So my son turned 18 last this month and on his birthday I had the most earth shaking realization. I still freaking liked him. A lot! I heard so many horror stories about the hardships of raising teenagers and now he’s actually about to head off to college.
Actually, a good chunk of the reason that I decided to take a “mini-retirement” from corporate life last year was to spend more time with him, especially considering this would be our last year in the same house.
Part of why it hasn’t been gruesome is because he’s a good kid. In fact, compared to me, he was relatively easy. On a scale from 1 to 10 on the bad boy scale, he has been a 4, while I was probably a 14.
Still, he did try the some of the same stuff that I did when I was his age. And of course, he thought because he was so young and hip and I was so ancient, I would never see it coming.
It wasn’t so much that he was doing anything I didn’t do, it was the fact that he was insulting my intelligence.
There were times where I had to remind him, “Dude, I invented that. Don’t try that on me.” After that, we then graduated to him just telling me the truth if I was bold enough to ask. Sometimes, it was crap that I want to hear didn’t want to hear. TMI.
After that, things were pretty smooth sailing. That is if you consider getting in his first “couple” of car accidents (this is why teenage boys should always start with the oldest and most beat up cars) and all the other insane adventures that teenage boys engage in, smooth sailing.
Feeling good about myself, I made mistake of mentioning to a friend that the raising of my son wasn’t as horrible as I expected. She promptly reminded me that I had a 14-year-old girl at home still to go through. And of course she told me that girls are much harder so I shouldn’t be talking any smack. Hater. :
Annoyed (and maybe a little paranoid), I’ve spent the last month polling my all friends with daughters about the difficulty of raising girls. “How hard could it be?”, I asked. Well evidently, potentially really hard.
Two horrible things happened as a result of my survey. First, of all my friends, not one told me that raising a girl would be easier. In fact, every single one told me it would be harder.
Second, I realized that my friends didn’t know me well enough to know I wanted them to lie to me about this. How rude. And the way that they describe the changes in girls was absolutely terrifying. Just wait for the girl they said. A little like waiting for the slasher part in a horror movie.
Now, I walk around my house looking at my sweet, beautiful daughter and waiting for her to be taken over by a demon and her head to start spinning around like in the movie “The Exorcist”.
Crap. The Exorcist is probably an “old people” reference I probably should have left out. I keep forgetting that some younger people might not know what movies I’m talking about.
I had a discussion the not long ago with a 20 something woman and I mentioned Barney from television. I meant Barney from the Andy Griffith show. She thought I was talking about Barney the Purple Dinosaur. So much for my being young and hip.
So here’s my child rearing report so far.
One teenage boy. Not too bad. Annoying at times but basically OK. Helps if you were awful yourself.
Teenage girl. Not sure yet. I figure I will report back to you when she’s either safely in college and doing well or I find myself in the penitentiary for what I did to her one of her boyfriends. Should have some time on my hands then.
Moral of the story. It goes fast. Try to enjoy every minute. No matter what.