February 22, 2010

Troubles With My Teen

This past weekend was a challenging one for me. On top of the fact that I am not feeling well, I have not had the friendliest weekend with my teen aged son. These teen years have been a very humbling experience for me. I realize that me not feeling great has been a contributing factor.

I remember being a new mother. After a grueling 29 hour delivery, I looked down at my wrinkly swollen newborn and I felt fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of the drive home, fear of the pain and sacrifice I was unsure I would be able to give. I was shaking literally and I wasn't all together sure if it was the exhaustion or the fear. About 15 months later I remember the exact opposite feeling one day, while sitting in a church meeting. I noticed another mother with a child that was misbehaving- badly. My child had his hand-made mini photo book with cut out pictures from church magazines and real photos of his Dad throwing him in the air keeping him blissfully reverent. I had my tupperware fully stocked with Cheerios and other various quiet toys stashed away awaiting their turn in the line up if needed. 'That poor mother just doesn't have it together' I ignorantly thought to myself. I wonder what some more experienced mother of teens would say if they could have seen me last Saturday.

Saturday T left for an all-day scout training thing. I don't know how I managed to go for 6 months alone with my kids while T was deployed because 6 hours on Saturday seemed to bring both of us to our wits end. The things we said to one another! The atmosphere in our home was awful. I tried involving the kids in a friendly little game, but even this turned sour. Big personalities clashing once again.

Really there are a lot of things I have to be grateful for with this kid. Maybe I need to remind myself. Here I go: He's a good student. He works hard at his violin. He is socially adept. He has a soft spot for his mother and will still give me hugs. He is funny. He has awesome red hair. He likes to read. His cartooning skills are pretty great. He loves his Dad. He never complains about going to seminary or church meetings. He can iron and do laundry. He hates swearing. He's a fast texter. He is good at math and science. He's gonna do big things one day. Lots of cute girls have had crushes on him over the years but it has never gone to his head. He is growing so fast I can't believe it! He's sporting some big muscles this year. He's got great freckles. I love him. He didn't give up during cross country season, even when it was hard. Very hard. Perhaps this is the strategy I should adopt for myself. Pushing through the fear and pain. Going the distance on this long long journey.

And never, never giving up.

(photo taken before the big muscles showed up this fall)


Carrie Stuart said...

LOL! I am feeling your pain! It's funny how we are clueless about the stages of life...until we are there! When I hear young moms lament about the young child phase...I reflect back to the time when I thought life would be grand once they could all wipe themselves and buckle their own seatbelts. MAN how I long for Elmo's World and naptimes some days. My life is not my own! Glad to know I'm not in it alone.

noyb said...

both my brother and sister are dealing with adorable, wonderful kids that have turned into teenage monsters. i swear the only thing that keeps them alive is that the cute wonderful-ness peeks through every once in a while. it sucks and they have both lost sleep over it. hope it smooths out really soon. imagine his mission farewell talk where he thanks you for being an amazing mother and teaching him all he needed to go out in the mission field. :)

Laurel C. said...

That is an impressive list your son has going for him. Sounds like he's a good kid who's just trying to find his spot.

I am dreading the teen years! Especially with my daughter. I hear that teenage girls are tough with a capital T! (Was I one of those?) :)

CSIowa said...

Deep breaths--hopefully they last long enough to remember this brilliant philosophizing that seems to leave my head completely in the heat of the moment.

Hang in there. I'm confident that you both will survive, and then some. I'm counting on it, in fact.

Kelly said...

Thanks for all the encouraging comments. Misery loves company : )

Was it dishonest of me not to mention that he especially hates it when his mother swears? Like when I say "for the last time put that d___ violin away~!"

Now that would make a great missionary farewell story right?

CSI, I hope you are not counting on me too much...

Eileen said...

Lyle is half-way through his African adventure and I have to wonder if he had a sit-down chat with Adam before he left because I can tell that Adam is trying very hard not to drive me crazy. I'm trying very hard too because I know how quickly it can escalate. I'm letting a few things slide because I just don't want to go there.

Everyone says how teenage girls are more moody/difficult than boys and that hasn't been the case with our family at all. But, the two feisty girls are still little at this point, so in a few years I may be singing a different tune. Abby scares us so much. She's a total flirt and doesn't always use common sense. Lyle said it's unfortunate that "she shows promise of being quite pretty." Who would think that a dad would wish for his daughters to be homely? But that's where we are with our little flirt, hoping for acne or something.

Amy said...

Oh man, I am nervous now! My oldest will be 13 this year. She is an awesome girl, always has been and we have always gotten along really well. But lately I see the little eye rolls, the sighs, the irritated looks and it scares me to death! I hear that while we feel we are losing them when they are teenagers, we reclaim them later on. I know that I was a handful for my parents, and I turned out pretty good, so I guess there's hope?