Do you ever feel like your teens or pre-teens are ticking time bombs ready to unload their angst on you at a moment's notice without warning?
"You don't understand!" is the phrase I hear around my house the most when I think I'm solving a relatively simple problem like working out a ride home from sports or dance, or fixing a minor snafu with the connection between the computer and the printer.
I try to take it all in stride and remind myself that this is all part of being a teenager - the belief that your parents know nothing and you can't wait to get out on your own. Then you grow up and get out on your own, and you realize your parents actually did know a few things. But, of course, you're too proud to admit they're right until you're about 30.
But while you're going through this from the parenting side, all you want is peace. You straddle the land mines and walk delicately across the egg shells in the hope that you won't incite a rant about how you embarrass them, are never on time, and left the milk under the cart at the grocery store again.
So, throughout these trying times, I try to hold on to the moments where the land mines seem to dissipate, even just for a moment - an early evening run together around the lake, a chat about the beginning of the school year, playing a game together ...
"I love you, Mom," my sleepy 12-year-old whispers, unsolicited from the dark backseat of the car as we head to the beach for the weekend. From the passenger seat, I can barely make out her silhouette. I sense that she's smiling. I am too ...
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.