For some strange reason, I think my kids believe that I was a child, and then suddenly, I became an adult. Maybe it happened through the magic of time travel. Regardless of the modus, in their minds, I was able to completely avoid the teen years. I say this because I constantly hear the mantra in my house … you don’t understand.
In response, I gently remind them that I too was once 16 and 13, and every age in between, and every age before and after those years. Yet, they shake their heads in disbelief, as if I might be asking them to put all of their babysitting money down on a high-risk game of craps in Vegas.
At one point, I even went so far as to pull out old pictures from my sweet 16 birthday party to show my older daughter. She glanced at them and scoffed. I explained to her that there was no Photoshopping in the 80s. These were the real deal, taken on my Canon Instamatic camera and developed at the local drug store.
Granted, my teen years were a little while ago, but I still remember how I felt. I remember feeling very independent and thinking that my parents were always meddling in my life. But, at the same time, I remember secretly knowing that I still needed my parents’ love and guidance, that I wasn’t so grown up that I was ready to be on my own. I wanted them from afar. I wanted to do my own thing, be my own person, but know that somewhere out there, not too far away, they were waiting there for me in the wings in case I really needed them.
So, yes my loves, I was a teenager, as hard as it is to believe …
I know where my children are right now — the older one is in the basement with her friends, the younger one is at a coffee shop with friends (I know this thanks to Friend Finder). But I am not hovering. I am not embarrassing them. I am just waiting patiently and watching from afar, knowing there will come a time where my previous stint as a teenager will no doubt help them unravel some of the great mysteries of life.
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including some on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.