March 7, 2010

Who is This Teenager in My House and What Did You Do With My Child?

"Mother Nature is providential.  She gives us twelve years to develop a love for our children before turning them into teenagers."~William Galvin

 It seems to happen overnight.
The child who was sweet and loving and becoming responsible and capable and who was proud to call you his parent( because he thought you were the best and smartest parent ever) has transformed into someone else.

They are called teenagers.
These are some of their characteristics:

They do not hear as well as they used to. 
At least it seems that way when they are repeating back to you what you previously said.

Usually they are not able or willing to communicate in more than a few short sentences or sounds.
And if for some reason you did not quite hear what they had to say, you will miss out because it will not be repeated.
They become impatient with your inability to hear.

They no longer want you to show affection to them, especially in public places.
Things like hugs and a peck on the cheek-taboo.
Do not think of just blowing a kiss either.
Sweet is an inaccurate word to describe them on most days.

It is as if they have taken on some symptoms of old age.
They forget.
They no longer remember the house rules.
They forget they do not and never have had a live-in maid.
They forget where the kitchen sink and laundry room are.
They forget your phone number- so they are not able to keep you updated with their schedule.
They forget when to come home.
They forget how to get home.
They forget they have parents.
(Unless they need something from you.  Like money.)

They become unreasonably irritable.

They become unreasonable period.
They have short tempers.
And they can be demanding.
Especially when you are so slow or so deaf or have the most embarrassing wardrobe.

They have become amazingly intelligent almost overnight!
You no longer have any sense or wisdom about you.
You do not know anything.
And you for sure 'you just don't understand' or 'get it'.

How could you?
Being as old as you are and all?
You are sometimes even so stupid.
They wonder how this happened to you overnight.

And they question your love. 
How could you love them and do the things you do?
And you wonder the same thing back.

And you feel unloved and unappreciated and unheard and misunderstood.
And you do not understand how they cannot see and feel the deep love you have for them.
Why can't they understand that it is because you love them and are concerned for them that you have become these' overnight crazy people'?

And then you remember when you brought this child into your life.
And you remember the love you felt when you first saw them.
And how you made a promise that you would love them and keep them safe from harm.
And as you remember, you are reminded how you got here.

And you realize you could never have known the depth of the feelings and emotions that would come with being a parent of a child.
And you are beside yourselves.
And you shed many tears and spend a lot more time on your knees asking for guidance.

And although you are often confused,
and you often feel lost and inadequate,
you hold on and continue to try your best not knowing sometimes what that even is.
And you often feel like it is anything but your best.

But the love that you never could have imagined,
is the very love that keeps you loving and trying, despite the questionable evidence that you are not making much progress.

And recalling that love is what sustains and encourages you to nurture those untamable teens into becoming wonderful adults.

And you can see past the anger and the tears and the uncertainty and see that child, your child, looking back at you from within their teenage body.
And you are reminded of what you are doing and why.
And at that moment your love and heart stretches beyond your human capacity and you begin the journey into sainthood.

And it is that hope and that love that pulls you through this phase of life.

"Love is never wasted, for its value does not rest upon reciprocity."~Neal A. Maxwell

"Adolescence is a period of rapid changes.  Between the ages of 12 and 17, for example, a parent ages as much as 20 years."~Author Unknown



  1. This posting made me cry and made my heart re-open. It is so easy to forget that this is your love child when you feel like you are being looked at as though you are an alien who dropped in from another place and time...when my teenager turned 12 I realized over that year just how stupid I really am. I am still trying to recover from that realization and it is five years later.... But this too shall pass. And I will remember that quote about it is how we DEAL with the stress (not what stress we have) that makes us who we truly are. Lord, give me the strength to be compassionate, patient, and thankful for the thing I call my daughter.

  2. Yes, I remember it well! It's all a blessing, even the teen years.

    A friend


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...