Teenagers are awesome. They are funny, dryly if the boy, absurdly or cutting if the girls.
We have right now. There's no time to cry about the years away from these amazing kids – we have today to go roller skating and to Dairy Queen and drive around to see the height of the flood and visit the Volo Bog and be pleased to give the mild thrill of a theoretical threat of "hazardous soils" and carnivorous plants and attacking geese to the 12 year old.
When their mother says she wouldn't let her high school girls go shopping alone on Michigan Avenue, don't ask how this will help them learn to make good decisions on their own at college next year. Don't tell her you were letting the girls do that four years ago when they came to visit. Don't try and don't care because you can't fix everything and you don't want to change someone so unlike yourself. Appreciate the parenting that has turned out such awesome young people.
Suddenly, my children, through their eyes, are strange and amusing little creatures again. The ten-year-old laughs at everything Nora says and I can hear again how the piping of her flutey voice colors all she says with novelty. Even her outraged "There are only three things that will make me happy right now. A cookie, TV or playing on the computer! And I won't!" is met with gales of laughter.
Teenagers are awesome. They can make their own sandwiches! They don't demand or interrupt! When they don't make their own, they thank you and praise you for yours!