Turns out, if you raise kids, one day they become teenagers. Trust me. It happens. I feel like it has not been long enough since they were born. How is it my eldest completed his first set of highschool exams? I’m typing listening to him and his friends celebrate the successful completion of thier grade 9 exams. They are all lovely humans who make me laugh. So nerdy, so into games and each other. It really does make my heart swell 2 sizes.
I also find teenagers EXHAUSTING. They talk & move fast. They eat every 90 minutes or so and enjoy teasing each other and anyone else in the vicinity. They wrestle & grapple and sit on each other. They have no sense of personal space with each other yet refuse to cuddle with me on the couch. The contradictions pile up.
Then there is the smell. It’s part cumin, part parmesan cheese and a bit of old hockey equipment. My kids don’t even play hockey. What is that about? Fungus? I know they showered! We even do a smell test to make sure they’ve used soap. We praise them for not smelling bad. We just want neutral smells now, once we wanted them to smell good. You have to set the bar to achievable goals and neutral is a stretch most days.
Don’t get me started with the music. The youngest among us could name every song that played on the radio on Saturday. I honestly couldn’t tell the songs apart. When did I get so old? I’m 39 for crying out loud. I actually do try to keep up, I at least know who Imagine Dragons are, well, I know their song “Radioactive”. I’m calling that a win.
I bought a slackline so we could work on balance together. I also know I won’t be doing this anytime soon: http://youtu.be/TvlQIccOd50 I was pretty pumped about being able to stand on it for a moment when the kids went right to walking and skittering back and forth, first try!
I have friends my age with toddlers. My partner and I decided to have our kids when we were young so that we could keep up. That was silly. I’m sorry to inform you THERE IS NO KEEPING UP. To those who will be even older than I when your teenagers arrive, may your deity have mercy on you and give you help.
There are occasional moments when I can sprint along with them but I need days to recover. I love my kids’ friends and I want everyone to feel welcome but I must be making the curmudgeon face by mistake. They often ask me when they need to leave. I’m happy they’re here, I’m just old and ornery.
I make up for it by offering pie after a big breakfast (sorry to their parents) and by giving them the space to do their thing. I try not to meddle and let them work out conflicts but it seems a bit beyond me to grasp all that is happening in my kids lives right now.
On the one hand I’m on the young side to have teenagers but on the other I feel just a tad too old to be keeing up with them.