Wait, that was my brilliant brother, not me.
I’m more likely heading for a display ad in Working Mother that reads, “Advice appreciated. My teenager has entered the fifth dimension, and it isn’t a movie, it is being months from navigating the terrifying, wonderful, ‘friends over family’ landscape called being 15.”
I reference my sweet brother, as he is parenting a five-year old dollie who eats humus, broccoli, tofu and avocado for snacks. I’m the fast-moving, fast talking, single mama who begs my teenage girl to eat an apple with caramel, a carrot with Ranch – something in a food group that isn’t candy to compliment the microwaved corn dog. And to make it more ridiculous, I can barely spell broccoli without spell check, yet speak proper context for esoteric, voracious and/or cathexis.
Where is the handbook? (A parenting handbook not one on mass spectrometry.)
How many times must I say “no, you can not drive my car?” And how long can they stay in their room without coming out for air? Will thumb dysfunction due to texting be covered by ACA? No wonder vision tests are required in high school these days, and the human attention span is shorter than a goldfish**
Psychology teaches us this is normalcy, functional, early beginnings of independence, and pushing us as parents (which btw- works to test the patience of both). And I do get it. I am certain I did the same thing, but that was a long, long time ago, and the phrase, “because I am the parent” sounded ludicrous in the 80s. In 2015, I really like the phrase. This week, my smart girl even pulled the Socratic method on me. Seriously? Is this law school? Did I miss where Litigation 101 came after Physical Education in middle school?
It’s a little lonely to be on the inside back cover of Working Mother without answers. And more bittersweet, without her presence in the way she was at five….half my height, pigtails, contagious belly laughter, a princess cape and holding my hand tucked into bed reading together or working a Mad Lib.
(Now, THERE is a marketing opportunity Mad Libs (appropriately named) that facilitate parent-teenager communication.)
This is teenage-hood. My role is to give her space, cheer on risk (within reason), allow her to choose and face her own consequences, lead by example, encourage newly developing talents and nurture the road less traveled. My job is to love her and rally in her corner, no matter where and how she lands. (I find a closed-door and deep breathing techniques also help.)
Her job; however, is simply to be.
Someday they will all return to our dimension and with them, they will bring extra love, wisdom and learnings and the great power of finding adventure while seeking their truth.
We will no longer need Working Mother for advice or guilt over the occasional corn dog, rather we as parents of teens are also learning a new landscape – through adult reading glasses and wisely picked battles that truly matter.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_spectrometry / Mass spectrometry (MS) is an analytical chemistry technique that helps identify the amount and type of chemicals present in a sample by measuring the mass-to-charge ratio and abundance of gas-phase ions.