teen years and let me tell you why:
1) He is so interesting to TALK to! I mean we can have real conversations about life, politics, relationships, the future, the past.
2) He still needs me but in a different way. Yes he is growing to be a man. Deeper voice, HUGE feet, big appetite. But he still wants to touch my hair, poke me, bump me. No longer will he hold my hand for more than a couple of minutes but he still will. He reaches out for physical contact still but in a different way. He doesn’t think I notice, but I do.
3) He is independent. He doesn’t NEED me for everything. Maybe not every mother likes this part but I do…at least with my first born. Ask me again in 12 years when my youngest reaches the teen years. But right now I am maxed out with taking care of everyone so his independence is truly freeing.
4) I notice him watching…I mean really watching. He is watching how we parent his younger siblings, he’s noticing the “tricks” we use to make things fun and realizes that we did that with him too. He is starting to see what we do differently than others and what we do the same. He is questioning everything deeper. His questions are getting more thoughtful. He is really thinking and forming his own ideas and integrating all that he sees. It keeps us on our toes and we have to look deep within and make sure what WE are doing is in alignment with our values, dreams and hopes.
5) We are starting to see the man he will become. We are seeing his values evolve. We see what drives him and makes him unique. We see a young man that is inquisitive, sometimes stubborn, thoughtful and aware.
He still has much to learn, we all have much to learn. But we see this man evolving, and are happy to be his parents. We are looking forward to the challenges ahead in terms of expanding our understanding of each other and learning to be family but also be our own individual beings.
So so far…I am loving the teen years. Don’t let them worry you. Love them like you always have. Embrace this season of life and ENJOY!