March 18, 2016

Thank God I Have a Teenage Son.

author's personal photo: Marianne Glaeser (do not re-use)

Scary chaos in his room—his desk is a chilly reflection of how schoolwork is ranked.

My appeal to clear this mess is met with a sarcastic smile.

Thank God I have a teenage son!

Household chores—he is just not in the mood to contribute to family life, while having huge demands with no room for delay. “You are so mean to me!”

Thank God I have a teenage son!

The seductive cyber world has become the main focus of my son’s experiencing. He’s a “somebody” on this game platform—very gifted, promoted into higher ranks, always scared of demotion if not active enough. So, active he is…

Thank God I have a teenage son!

Our parental “No!” to the commanding game lured lie and deceit of unknown dimensions into our relational space. Trust is suffocated by the anxious anticipation of the next hurtful betrayal.

Thank God I have a teenage son!

May-fair at school—the place is crowded. He is walking towards me, flanked by his friends, looking so happy. My connecting smile freezes as he unexpectedly changes direction. Maybe he didn’t see me? Oh, there he goes again…

Thank God I have a teenage son!

Family meeting—we need to talk. There are consequences to what you did. Yes, your actions actually do have an effect! The concept of responsibility—what an imposition! Outburst, rage, hatred, the huge “No”—glad there is no such option as “divorce from teenage kids.”

Thank God I have a teenage son!

Breakdown, tears, the soft voice of regret—“I’m so sorry, Mom!”—both arms around me. This one tight squeeze resets the scene for yet another start.

Thank God I have a teenage son!

So I receive, with ever growing readiness to let go, aware of how fast the tides are changing. We suffer together, we grow together. Labor pains into the next chapters of our lives…

Thank God I have a teenage son!

Learning what builds me up to handle what’s pulling me down. Self-care has turned from an option to an existential necessity. Understanding that I need to clear the way for the desired climate in my own self first—a constant reminder to be kind, respectful to myself and truly grateful for who I am.

Thank God I have a teenage son!

There are those moments of hopelessness, worry, sleepless nights and panic in the face of utter helplessness—yes, that’s how it is. But I’ve learned that there is something so much bigger—my invincible resolve to embrace him, all of him, no matter what.

Even if I fall at times, each time I get up, my heart is stronger and bigger for him to fit in as he really is.

Thank God I have a teenage son—I love you, Jeremy!


Author: Marianne Glaeser

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

Photo: Author’s own.

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