Thirteen is… training-wheels adolescence. Fourteen is hardcore, biker adolescence.
Parenting a teenager is a lot like New England Weather… Everything is going along nicely… the sky is clear, the birds are singing, the world is right-side up, and then BANG! A storm rolls in. Thunder. Lightning.
Suddenly you’re without power.
Maybe all your connections are zapped.
“Where did that come from!” someone says.
And you say something like: “Polar Vortex.”
Or in our case, “FOURTEEN!”
We’ve arrived. Just yesterday. And as if on cue, the thunder rolled in, the lightning struck, and I was ready to quit. Give up. Move out.
It took all the maturity and self-restraint cultivated over the past 50 years not to put the power back in my hands. To let my heart lie there, trampled upon, without striking back.
And it took all the self-compassion cultivated since becoming someone’s mother, to walk away, to lick my own wounds, without taking any of it too personally.
There is a scene from a favorite movie of mine: Spanglish. With Adam Sandler. Do you know it? Remember what he says when he finds out that his wife has betrayed him? Something about hearing the universe crack…
My universe, as a mother, cracked twice this week. Once with each of my offspring. And I have to admit that I could barely summon much affection for either of them afterward.
Maybe they deserve it. Maybe I’m being melodramatic. Maybe THIS is parenthood. Or maybe this crack is an opportunity for something new.
I’m on the lookout for what that is. For how it will shape me. And reshape our lives together.
But right now?