where wildly different is perfectly normal
Living with a teenage troll
Living with a teenage troll

Living with a teenage troll

My sons never fail to entertain me. They went on a road trip last week with my parents, gone for a handful of days to visit the Ford Museum in Michigan. Tom and I had an unexpected few days alone together. We hardly knew what to do (get your mind out of the gutter, that we know how to do). We talked and we enjoyed the silence. We watched some TV before we were so tired we’d fall asleep in front of the set. However, one night he got a phone call and was on long enough that the Apple TV screensaver came on. And we were treated to this:





That, my friends, is a thing of beauty. Our 14 year old hacker son, the one with the alphabet soup of diagnoses, the one I’ve lost so much sleep over worrying about his future, the one with slowly improving executive function skills…planned and executed the perfect trolling of his parents…and I had exactly zero clue. He found the photos, set up an album (which somehow I did not discover), changed the screensaver (which we did not know could be done), and then did the hardest part. He sat and waited. And waited. We don’t watch a lot of TV, so he was waiting for quite awhile. Turns out he did this a week before we noticed. I don’t know how he managed to keep it quiet and not blow from anticipation. Poor kid, after a week of waiting we discovered it while he was gone.

After all the years of worry and therapies and fretting and frustration and fear and anger and helplessness, we’ve hit a good stretch of what could almost be called contentment. Things aren’t perfect and never will be, but right now they don’t suck, and I’ll take it. I do have very serious concerns about the other boy in our home, but I’m hoping they’re just the typical tween crap that seems so huge now because when his brother went through it, it was with the accompanying 2e hell and we didn’t notice. But right now, on this cusp of middle and high school, things are good.

Even when living with a teenage troll.



  1. Lynda

    Love this. How funny! Can I confess that this made me tear up? My son is also 14 and we are also waiting on those much prized executive functions. I sometimes think I see one. They’re like ninjas. This period of his life reminds me of what it was like to see his big personality emerge in small pops and crackles when he was just a baby. I love those hints of what is to come, of who is hiding inside, but I’m also terrified that it might not come to be!

Whaddya think?

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