Friday, June 20, 2008

Lessons from the briefly visiting Tallahassee cousins

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!



My father got remarried this summer and as a result, I got twin 12 year old step sibling (boy and girl) who stayed with us over Christmas. We all really enjoyed having them stay with us. I kept forgetting that they were still kids because they would unload the dishwasher out of their own volition. The kids loved having people who would play "I spy" with them for hours. But then, every once in a while, they would say something or get grumpy, and I would remember that they too are still kids.

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2KoP said...

Teenagers are awesome. Funny in just the ways you noted — and in other ways, too. They stand on a threshold that allows you to see exactly who they were as babies and glimpse who they will become as adults. Right now they pass back and forth through that swinging door with perfect freedom, but too soon the door will open only one way. My heart breaks for how soon that will be.