Reasons I love having teenagers:
(Dedicated to Froggie who is such an amazing High School teacher because she really loves teenagers)
They can give you a lift to the DVD shop when you can't drive because you had a couple of gin and tonics but you really need to watch "While You Were Sleeping."
They never heard of "While You Were Sleeping" so they cuddle up next to you on your new sofa and watch it with you.
They do chores. Even if you do have to (sometimes) ask several times and cajole a bit more, they can still DO the stuff - dishes, garbage, getting the milk from the corner store, laundries, mowing the lawn.
They sleep in. During the summer holidays the house is completely and absolutely silent until 11am. At least.
They are different from you, and that means they introduce you to a lot of stuff that happened in the world that you didn't know about, like Rosalind Franklin.
They generally have fabulous senses of humour, and because they know you really well by now they are able to make you laugh at your own peculiarities. Of which I have many, and which I need to laugh at more often.
When you argue you can use rational explanations to discuss the problem. And when things get too crazy for logic and one of you says something you regret, you can come back later and apologise and forgive.
You no longer have to supervise their personal hygiene.
You pretty much know who they are by now, so you can stop worrying so much about every.little.tiny.thing.that.happens.in.their.school.day. They go to school, they come back, they muddle through like we all do.
You can start to let go of that crippling feeling that people are judging you and that your children are reflections of how good a parent you are. Kids grow up, stuff happens, move on.
They bring their friends over to the house, and these friends are full of energy and life and general good cheer. And they are different from you, in so many different and wonderful ways, so it reminds you how amazing life is. No need to conform, colour your hair pink and wear really thick black eyeliner and study photography and hairdressing and molecular biology and bake cupcakes and live it up.
They are full of surprises, no more predictable milestones that have been written up in boring child development books but truly UNIQUE milestones that are all about the fully rounded individuals they are becoming.
Let the adventure continue!!!!
P.S. At the risk of totally overdoing the "I'm Jewish and don't celebrate Christmas" thing, I did want to link to this great post by a Sydney blogger I love. She sums up my feelings with much more wit and humour than I did, and generally her blog is a great, fun read.
So merry Christmas dear bloggie friends of mine, all my love, Eleanor from your commentbox.