Friday, April 08, 2016

Hold 'em or Fold 'em?

My God, it's hard to parent teenagers. For the obvious reasons, it's an emotional journey, but as a nearly former blogger (crickets over here), I am missing the tie that got me through a lot of their younger years: community and camaraderie. The "Been There, Done That" aspect of young motherhood is nearly absent in the teen years of motherhood. Out of respect for my kids and their own need to tell their own stories (or not), I keep quiet. At least 96% of the time, anyway. I find that parenting in this kind of cocoon of silence is the quiet straw that broke this camel's back.

Why was I crying in my car at 9:00 pm all alone? Can't tell you. It's not my story. Except that I'm IN this damn story and the other side of it will most likely become fodder for "Remember when Mom..." lead-in's. 20 years from now, I won't be able to pull this up and say "THIS IS WHY I DID THAT. You were no angel, kid. Just you wait till your own precious babies become teens. Then we'll talk."

Ugh. I hated hearing that when my kids were little. I wanted advice! Show me how to ford through these murky waters! Don't send me out into the seas of teenagers with only one paddle and a slow leak! Teach me how to sail!!

Even now, I struggle to find the words to write that can adequately express how thin and tender my skin is right now; to do so might crush one of my kids' hearts or trust. I CAN'T DO THAT.

But this sucks.

It sucks worse than potty training.

It sucks worse than a high-needs child throwing the 14th tantrum that day in a public setting.

It sucks monkey balls.


This stage scares the shit out of me, and even though I think we're making good choices with a particular teen, there isn't any guarantee that he'll "make it out ok." A lot of teens DON'T make it out ok. A lot of kids who are well-loved and come from "good" families end up...elsewhere.

This is like going to Vegas (I assume; I don't like gambling.) and putting all of your money on one reasonably strong hand of cards. You are fairly certain that this will think... Well, maybe? I mean, what if I have misread the cards already thrown? What if I haven't judged the other players in this game adequately? IS SOMEONE BLUFFING?

Holy hell, I don't want to gamble with my kid's life.

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