“Before I got married I had six theories about raising children; now, I have six children and no theories.”
– John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester (1647-1680)
I wrote about the boys when they were little farts in the “Wonder Years”. It seemed like those years were filled with special, magical moments that I’ve captured in pictures time and time again. Life with teenagers is a whole other dimension. At times I feel ill prepared and I say and do all of the wrong things. The most I can do is offer them support and guidance and hope all goes well. I was a teenager too and I remember those years and to be honest my children are a breeze compare to what I was like. I was a rebellious little bitch back then and I thank God I don’t have a teenage version of me in the house.
What I’ve really noticed is the language has changed. When the boys were younger we talked all the time, now that they’re teenagers the most I get is yeah, no and I don’t want to talk about it. Being me I ask another question and I get “I told you I don’t want to talk about it.” However, they don’t have jobs, they can’t drive a car and they need my husband and I to act as their chauffeurs, give them money for their entertainment and support their sport endeavours.
A while back my fifteen year old asked me to drive him to the movie theatre so he could join his friends. On the way over to the theatre I asked him what movie he was seeing. I made a comment that I wanted to see that movie and I got a blank stare. Then he said “mom you can’t come to the movie with me, you know that right?” Ouch… “What makes you think I want to see a movie with a bunch of fifteen year old boys Brendan?” “Well just in case you did mom, you can’t come in.” “Wow Brendan – really – believe it or not I much prefer your dad’s company.” A couple of months later my thirteen year-old asked if I could drive him to the theatre to meet his buddies to see a movie. Same chatter, different day – I asked him what movie he was going to see. “We’re going to see the Fury with Brad Pitt mom.” “Matt I love Brad, I want to see that movie.” Blank stare and after a few moments of thought Matt said to me, “mom if you want to come in and see the movie, can you drop me off, drive around the back, come in a different door and sit in the other side of theatre.” “Matt that is such a sweet thing to say.” Perplexed he said “really, I’m telling you to sit in the other side of the theatre and you think that’s sweet.” “Yeah Matt, the fact that you invited me at all makes me happy, but as enticing as your offer sounds, I’ll pass and pick you up when the movie is done.”
Recently there has been the drama of girls and I am really not prepared for that as I was never a princess girl and I keep telling my boys if they are going to date to make sure they look for girls who don’t play head games and aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. Don’t bring home a princess head game player because your mother won’t survive it. Both boys think I’m nuts and that’s ok because I am nuts – you have to be certifiable to raise teenagers.
Day in day out I question if I’m doing it right and at the end of every day when all is quiet and the boys have washed up for bed – it’s usually the same routine – I’m in the kitchen cleaning up the day’s mess and Brendan comes down and gives me a big hug and says good-night and about five minutes later, Matt comes down and hugs me good-night as well. Makes me smile every time and admit to myself that maybe just maybe I’m doing something right!