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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Meet the Wild Things

Life with teens isn't always parties and pizza and late-night phone calls.

When you're the mom (or the dad), life with teens can be aggravating. Frustrating. Exhausting. Expensive! And satisfying beyond belief.

Especially when your teens are as awesome as mine.

I'd like to introduce you to my family. I really would. I'd like to have everyone, or at least mostly everyone, I meet during my internet travels, over for steaks on the BBQ and a few sun-soaked hours lounging around the table out on our large enclosed porch, just chatting and laughing and getting to know one another.

The blessing, and the curse, of the internet is that it brings people from all over the world together, in this virtual place. So, in lieu of medium-rare steaks on the grill and a bottle of beer, I will share, briefly, my family. This is, after all, the very best I have to offer.

My beautiful BabyGirl.
My only regret with this photo is that she'd dyed her
rich red hair to black. It's taking forever to grow out again. 

This is BabyGirl, wearing her cast tee-shirt from her school's production of Phantom of the Opera last year. This girl isn't just gorgeous, she's got a set of pipes on her that can make a grown man cry. Seriously. She makes me cry all the time. And not just when we blow up at one another, either. The girl can sing. She's got the power and control that comes from several years of working with a really top-class instructor. I will forever be grateful to Mr. G for bringing out her confidence and teaching my little angel how to use her wings.

She wants to be a vet tech. She's graduating high school a full semester early, and will begin her college classes in the Spring of 2015. She's compassionate, empathetic, intelligent, and fierce, especially when it comes to her friends and family. She drives me crazy. She makes me proud. She scares the hell out of me sometimes because I know how far she can go, how stubborn she can be, and how soft her heart is. I know just how easily life could snap her up, chew her up, and spit out the pieces. I also know that she's strong. And she's going to be just fine. 



Thing1. My crazy ray of sunshine.

Meet Thing1. How do I describe him? He's a mystery wrapped in enigma. Every time I think I have him figured out, he enters a new stage of growing up and surprises me again. I'm both afraid and hopeful that he'll inherit some of his father's traits. And some of mine. 

He can be loud, vulgar, funny, and sweet, all in the span of seconds. He can go from out-of-control rage to rushing into a hug as if someone had flipped a light switch. He regularly places and wins in BMX races. He plays Minecraft. He excelled in home schooling, but was determined to return to the battleground of public school, and in his second year back is slowly, finally, winning back ground. He is succeeding. He doesn't know, yet, what he wants to be when he grows up. Probably something with computers. Or games. Maybe. At 14, he's got a lot of growing room left, and he needs to figure out how to fit into this gangly new body, with its voice cracks and sudden growth spurts, before he finds his niche.

"Don't let go, Jack!..." 
My kids have a goofy sense of humor. 
These two... they are my life. My heart, grown legs and gone walking around outside my body. They are my reason for being, for getting up in the morning, for fighting back the demons of ptsd, of insecurity. They are the reason that, every time life knocks me down, I dust myself off and come up swinging. Without them, I surely would've given up long ago.

They are my second chance. My song. The candles whose flame I hope will go on to light up their little corners of the world. Lord knows they've rekindled mine.

So, I've shared. Now, tell me a little about your teens, and your life together. What do you love most about your teenagers? What are their hopes and dreams? How have they changed your life?

We're all in this together, Mamas, and Papas! Let's do this.
The three of us in Niagara Falls, braving the roar of the water, together. 

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