image I'm walking a new and delicate tightrope as a parent as I learn about this beast known as the teenager. I figure I've got it easy, having three boys with which to try my ever-changing bag o' tricks first before my girl hits the years beyond twelve. If the mood swings of my sons are any indication, I'm in for big trouble when she hits hormones. I'm finding my boys have upped my game of thinking on my feet and remaining centered at all times.
I took in a couple of very interesting facts at my conference a few weeks ago. The first felt real and so very true- teens believe they are living their own personal fable. No one could ever loved as deeply as they have. No one has ever wanted to make the basketball team more than they have. No one could possibly understand their unique circumstances enough. The second also got me nodding briskly in agreement- teens have an imaginary audience watching them all the times. They believe everyone is observing them in particular, and it truly is all them.
The fables arising from my boys are sometimes precious and other times annoying. I love the fact that all three believe they can do or be anything. Watching the Olympics, I heard their remarks like, "I could do that!" I adore it when my children say, "My coach says I could be top in the state if I applied myself." The annoying part can be when don't make the effort. I must remind myself that sampling many things instead of a single focus can be a great thing as well at this developmental stage of personal mission. Peace cracked me up the other day that his "science fan club" made up a myth about him living on the farm which was the setting for E.B. White's Charlotte's Web. Teens can be fantastic storytellers.
The part about the imaginary audience has hit all three boys as well. It took only a few weeks for Peace to drop his public bird calling with the event of entering high school. Tater constantly talks about the girls who can't take their eyes off him. Wise One hushes our family members in public situations when he feels embarrassed at some perceived spectacle we're making.
I'm blessed to say that though my kids attend and absolutely enjoy social events, we still have loads of fun, maybe even the most fun, together. I wonder what the day will be like when their wings ache to fly from this nest to make their own? I'm getting glimpses of such things when Peace throws an "I certainly know how to do this better than you ever could" barb my way. I've been learning how to step quietly and deliberately out of his way in this case and escape to a fulfilling task for myself till he is practically desperate (and humbled) for my help, or he simply finds his own way. Thus the tightrope analogy at the beginning of this post.