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Apr 14 2014

And suddenly…13

and suddenly...13“OH MY GOD THERE’S A TEENAGER IN THE HOUSE!”

Is how I was awakened on my birthday in 1986.

Hang on, there’s something I have to go do at the top of my lungs. BRB…

A is 13 today, a day he has quite literally been counting down to for 18 months. I swear, the first thing he’s probably going to do is join Twitter so he can follow Neil deGrasse Tyson. I am not kidding. He’s like that kid in The Breakfast Club, owning a fake ID so he can vote. Joining Twitter and Facebook so he can follow astrophysicists and share pictures of cats. Note to self: figure out how to hide Facebook statuses so he can’t see them. Kid doesn’t need to see mom being a smartass all of the time, he gets enough of that at home. 

I’m struggling with this, much more than I thought I would, in ways I didn’t expect. How the hell do I have a teenager? Aren’t I still in my teens myself? When did this happen? Isn’t it still 1990 (which, by the way, was only a decade ago, right)? And didn’t I just start this blog, when he was not-quite-five?

These are the days of our lives, sunrise sunset, la-la how the life goes on.

Part of why I’m struggling so is that I feel that he just left the Terrible Twos a year ago; it’s like we missed an entire life stage. From age 15 months to 12 years parenting him was one circle of hell struggle after another. Thanks 2e, you so awesome <sarcasm font>! I may joke that it’s a miracle he’s not an only child, or that he’s lucky I let him live to see age five, or that he threw us into advanced parenting and skipped the pre-req, but in every bit of humor is more than a nugget of truth. It’s been a rough baker’s dozen of years. While I have friends with 2e boys who swear that things evened out and got easier once the teen years hit, I won’t believe it till I live it. I look behind me and see a haggard landscape, littered with blast zones and still smoking in spots, amazed that hardy flowers still grow and thrive, a zigzagging path from the horizon to where I stand now. I look ahead and see fresh, fragrant, wide open spaces full of possibilities and pray that the hidden mines (and they are there, I guarandamntee it) are smaller and less damaging than those we encountered in the past. If nothing else, our experience has given us more tools and thicker skin than others who have not walked this path. That said, I think Tom and I have earned an easy adolescence with this kid; we’ve paid our dues several times over.

I’m curious and excited to see where the next decade will go. Ten years after that early morning wakeup shout in 1986 I was a newlywed. Where will A be in ten years? What will he be doing and who will he be? Will he (and we) be scarred from the teen years or stronger because of them? Will I be writing a “how the hell am I a mother of the groom?” post? <need.paper.bag.hyperventilating.>

Happy birthday, A. I think your best years are ahead, and I am so honored to hike this zigzagging path alongside you. You are an amazing young man and I can’t believe you’re ours. You’re going to do great things, kid, even though it’s hard for so many to see now.

Just…dude…

No adolescent blast zones. That’s all I ask. Have pity on me.

Love you A, all that you are.

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  1. Becky Alexander

    I’m one of those parents of 2E boys, that will attest that the teenage years were actually easier than earlier stages! My older son is PG (estimated IQ between 150-180 – we actively avoided most testing), with dysgraphia, and all of the gifted sensitivities, heightened empathy, school issues, etc. that go along with that. It’s not perfect now, and he still throws us curve balls, but there’s a bright light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s not a large fire! What I’m thinking, as my third gifted child readies to turn 13, is that since they both intellectually and physically matured earlier than most kids, that they just had their teens early!

  2. My Kids Mom

    I have 26 more days.

  3. Pamela

    I think the fact that you both made it to 13 is SERIOUS cause for celebration, Jen! Congrats to you all on this milestone.

  4. Ingi (@ingidefygravity)

    Happy teen birthday, A!!! Things have gotten a bit easier here in the teen years – not perfect, but easier. May the “easier” be with you 🙂

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