"I love you, kiddo, but this is where you need to listen."
With every generation, the line blurs even further and further when it comes to teenagers’ personal drama for the sake of attention, and a serious threat. It’s hard, but I have to try and not be dismissive just because I remember my own personal experience and emotions when I was my son’s age. I have to remember that none of this is worth it, none of it, if his mother and I lose him due to a lack of attention.
Emotions are all over the map at his age. Happy because euphoria, anger becomes rage and sadness can become devastating tragedy. It’s a scientific fact. The teenage brain is a scary place.
This is the hard part of parenting. We’re never ready for it, but we dig in our heels and brace our hearts.
I said words. I said these towards his face with hopes they find their ways to his ears and into his brain. (Even that is not good enough, I want them to echo in there until he has the same conversation with his own children should he have them)
I said those words last night and here they are almost verbatim:
“The kids that do terrible things to other people or themselves are the ones whose friends and family on the news say things like, “We didn’t see this coming, he was such a quiet kid.” When I see that, I always say to myself, no one asked “Hey, what’s wrong?” Well, I’m sitting in front of you now, and I’m asking you, “Hey, what’s wrong?” If it’s nothing, great. You know that I care. If it’s something but it’s not me you want to talk to about it. Know that there are others you can. My greatest fear is not that you’ll hate me today or tomorrow for caring so much about you that I break through your privacy to find out what’s happening or what you’re into, my fear is that you won’t be here to hate me and I’m on the news saying “I didn’t see this coming.” Like it or not, you’re 14 years old. You don’t have it all figured out yet, and I know that because I’m more than twice your age and *I* don’t have it all figured out yet. If we did, then WHERE’S the fun in that? Right? We are here to talk to about it, because we have been there. Trust me, we are lucky enough to remember what fueled us, made us sad, made us happy, what went wrong and what we wish we did different. Just talk to us, and you’ll see. It’s going to be okay.”
Other words too private to mention were spoken I hope the words I said stuck. His eyes locked on mine and they magnified the way they do when they well up. I’m sure it was only a reaction to seeing mine do that first.
I didn’t go to bed confident that he got it all and there would be no further issue. But then again, I never go to bed confident enough when it comes to that. I hate that it’s the truth, but no true parent should.
Reblogging so I can find and steal those bolded words someday when I need ‘em.