I know I promised you a post on my melting pot family, and I’ll get to that… next time (I promise!). But, since this is so much on my mind of late, I thought I’d write about TEENAGERS this time. Sometimes I wonder if I am going to lose my mind. I recently read a post on Facebook about how mothers of teenagers would give anything to have the worries of toddlerhood over the worries of teenage years, and I had to whole-heartedly agree. Not to belittle the anxiety we feel when our children are younger, but the teenage years brings anxiety to a whole new level. It is so scary when your children want to be so much more independent. In addition to the anxiety, the exhaustion I feel is also on a whole new level (aside from those few weeks as a newborn when master Yi-Yi refused to sleep at night).
Look at how sweet they looked.
When the kids were little, our lives were filled with preschool activities, playdates with friends, trips to the park, and all kinds of activities in which I took part. Much of my social life was centered on my children. As they have gotten older, it has morphed into being the designated chauffeur or sitting at home waiting to make sure they come home safely. Don’t get me wrong, we still manage to do some things as a family, albeit sometimes begrudgingly on their part, but it’s not the same. And my own social life has become next to nothing, often because I am too filled with exhaustion and anxiety to muster up the energy to pursue one. I feel like I’m becoming more of a recluse by the day. I’m sure I’m not the only one out there, though sometimes it sure feels like it. My ideal Friday and Saturday nights involves watching a movie in bed, something that rarely happens as my teens find more and more they HAVE to do.
Family Time at Graves Mountain
Take Master Yi-Yi. Now that he has his driver’s license, he thinks the world is his to explore. Every time he is on the road, I get a sick feeling in my stomach, and it’s still hard to send him off to school with his sister in the car every morning. I constantly have to remind him that he’s only 17 and not a self-sufficient adult. We have a constant battle of wills about what he is or isn’t allowed to do. Up until this point, he had been pretty good about listening, but I feel my control slowly slipping. And the energy it takes on my part to rein him back in is enormous. He’s been grounded from spending any time with friends after school this week and is in danger of losing a lot more if he defies me again. Then there are the school stressors related to his ADHD, but that’s for a post all its own.
First Day of School (11th and 9th grade)
Little H has discovered the joys of boys, trips alone with friends, and anything and everything that does not involve parents. There is still some part of her that actually enjoys spending some time with her family, but for the most part, she thinks she’s little Miss Independent. She constantly tells me she can’t wait to be an adult. I have to remind her she is only 14, and has a long way to go.
At least I still have Monkey Boy. For the most part, he still wants me around (unless I’m doing something to irritate him like making him do his homework). He can still be a cuddle bug when things are quiet and relaxed. I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do when he reaches these more rebellious teen years. Until then, I think I’ll just enjoy the sweet moments I have with him and the more rare time I still have with Master Yi-Yi and Little H. And maybe try to become a little less reclusive. In fact, I’m closing down my computer now and going to plan a long overdue lunch with a friend!
A Very Rare Picture of all 3 Kids