We are at that stage now, the boys are growing up, Jack has gone from a Tween To Teen. I know I talk about how this has flown all the time, in fact I talked about letting go last week, and how it takes my breath away how quickly our lives together are passing. Sometimes I want to pull the breaks, slow it down, but then I feel guilty and awful for all of those people who never got the privilege of seeing their children grow. And I feel sad for those who were too busy to notice and the special moments passed them by.
Teens seem to concentrate hard on being a teen; acting cool and remembering that this has to be worked on. Its funny sometimes this slips a little and they forget themselves. But they are torn in some weird inner conflict between being a child and an adult. I remember it well, thinking I knew better, was more with it than my parents.
So when I tell Jack that actually I am quite cool for a parent, you would never get some of his friends mums tree trekking and climbing he just rolls his eyes at me. Apparently it is also not cool to say you are cool. Don’t get me wrong, he is still a wonderful amazing boy, but he is a teen. And it becomes more apparent by the day, that he is constantly stepping one more step nearer to adulthood.
There are obvious signs, like his voice is deep and he is now taller than me, but then there are the little things. He likes to choose all of his own clothes, and if I purchase clothes when shopping alone, these must be approved by photograph before any transaction takes place.
He is also starting to develop his own thoughts and opinions on the world. There was a time when we could influence his thoughts and feelings, but he has become a logical thinker who is so interested in current affairs, news and the world around him. I suppose we should be looking on proudly and thinking yay we have done a great job, and I hope we have. But I wont kid myself, now comes the hard bit the GCSE’s, A levels, where on earth will he go to college? Will he go to Uni?
So now we negotiate parenting with a mini adult. Which trust me, is a wonderful but very different kind of parenting. No longer can I say, because I said so, as this no longer cuts its. A decision requires a reason, a justification, sometimes a discussion and often a negotiation.
When you have your baby in your arms for that most wonderful very first time, you have no idea what is ahead. What wonderful adventures you will enjoy as a family. Yes, there will be hurdles ahead and disagreements. You have no idea how many footballs I have nearly popped lately. But if constantly playing football in the kitchen is the worst I can think off then I am pretty lucky.
I don’t really know what I am trying to say in this post, except for it is happening, I know our lives are changing and how we all deal with it shapes our families relationships for the rest of our lives. Be too strict, will Jack resent us? Be too soft, will he lose all respect. It is all about balance and acceptance. And accepting the family changes, planning to meet those changes has to be the first step to hopefully happy teenage years.