Our household is six months away from having four teen boys.
I feel like teens get such a bad rap and I wanted to write in defense of teens.
In defense of teen boys particularly.
There are so many posts out there about sweet little boys and the love of our small children. And there are posts about the fear of the teen years or the longing for the freeing of time when children become teens.
Teen years are awesome.
They are much more difficult than I imagined as well.
Also, you thought you were busy when they were toddlers? Wait.
When you have teens you HAVE NO TIME AT HOME. Period.
Those lonely years of longing for play dates? Well, wait until you kid gets so busy that all you do is make a new family of all the friends you now hang out with. Your kids will make you your new friends in the parents of their team mates.
I literally send my kids texts that say “Please plan nothing for Friday night. I miss you all and want you home.” I find bribing them with food usually helps my request.
It’s a weird mix of them being on the cusp of adulthood and still being your little boys.
When my oldest boys would come in to see me at work, I would see mother’s move their children away from them. They would look at them warily.
It would make my blood boil.
This big boy who just looks like a man and stopped in to give me a hug before going to work? Yah, be afraid of him.
If this person is you, do yourself a favor and remember that that nearly man child is still someone’s else’s little boy. Just like your little boy you are playing trains with. And he’ll be this six foot big boy so much faster than you can imagine.
These teens, they carry so much weight on their shoulders. Making plans to make a career to eventually take care of a family. They fix trucks and do a man’s job and still take time to have an all out nerf war on a Thursday night with their buddies.
Jen Hatmaker had Ree Drummond on her podcast this past fall and it was by far one of my favorites. Finally. Someone talks about the awesomeness and awfulness of teens in a way that had me talking along with the podcast and wishing I could have been a part of the conversation.
It really comes down to this.
Every moment passes so quickly. I blinked and my babies turned into school aged children. And as Jeff Manion says so cruelly (but so very truthfully) in his book Dream Big, Think Small (page 135, excellent book, highly recommend it) you really only have your kids until they are six. SIX. Then they are influenced by others more than you.
I wish that when my teens had begged me not to write about them on the blog, I had anyhow. I wouldn’t have needed to publish it, but I wish I had it recorded somewhere. In a journal or an unpublished post just for me.
Having time with my teens now makes my head spin at times, makes my heart wrench with pain for them, makes me laugh harder than I have in a long time, helps me find awesome new music (Chris Stapleton was a family name here before the CMA’s made him “top artist”) makes me wish I could turn back time and do things differently, makes me as proud as can be of them. I love their loudness, I love the way they share their thoughts, I love the way they eat (oh do they eat!), I just love it all. It’s exhausting, it’s messy, it’s stressful and scary, it’s wonderful fun but in a blink this phase will be gone too.
These teens, these teen boys, they so often get such a bad wrap. But let me tell you, mama of littles…it’s so awesome. Don’t blink. Look forward to it. I only wish I had more time with them. And when they were little, I wish I really had forgotten about the dirty dishes in the sink and had played in the sand box with them.
This is a ramble-y post but I had to get it out to you. We are on the cusp of spring break, graduation, summer and I had to get these words on my heart out to you, messy or polished, they just had to get out.
In defense of teens…they are awesome. Love on them. And plan to feed them…a lot.