Thursday, July 16, 2015

Exceeding expectations

I know those of you with young ones don't want to hear this but parenting teens is not easy work.  Your nights are shorter (if you wait up) or interrupted (if they come in late), their questions are big and sometimes hard, their bedrooms are messy and you can't just scoop stuff up and throw it in a basket (personal space MOM), they are busy people and if they don't drive yet you drive a lot, and if they don't work they cost a lot (even if they do), and you cannot scoop them up when they are having a "moment" and strap them in a car seat and hope they fall asleep on the drive home.

I find the parenting of these creatures intellectually stimulating but often both emotionally and physically exhausting.

It's different from the exhaustion of the early years of parenting but not as much as you may imagine.

When they are little you remember the moments they smiled, walked, said "I love You" for the first time.  Those heart swelling moments.

You get them in the teen years too.

Sometimes they catch you by surprise.

This week I have had two delightful surprises.

I had a big event last weekend for work.  I decided not to ask the family for help.  It was an early Saturday start and it had been a busy week.  My alarm went off and shortly after it did, the morning-averse girl child wandered in to our room declaring she had set her alarm so she could make me a proper breakfast before my busy day.

And she made our favourite pancakes which lured the boy child downstairs and we had a family breakfast.  Totally unexpected.  Totally sweet.

And then  as I started to load the car and sort myself out they both appeared dressed with their runners on and declared they were coming with Allan and I to help.

Wow.  I was blown away.  And help they did for a solid 4 hours.  Doing all manner of chores, meeting tons of our families and staff and being totally lovely.

I was so proud of them and so grateful.

Then yesterday, Allan's birthday, they both worked and then we all got home around 4:30pm and we sat Allan down in the backyard with a favourite beer and the 3 of us worked side by side in the kitchen preparing a lovely birthday meal for the Dad.

We chatted and laughed and discussed world politics, the size of allowable dorm room fridges, courses for next year for David and easier ways to peel boiled eggs.... and so much more.

They made me proud again with their competence and their intelligence.

They are not perfect.....they bicker until I want to clobber them both, their rooms are an abomination, they have more excuses about why they didn't do their chores than you can imagine...but just when I start to think the sleeplessness is in vain they go and exceed my expectations in the most charming of ways.

I guess that's how they keep us from losing our minds and/or selling them to the circus.

I have truly loved almost every stage of parenting (though I have seldom wished to repeat any of these said stages - lol) but I am particularly enjoying seeing their character emerge, seeing them grapple with big questions, make important decisions on their own and become the young adults I had hoped and prayed for.

One lucky Mama!

“I think being a teenager is such a compelling time period in your life--it gives you some of your worst scars and some of your most exhilarating moments. It's a fascinating place; old enough to feel truly adult, old enough to make decisions that affect the rest of your life, old enough to fall in love, yet, at the same time too young (in most cases) to be free to make a lot of those decisions without someone else's approval.”  Stephanie Meyer

“For though, as we have said, all children are heartless, this is not precisely true of teenagers. Teenage hearts are raw and new, fast and fierce, and they do not know their own strength. Neither do they know reason or restraint, and if you want to know the truth, a goodly number of grown-up hearts never learn it.” Catherynne Valente

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