With the benefit of hindsight and the advantage of a little emotional distance it’s easier to laugh and embrace the positive when a couple of teens come flying down the stairs after 11pm realizing that they had forgotten to do some homework due the next morning. And … they have to be at school at 6:30am for cheer practice. I’m just here to help get them over the next hurdle, not coach them through the full distance into adulthood. So yes, I do have PowerPoint on my laptop and am happy to let you use it. I sympathize. Need anything else? Maybe a wakeup call in the morning to make sure you don’t oversleep after a short night? I’m off to bed, please turn off the lights when you finish.
We’re all too familiar with these scenarios. Every family has their special brand of stories to tell. From lost phones, to messy rooms, to banged up cars, to forgotten homework assignments, no sense of the clock, broken curfew, and on and on. Parents compare notes to assure ourselves that we’re not alone. There is much consternation about if and when this will get better, mixed in with strategy sessions on how to shape them up.
Maybe we shouldn’t get so worked up? Maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to despair, lecture, strategize and generally strive to mold them into mini adults. Adulthood happens soon enough. Don’t we have great memories of being teens? … well, mostly? I’m just wondering. Not saying I could have done it, but this week has got me thinking. In fact, I’m probably one of the last parents, who could have ‘lightened’ up when we were in the mid-flight with teens — I do know this about myself!
Nevertheless, returning to these years as a visitor, I’m now wondering what will they be missing once they’ve ‘matured’ (aka ‘shaped up’)?
The lightness of spirit that comes when you’re not dredging through to-dos in your mind all day long.
The joy of the moment regardless of how tired you might end up being the next morning.
The energy and enthusiasm that is fueled by spontaneity rather than rigid plans.
The sense of freedom and coziness that comes from a messy room, even if you spend many minutes every day in panicked searches for phones, adapters, shoes, etc.
Just wondering …