Friday, February 24, 2012

ANGST - HEADING INTO UNCHARTERED WATERS

I had one of those parental moments this week that sort of makes you take stock of how quickly your kids grow-up.


Aidan likes to join uncle Mike and I for an oatcake and hot chocolate at the Second Cup. It makes him feel all grown-up and included. We normally chat in between my blogging and their text messaging. Aidan did the orders and paid for the beverages with my interact card. Confident, independent and handsome, I got to thinking how much our relationship will change over the next few years.


In four short years he will want to get his drivers license. My little buddy will be an adolescent, close to the same age that I was when I left home. These will be difficult years of transition as he matures, physically and mentally, becomes even more independent and has to make an increasing number of  judgement calls. Will he forgot everything I taught him?  Will he rebel? Will I still be his best friend? Will I still be cool? Will we still spend our evenings wandering through electronic stores together trying to find the best way to smuggle cool gadgets home under mom's nose.


Already, I am feeling the pressure of social and personal goals. It will not be long until he experiences the rites of passage that every teen goes through  like full-scale puberty, drinking, drugs, being sexually active and learning to drive. When given a choice between going to St. Bernard's for the weekend or missing a pot luck with his friends, the choice was his friends. His peers have become an important focus. The fluctuations in mood and behavior due to raging hormones has begun with the occasional argumentative episodes of acting out.


Where will I find the patience to tolerate the sighs and eye rolling (Is eye rolling a Pavlovian response to a parent’s voice?) I guess my parents endured the same thing.


This is going to be a time for poor choices and decisions concerning values that could be life-defining. Up to this point so much as been within our control. Just when I think that I have this all figured out, the game plan is changing.


I feel like my role is changing to a sort of life coach, directing from the sidelines, establishing expectations and mutual respect.


Raising teenagers is not going to be easy.

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