Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Scenes from Easter Break: My Teenager

For the last 2 days I have been sleeping in. Really sleeping in. Yesterday I got up at 9, today at quarter past 8. It's been a very deliberate sleeping in. I stay up as late as I want and then go to bed without setting the alarm. Because I. Don't. Care. I will get up when my body decides to get up. There are no schedules to keep, no children to pick up and deliver, no meetings, no obligations. And it is very nice.

The Neighbor suggested that I take a vacation from doing this week. Which is a nice idea but not strictly practical. Some things must still be done. But I am only doing the barest minimum of those things and otherwise doing pretty much as I please. Like Monopoly marathons with The Child. Today we're going to do a little shopping. I don't really enjoy shopping as a past-time but she does and she has some gift cards from Christmas burning a hole in her pocket so shopping it is.

Then I think we'll come home and play some more games.

The other night we were sitting together watching something, I don't even remember what, and she said, "This is really nice, just being here like this with my mom". And at times like that I think, What if everyone is wrong? What if all those naysayers who keep warn about the teenage years and how brutal they are, what if they are wrong? Or even partly wrong? What if we aren't destined to be at each other's throats for the next 5 years?

Because honestly, she was more of a pain in the arse between 9 and 11 than she is right now. And I remember a friend telling me that her daughter was a major pain during those years and that when she became a teenager she actually mellowed out and they got along great.

Of course there will be issues. The whole business of growing up and away from your parents, of developing independence and naming your own values is a big deal and will, necessarily, sometimes be fraught. But isn't it also a bit cliche to suggest that from now on it will be nothing but adversarial? I think so. In fact, I think that lots of times parents set themselves up by thinking the teen years (or any other period, for that matter) are going to be difficult and so they end up focusing on the difficult ("See? I told you it was hard") rather than just letting each day unfold and keeping an open mind.

All I know is that there is a new level of maturity and general sweetness about The Child right now and I'm enjoying it. And I don't know why I ought not expect the best of her in the coming years, rather than the worst. Of course it won't all be jokes and spa treatments and heart to heart talks. But I don't see any point in setting her up as the enemy, either.

Also, she has now made her bed for 7 days in a row. Just saying.

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6 Comments:

Blogger Seattle Coffee Girl opined...

Your kid totally rocks the house. So glad to read your musings here...it's a lovely week to be on break, and I'm enjoying living vicariously through you.

Your blog makes having a teenager seem not so bad. :)

April 11, 2007 11:00 AM  
Blogger jLow opined...

You are totally correct about parents setting themselves up for adversarial dealings with their children due to ill-conceived cliches.

Take the Bear for instance. Hubby and I were all set for battle during the Terrible Twos. Except for being an active toddler, no big deal.

Then 3 hits us smack in the face. NOW other parents are telling us, "Yeah two was easy - three is the REAL booger." great

April 11, 2007 12:05 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

And the good news, SCG...you are still a ways from the teen years.

Jlow: I loved 2 and personally did find 3 to be a bitch. But yeah, sometimes I think the biggest enemy of parenting are other parents.

April 11, 2007 2:55 PM  
Blogger Red7Eric opined...

Good for you -- prophecies are often self-fulfilling ... expect a little bad and a lot of good and that might be just what you get.

April 11, 2007 5:59 PM  
Blogger Citymouse opined...

You're so lucky!

April 13, 2007 6:32 AM  
Blogger Meg opined...

Lorraine,

just popping around my own blog-haunts. My mom used to say that she really wanted to rent us to the gypsies between the ages of 8 and 12. By 13 she actually wanted us back.

Slight problem though, I was a great teenager and never got to do the rebelling I needed to do - until I graduated from college. On the plus side, I was a touch wiser at that age and managed not to muddle things up too badly.

April 13, 2007 4:50 PM  

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