Yesterday, while I was fishing through some old poems, I ran across one that I wrote a few years back that talked about the feelings a parent has about their teenagers. I wrote it on one of those days when I was remembering my own teenage years, thinking back about what my poor dad must have been thinking at the time.
Before I tell you that story, let me share with you 2 of MY teenagers...2 crochet flowers I made yesterday that aren't through maturing! LOL
I made them because I was inspired by something I saw while I was looking around on Etsy. I saw someone's treasury with a theme of Mint Chocolate Chip. I thought: "Hmmmmmm...How would I represent mint chocolate chip in a crocheted flower?!" Then I remembered that I had a gemstone and a dangle that I've been trying to find the perfect places for. I don't know if THESE are their final resting places,...so to speak,...because they're still teenagers now and I haven't decided if I'm completely happy with them yet! But...This is my version of "Mint chocolate chip"...
Okay, back to my story. For the most part my dad didn't have much trouble with me...That's MY assessment! Ha! Ha! He may say differently! But I had a really strong sense of right and wrong from when I was a kid. I think I drove my siblings crazy! They would want to sneak and do something my parents disapproved of, go or eat something they weren't suppose to, and I was always the stick in the mud, saying: "We better not! Suppose they find out? Then we're gonna get a whooping!...I'm not doing it!!" They would spend the next few minutes trying to convince me that my parents wouldn't find out. But to no avail usually. The way I see it, if it wasn't for me, we may never have grown up!!! My parents may have killed us!! LOL ...Again, that's MY assessment. I KNOW my siblings wouldn't agree with that! They called me a "goody 2 shoes"! :-) A name I'm now proud I had.
When I was just about to turn 16, my dad was wanting to move to a new house waaaay across town. At that time, those 10 or so blocks away might as well have been the distance between Florida and the moon! I loved my neighborhood! We played ball in the lot across the street, the ice cream truck stopped right in front of our house every day in the summer, the boy I liked...a lot!...lived right next door, and all 3 houses of me and my friends were right in a triangle so that at night, after the sun went down and we all had to be back in the house....or at least off the street...we sat on our porches and talked, laughed, and sang (this song usually--> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTRfRK0ahYs&feature=related ) .
The idea of moving far away from there almost killed me! So, I told dad: "I'm NOT MOVING!!!" He argued the point, trying to reason with me that if HE moved, I HAD to move! But telling me that the new tenants to the house might not appreciate having a strange teenager living there didn't motivate me to want to go!
After about a week of going toe to toe with me, he used a different tactic. He said I could have my own bedroom when we moved into the new house, the biggest bedroom! He offered to even put a phone in my room and put a lock on my door so that I would be the only one with a key! How could I turn that down?!...I couldn't, and...I didn't...The new house turned out to be a great place!
I am fully aware that dad could have dragged me to the new house, put up with my mood for a few days, and 'let that be that'! But part of the reason I love him so much is because he chose this particular time to give me the confidence to know that I had bargaining power, and that he cared about my feelings. He must have figured out that because I was not normally a defiant child, this moving thing must have been very traumatic for me. I didn't appreciate all of that at the time. I was just glad to get my way!
Thinking back about it though, I can see that he picked the battles he knew he could win. And in that particular case, not only did he win, but he got a very happy teenager to boot! We never had another toe to toe battle again!...I made new friends, which he knew I would. And the boy next door that I had been so enamored with became an alcoholic drug addict! So, I'd say we all won!!...I hope this story gives parents some encouragement to hold your ground when you need to....but think like a teenager yourself when you want to. Teenagers are just trying to find their way. They may need some help from you...a former teenager, with a good memory.
She was our little daughter,
with a playful, happy grin;
Now this teenager replaced her-
and our nerves are all on end!
She Was confident and sure;
Now, her self-esteem seems lowered;
She would entertain herself;
But now, no matter what, she's bored.
She loved taking all the time,
little nuggets from the heart;
Now, she's hesitant and shy;
Being bold's a long lost art.
She used to love her sandals;
Now, its all about 'the boot',
She Would wear clothes to keep warm;
Now, she'd rather be cold-and 'cute'!
What happened to the little girl
who just couldn't wait to please;
Who would run and jump and play,
with a giddy kind of ease?
She's now a dreaded teenager!
These years have come too fast;
and my only consolation
is that soon this too shall pass!