Things That are Awesome About Teenagers: A Comprehensive List

I’ve noticed that more often than not when I get a compliment on my kids these days it is kind of coated in pleasant surprise that we all actually still like each other now that they are 16 and 13.  We’re right in the thick of the teenage years and I’m realizing that a lot of people are terrified by the thought.  Honestly I was one of them at one time.  I think that there’s this misconception out there that these years are destined to be full of angst and slammed doors and, well I’m just gonna’ say it…moody, hormonal assholes.  But I’m here to tell you that isn’t true.

I mean, okay maybe that’s sometimes true.  But they usually forgive me.  Badump bump.

Lean in and let me tell you a secret that is not often told: The teenage years can be really, incredibly awesome.  I’d even go so far as to say this is my favorite phase of parenthood yet.  Well, at least tied with that sweet, chubby, laughing baby phase.

Things That are Awesome About Teenagers: A Comprehensive List

1.  A teenager will NEVER wake you up at twenty til the buttcrack of dawn asking for Cheerios after she has kept you up all night insisting with a pouty lip that she needs to immediately watch The Little Mermaid for the eleventy-millionth time WITH YOU.

2.  Teenagers want to sleep in their own rooms…nay, in their own beds in a weird teenage blanket-burrito formation that keeps all their limbs neatly tucked in and will make you wonder why they didn’t sleep burrito style like that all the times they kept sneaking into your bed and somehow simultaneously stuffing one foot in your ear and another firmly in your crotch  while you prayed, “Just two solid hours of sweet, sweet sleep please God please.”

3.  If a teenagers spill something they can clean it up they dang selves.  What what.

4.  Teenagers do not demand to be carried, say, from the furthest point in the mall all the way to the car at the end of the parking lot.  They will willingly walk.  Unimaginable while you’re stuck in the toddler phase, isn’t it?  And even if they do get a little tired and over it, I have found that you can get them moving again by telling them that you think you saw a Starbucks near the entrance on the way in.

5.  You can share shoes and sometimes clothes.  I mean, they’ll always look better in them but let’s not focus on that.  This is a happy list.

6.  Teenagers can have actual meaningful conversations with you.  You know those days when you think that if you don’t get some grownup talky-time with someone who, say, doesn’t let their own nose drippings flow directly into their mouth that you might die by your own hands?  Boom!  You’ve got it!  Your teenager has real grownup thoughts and opinions on politics and religion and pop culture and love and there will be times when you will be stunned by the maturity and wisdom that just came out of the same mouth that just asked you how you tell if muffins look “done.”

7.  If they have a booger you can tell them and they’ll just, like, go handle that.

8. You can leave them home alone and go run errands, or get a pedi, or have a date night with your husband and not have to get a babysitter or worry that they might drown in a five-gallon bucket or stick their finger in a socket.  I know, that’s a revolutionary thought right now, isn’t it?   And moms everywhere shouted “FREEDOMMMM!”

9.  You realize that they are really growing into becoming their own person.  Not a mini-you.  Not a mini-him.  A separate, beautiful, independent and amazing person.  There will still be shadows and whispers of you and your spouse, to be sure, but there will be impressive and wonderful things there that you can take no credit for (believe me, I’ve tried. Nobody bought it) and you will marvel at them. This is when you realize your offspring aren’t merely little reflections of you, and that if you treat them as such you’re doing them a huge disservice (Btw, if you’re still doing that, stop it. Stop it now).

10.  Once they are 16 they can go to the grocery store for you when you forget the milk.  I don’t really feel like this one needs to be expanded upon.  It’s that obviously awesome.

I think that pretty much sums it up, but I reserve the right to add to this list often over the next several years.

Don’t fear the teenager, young moms.  And meanwhile appreciate those other stages too, because as much as I’m enjoying the now I don’t know that we ever stop longing for the yesterday too.  I guess that’s just part of it, isn’t it?

I owe someone an apology.

More than just one someone, actually.

I want to send my most heartfelt and sincere apologies to…

Don’t hate me ’cause I’m juicy.

anyone who has ever gotten stuck behind me as I’m towing around my slobber monster.

I swear he isn’t normally so…drippy…but something about being in the car with the windows down gets his juices flowin’ and before I know it the people behind me are thinking, “Huh, I didn’t know it was supposed to rain today…”  Check out those gross dog slobber streaks all down my windows.  I wonder if I could teach him to Windex…

Last night the fam and I went out to eat and as we sat down I noticed something about the people at the table next to us, because I’m a creepy people watcher type person.  Don’t judge me.  It was a mother and son, and no kidding, for the entire time we were there the mom was reading her Kindle and the son was playing with his phone.  They ate their entire meal that way then got up and left without more than three words passing between them the entire time.  I remembered reading an article about how few families sit down for meals together…so I guess at least they were doing that much.  But does it count if you don’t speak?  I think it probably has less to do with some lack of desire to speak to each other as it does with our obsession with our gadgets.  Sometimes I find myself antsy if I have a moment of inactivity where I can’t access my Facebook, text, or something internet-y.  That cannot be healthy, right?  We’ve become a nation full of people who don’t know how to act unless we’re within two feet of some sort of touch screen.  Anyway, I’m toying with the idea of having a couple of hours every evening where nobody is allowed to touch a computer, iPod, television or smart phone.  Am I crazy?  Can it be done?  Will my family mutiny?  Stay tuned to find out! Is your family addicted to gadgets?  Have you ever tried to create a gadget-free zone?

My Mason jar herb garden and my 10 year old femme fatale.

The whole fam was lying around last night watching that old Drew Barrymore Cinderella remake, Everafter.  Ever seen it?  It’s pretty cute, as Cinderella remakes go.  But there’s this one part where the evil stepmother (played by Angelica Houston.  She does evil very well) convinces a pudgy servant boy to do something shady for her in her attempt to get the prince to marry her horrible skank of a daughter.  You get the gist, right?  So I say something about how the evil queen is sweet-talking the kid into doing something he shouldn’t and Anna pipes up and says, matter-of-factly,

“Well, that’s how you get stuff from an unattractive man; you sweet-talk ’em!”

Okay, that’s funny yet also kinda’ not okay.  haha.  So, she and I had to have a little discussion and now I feel fairly confident that my ten year old is not going to live a life of weilding her feminine wiles in a cruel and horrible fashion.  Hopefully.

Earlier this week I decided to follow up on one of my Pinterest pins and make a little herb garden using some antique mason jars.  Adorable idea, right?  I had some very old Mason jars lying around…the kind with the lid with the separate little metal piece that slides over the top to hold it on?  So all I needed were the potting soil and the herbs.

I selected oregano, basil and rosemary and I’m so excited that the first two are already sprouting!  According to the seed packets, the rosemary takes a little longer so maybe it’ll pop up soon.  If I haven’t screwed it up already, that is.  I have no green thumb at all so it’ll be fun to see how quickly I kill them all.

C’mon, little rosemary! You can do it!

Check my oregano, ya’ll.