Parents: Wondering How You’ll Survive the Tween & Teen Years? Try to Focus on This... by Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead
If you have a teen or tween, you are no doubt familiar with the eye rolling, attitude and head shaking, all directed at you and your perfectly idiotic statements. I bet you’d give anything for a toothless, drooling grin some days. Or perhaps you long for the time when your toddler experienced true joy when playing with dirt (dirt!) because that once-happy-silly creature now spends time brooding for seemingly no reason. Or maybe you long for the time when your kindergartener just wouldn’t stop talking because that one-time chatterbox hardly says a word lately. Maybe you just miss the days of unlimited love and affection, a sign that your child was happy, that you were her favorite person on the planet, that all was right with the world.
I get it. I miss the cuddles and grins and adoration, and affirmation that I’m doing something right. But you know what I’ve come to learn? It’s all still there. I just get it in smaller doses and in different forms. My son is that same sweet, cuddly, funny, loving little person. He’s just going through all the stages he needs to go through to get to adulthood (gulp). I just need to remember that and focus on the good.
A couple of weeks ago we were shopping at an outdoor vendor fair. My 12-year-old had five dollars of his own money to spend. He was about to make a purchase when he abruptly walked away from us and up to a homeless man. He handed the man something and came back. I asked him what he gave him. “Some money.” He shrugged it off. “How much?” I asked. “Five dollars. I figured he needed it more than I did.” That was my sign. That was my toothless grin, chatterbox and dirt all rolled into one.
All is right with the world.