Let’s be honest. I would like you to think that I am a perfect mom. That I am Martha Stewart and June Cleaver rolled into one. That I am all the things that I have aspired in my heart to be as a mom. Especially this week with Mother’s Day approaching. But I am not. No, I definitely am not … and this teenage thing is about to throw me over the edge now that I have three kids in their teens!
Here is a picture of the little lake right behind our house:
The lake is significant because it is in very close proximity to our house. It is the place I refer to, literally, when I tell PR (13) to "go jump in the lake". The lake is also significant because it is dangerous. There are rattlesnakes when the weather gets warm, there are mountain lions and bobcats and coyotes at times. The lake is not without risk and I know that. A GOOD mom would not let her kid near it, let alone encourage her
obnoxious, moody, argumentative sweet, curious, young teen to explore it. Better yet, I tell him, "Take your gun and GO!" As if an air-soft gun will protect him. But honest to God, there are times when I just may lose it if I don’t get a little space between me and my pain in the lovable teen. I know, you’re thinking right now that I am Mother Of The Year material. Of course, it goes without saying!
Briefcase is a runner and will sometimes go for runs down in the canyon behind our house to
get away from us all get some exercise. He runs past the lake and takes our two retrievers with him. We have gone on many family hikes there and when the kids were young we would go fishing or catch polliwogs too. It, literally, is steps from our backyard and this photo was, in fact, taken from our back patio. PR loves to get a group of buddies and go air-softing back there. (Sort of like BBs, but safer). I am not a gun fan. I had moral gun dilemmas when my boys were young and wanted toy guns. Between squirt guns and Nerf guns, I gave up the boy/gun battle many years ago. Now I am the terrible mom who hands her kid the air-soft gun and sends him down to the dangerous lake in an effort just to get him out of the house. He comes back filthy, disgusting, and grinning ear to ear every time. It is a win-win.
Having a 13 year old boy in the house is like living with an active volcano. "When he’ll blow – nobody knows!" It is a roller coaster of moods and every morning when I wake him up for school I know his mood will dictate the start of MY day. One minute he is the boy I have loved since birth, the next he has a surge of testosterone and he is angry, sullen or outraged over some perceived injustice. The moods change at the speed of light (as does the size of his feet!). At times there are moments when even he realizes (through his hormone-induced brain fog and low/squeaky/cracking voice) how ridiculous and unreasonable he is being. At those times he will suddenly get a little mischievous grin on his face and look at me as if to say, "I’m being difficult, aren’t I?" I find myself taking calming breaths and reminding myself that I have lived through this age with kids twice before and surely I can survive it with one more child. A few moments later he is once again just the sweet young boy he was just a few months ago.
My former college roommate sent me an email last weekend regarding her teenage daughter Katie. I quote, "Katie screamed at me and told me she hated me three times this morning (because I told her I was upset she had not done her chores again). She said she was moving out, threatened to call the cops because I ‘touched her’ as she tried to slam her door on me …cried for an hour … told me she can’t stand looking at me … then within the hour was lying on my bed asking me to rub her back! Ugh!!"
I can’t tell you how GOOD it made me feel to get that email. Not that I wish the teen years on anyone. But I am not alone and that is comforting. Also, I’ve got some competition for Mother Of The Year.