The other day a Mom of two little ones came up to me and with a hint of sadness in her eyes she looked at my two teenage girlies.
“They’re so big..” she said to me.
Don’t be sad about your children growing older I told her you will enjoy all of the stages they go through.
Later as I thought more about this conversation I knew there were some things I wanted to share about teenagers. When mine were little I thought it would be sad to lose the babies, but the toddlers were great. Then I thought it would be sad to lose the toddlers, but the big kids were great too. When the big kids became Jr. High girlies they were just as wonderful. Now I tell people that my girlies are ‘the chicks I hang out with’ because they are full blown young ladies. Teenagers...and let me tell you teenagers are even more wonderful.
Teenagers are full of life - they are waiting for life, anticipating all that is to come. They are filled with the excitement of a life that is ahead of them - but don’t forget they are filled with worries about that life that is ahead of them also.
Teenagers are full of ideas - they are discovering new things everyday...things about the world, things about themselves, things about the people around them.
Teenagers are full of loves and hates - they feel so strongly. And, if you are lucky they will tell you about the things they love and hate, because teenagers want you to care about what they love and hate.
Teenagers are full of creativity - they try new clothes, they write poems, they draw or paint, maybe they take photos, they wear a new hairstyle. It is a time for exploring...who am I and what do I like to do.
Teenagers are full of emotion - some days they are full of happiness, other days they are sad or mad. Imagine with all that life inside of you, with all those ideas floating around, with all that love and some of that hate, with so much you want to accomplish...of course you would be full of emotions.
Think back...way back (or for some of you not as far back as me!)...remember those teenage years? Remember the anticipation and excitement...of meeting friends, of going places, of first love (or second or third love).
Remember the frustration...of being old enough for some things but not old enough for others.
Remember feeling independent and strong but still having to follow rules set for you by others.
Remember school...having so much to do, having so much expected of you.
To me my teen aged girlies are a wonder. They have so many opinions for me to consider. They are willing to try so many new and different things. They can’t wait to have some fun, but they are always willing to sit down and talk about ‘things’. What a precious and special time these teen years are. On the brink of living life on your own, but enjoying the last moments of someone else being responsible for the every day ordeals of life.
It is not just the baby days that go zipping by these days also are too few...these are the last moments that we will live in the same house, the last moments we will be a part of each other’s every day lives. The last moments before we send that child that we raised out into the world to try it on their own.
Parents - don’t waste a second...ask lots of questions (the ones that show you are interested), get involved, listen to music together, read the same book, go to a movie and then talk about it. Just who is that teenager living with you? Find out!
I know my girlies Dad wonders why they paint their toenails green...
Teenagers - assume your parents want to know...tell them how you feel, tell them what you think. Remember your parents felt like you do once (they just may need to be reminded). Express some interest in what your mom or dad do...they aren’t as dull as you may think! Spend some time together - it will be worth it.
Some days require patience (from both parent and teen), some days require understanding (again from both sides), some days you will have to agree to disagree...but that is ok. Teens and their parents are not meant to agree on everything - nor will every day be a perfect one...but within those imperfect days there will always be a few perfect moments - treasure them. Hold them in your heart and think of them if the going gets tough, because after all it’s all about love right? We love the teenagers and the teenagers love us...bottom line...it’s all about the love.
Go out and do something fun with your teenager! (or your parent!)