You may ask, "What in the world are you talking about? Who knew what?"
Who knew that I'd have so much fun being the mom of a teenager? I mean seriously, I didn't have the best experience being a teenager myself, so to actually enjoy having one of my own has taken me by surprise. I thought that maybe it had something to do with the hormonal surges of teen girls in their over-the-top drama and emotional roller coaster rides. But my son has some teenage friends who are boys (gotta watch how I word that....), and they don't seem to have the same type of relationship with their moms as my teenage boy has with his. And there is much drama involved. So it can't just be a girl thing that I experienced.
Can I say "it's a parening thing" without sounding like I'm aware of doing something right that other parents haven't? Because I don't know that I have. Done something right, that is. I feel, every day, that I'm totally messing up. Royally. And utterly.
All I can say is that it's gotta be a God thing. Because I don't have the first clue how to raise a teenager, let alone a regular child. I don't ever recall receiving a handbook called "How Not to Mess Up Your Kid and Turn Him Into a Monster Teen" when that little person pushed his way out of my body. In fact, I may have actually handed over the handbook called "How Your Life Changes in Ways You Never Imagined When You Have Kids" because nothing could have prepared me for the twists and turns my life has taken once that little person plunged into this world. And right into my heart.
And altho he's not so little anymore, he's kept his place in my heart for 13 1/2 fun and chaotic years.
Just when I think I've gotten it all figured out, I'm derailed and caught completely off-guard with yet one more challenge. I mean really, how do you handle the fact that your now teen son wants to spend almost every waking moment hanging out with his friends? After spending the first 12 1/2 years hanging with his mom? Wow! That was something I knew would eventually happen, but so soon? After all, he's still just a baby, right? OK, I know....he's not a baby in the world's eyes, but he is in mine. I can still perfectly recall the day he was born, for goodness sakes! What happened to the last 13 1/2 years? Where did they go? And why do they go so fast? If his life was a racecar, these last 13 1/2 years would have broken all land speed records. Gosh, they would have broken the sound barrier, for crying out loud! (ok, I'm going back and perusing this to make all the necessary edits, and I've realized a good old "no pun intended" is required here)
But to have fun while on that ride is an understatement.
So here's the story behind the reason for posting:
Yesterday while I was home enjoying my day off, my kid was hanging out with his friends at the baseball field near our home. Whenever he's out and about, we always keep in touch by text, and yesterday was no exception. Our normal texts range from "I'm home" to "You're such a dork" and everything in between. So to get an unusually silly one from him isn't, well, all that unusual. I don't even remember what we were texting back and forth yesterday while he was with his friends, but he decided he needed to call me. Now to get a phone call from him is more unusual than getting a silly text, so I knew I better answer. And to be honest, I don't even remember what he asked me, but I do know that he called to ask me something and thought it important enough to call. As I was just about to tell him "I love you" (yes, believe it or not, he actually does still tell me that....every.single.day.....many times) he had hung up....WITHOUT saying it himself. So I texted him and told him he didn't say "I love you" and that the next time he has to say it really loud so everyone can hear him. He basically blew me off....at least for a little while. But then he texted to tell me to go out onto our deck. So I did. And I heard "I LOVE YOU!!!!!" in what sounded like my son's voice, traveling far across the 1 1/2 blocks from the park to our deck. I busted out laughing. Not because it surprised me, but because it didn't! It is just something he would do, and obviously did.
Now, to say that this made my day would be an understatement. The fact is that it probably will have made my entire week by the time this week is done.
Another story behind my reason for posting is a post from a fellow blogger (Sarah Mae) about failing as a mom. She talked about how it's so easy to become distracted and neglect our kids while our faces are turned away from them, peering instead into a book, a computer, the tv, or any other number of things that steal our time away from our precious children and the priceless time we need to be spending with them. This really struck a cord with me because I had been thinking about this very thing over the last several days. I had wanted to cut out some of my time-wasters, and spend that time instead peering into the face of my child. OK, so he's not so much a child anymore....but you know what I mean.
I want to cut out computer time mostly. At least when he's around. If he's gone (or sleeping, as he is now), then I do what needs to get done, then get gone....off the computer. I don't want to look back after he's left home and say "I sure wish I would have turned off that computer more often." So I made the announcement on that good old fashioned blog thief (refer to a previous blog post), that I wanted all my mom friends to hold me accountable.....if they discover that I'm online for more than 30 minutes a day, to give me a "nudge" to shut 'er down. To pay attention to my kid. To go be a mom! Shortly after posting, I received a comment from a friend that said "If I were you, I would drop us like a bad suit and INHALE this time with your son!" AMEN! It was all the confirmation (and perhaps, permission) I needed to do just that.
So that is what I did today. My kid came home for lunch (from the previously mentioned ball field), and for the next hour I stayed away from anything with a screen, and INHALED the time with my son. I went online to find a nice picnic area near us, and found the perfect spot. So we headed over to get some crispy fried chicken from SunMart (because I had just heard on the radio that you can't have a picnic without crispy fried chicken), along with some am-A-zing potato salad, potato chips (that was my kid's choice, not mine...I figured we had enough potatoes in the salad), a couple of cans of softdrinks, and headed out to our new, favorite, *secret* picnic spot. And it was good.
I love having a teenager!