I Figured Out How To Talk To My Teenager!

Which, as it turns out, is the same exact thing as figuring out WHEN to talk to my teenager.  I have figured out that as long as I stay up waaaaay past my bedtime, conversations between me and my oldest son go very well.  It's that whole circadian rhythm thing he's got going on, or it's a quiet house, or it's that he knows I'm exhausted and unlikely to strike.  Or something like that.

Whatever the case, in the past few weeks, almost every interaction he and I have had has been fraught with tension, spiked with conflict, bubbling with resentment.

Except that every few nights, when I've already overstayed my welcome in the waking world, just as I'm about to head to pillow land, there he is.  Calm.  Thoughtful.  Reasonable.  Interesting.  Talkative.  Not pissed at me.  Wanting to spend time with me.

Teenagers are exactly like toddlers, and I do not mean that as an insult.  To the teenagers or the toddlers.  But I think I'm headed into a new phase of not sleeping.  With the three and under set, I never slept because someone always needed something in the middle of the night.  With the 14 and older set, it appears I will not sleep because the middle of the night is the only time he will need anything from me.  And all he really needs is for me to be there.  

I'm here, kid.  I'm here and awake and I love you.  And I even like you when you are like this.  Calm.  Thoughtful.  Reasonable.  Interesting.  Funny.  Sweet.  Peaceful, even.  The boy I know.

Tonight, all the stuff I've been nagging him about lately, all the stuff he has been fighting me tooth and nail on, all of it came right back to me, from his own lips, describing what he wants to do differently, what he knows about himself, what he wants for himself.

And a few nights ago, we watched a movie from 11pm to 1am.  Why did I agree to this?  Because he wanted to watch a movie with me.

I must remind myself that I do not need to worry.  All will be well.  I'll sleep when I don't have teenagers anymore.  In eleven years.

I got this.

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Kate Hall said…
love this because it is a written example of crazy mother love. and its so tender and heartbreaking in a bubbling sort of way... my boys are young still but i see it coming...
Thanks WME! Yes...it's coming your way... :)

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