I’ve often reminisced about my high school years amazed any of us survived. The wild and crazy stupid things we did…oh the FUN! Today, those memories feel like a giant leg warmer stuffed with wine coolers slapping me in the face. Will I survive “his” teen years? Pretty sure the only reason my parents survived is because they were clueless. I’m not as naive. These years may kill me. Or at the very least, cause me to age 10 years just like every President in his first term.
My 16-year-old son came to me this week and nonchalantly mentioned (not asked) that he and his friends were driving to the football game Friday night (in Lincoln…100 miles away…on the interstate). My knee jerk reaction was “Hell NO!” Shocked by my response he asked “But why? What do you think we would be doing?” In a heartbeat, my teen years flashed before my eyes…my cheerleading squad driving from Omaha to Lincoln for sporting events going 90 mph down the interstate in a ’69 Cordoba, followed by the older sibling who took us to college parties…with college boys! The cop flashlight blinding us while he poured out our beer, too many kids packed in a car with a hole in the floorboard, kids riding in the trunk, etc…etc…etc. And I was one of the good girls!!
Nope. You are not driving to Lincoln and I miss age 5.
Even though I don’t think he is partaking in these activities, I feel the overwhelming need to shelter him from even being exposed to all the crazy, fun things I did as a teenager. I realize at some point I will have to loosen the reigns and allow him to live and learn. I can’t keep him locked up forever. But I’m just not ready. Not yet. He is my first born and I need more time to adjust.
When I saw this post on Facebook today, it shot straight through my momma heart, through my printer and now hangs on his door (at least until he comes home from football practice).
MESSAGE TO MY TEENAGER:
1. Yes, your freshman AND Sophomore years count towards your GPA for college entrance. Screw it up and you’ll work for crap wages your whole life.
2. No means NO. In every possible circumstance.
3. Join every sport, every club, every after school activity no matter what the cost. It’s cheaper than bail.
4. Repeat after me: I am never in that much of a hurry…I am never in that much of a hurry. Now say that every time you get behind the wheel. It will save your life and that of your best friend in the seat next to you.
5. Don’t do drugs or drink – it is so not worth the trouble.
6. Don’t get a credit card. You earn it or you live without it.
7. If I yell at you, it’s because I love you. And also, because you pissed me off. To avoid the latter, don’t be an idiot. And don’t disappoint me. More importantly, yourself.
8. Make a vivid picture inside your head of every great moment of your childhood. You’ll need those to get through adulthood.
9. Make snow angels as often as possible. Make a bucket list. Check it off!
10. Stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves.
11. Be always benevolent. Yes, that’s a word. Look it up.
12. Call me for a ride even if you are so drunk you barely know my number. I’ll probably be mad for a while but I’ll respect you for calling and I won’t kill you. Riding with someone who is drinking will. (PS – remember #5?)
13. Be a leader, not a follower. Unless you are following the kid with the highest GPA and (s)he is going to a study group, then by all means be a follower!
14. Love your siblings, even when you don’t like them. Some day you will be trying to get them to take care of me in my old age. If they are mad at you, you are stuck with me.
15. I’ve been there, done that on more things than you can imagine. I’m not stupid and I know what you are doing. I was once you (times ten).
16. Work hard at everything you do. Anything worth doing is worth doing well.
17. Cover it. (Enough said.)
18. When I tell you to clean your room, do not point at my messy room and raise your eyebrows. I’m trying to raise you to be better than me.
19. Learn to type; to budget; to spell correctly and to pray. All are equally important.
20. Never be sedentary. Someday soon you will no longer be able to move like that. Enjoy it.
AND Remember your family will Always Love You even though there will be time we don’t particularly like you!
Dear Lord, grant me (and all my friends who are going through this for the first time) the strength, wisdom, perseverance, and parental consistency to survive these crazy teen years.