You are foraging into tough years. I know that and I see it. Please know, that these years are going to be hard for me also. Yes, I’ve been a teenager, but now I am experiencing all of it with new eyes. Please be patient with me as I will be patient with you.
Let’s get the first, and most awkward talk, out-of-the-way. Girls. I will have HIGH expectations for the girl you will bring around. I will be jealous. Yes, I know that sounds weird but you will understand when you have your own little girl. I will understand that there will be girls you don’t bring around but that when you do, it means she is special to you. My heart will break when your’s does. And YES, it will be broken. I will give you your space to process your feelings, but my heart will always be open when you’re ready to talk. I will do my best not to bad mouth the girl that broke your heart knowing that someday you may give her another chance. I expect you to treat her with respect and dignity while you are dating her and after – no matter how much it hurts that she broke your heart. Understand that girls are more than just a gorgeous face and fit body. Because that’s the kind of man who will win in the end.
I understand you have an appetite that is beyond comprehension. I will envy the way you can scarf down a double cheeseburger, a mountain of fries and feast on ice cream an hour later and still maintain the slender, trim figure that you have. I promise not to hate you for it. Enjoy it because you won’t always be able to eat that way. Just make sure you get a salad and eat some fruit every now and then.
Speaking of your figure. Please know that I need a hug every now and then. I don’t care if you’re almost a foot taller than me – this gives me a short moment to savor the traces of babyhood left in you. Underneath the hair growing on your face and amidst the heavily defined jawline, I still see my little boy. Have solace in knowing that the hug won’t last longer than a few seconds though because let’s face it – adolescent body odor. Two seconds is all this momma needs.
No, I don’t think that Migos, Fetty Wap or whatever are cool. I will, however, bite my tongue and let you blare it in the car and while you’re in the shower. Just give me the respect to keep it clean. I will remember that my parents didn’t like my music either. Just know that someday, 30 years from now, you will be hating your kids’ music too.
You will be invited to parties and you WILL be asked to do things that are not legal. There will be alcohol, there will be pot and there will be girls. The combination of all three can be deadly, or at least screw up the big plans you have for your future. I will ask and verify if parents are going to be at said party. This will embarrass you but it’s my job as a parent to do my best to keep you safe. I will completely trust you until that trust is broken. I will always be just a phone call away when you need me. If you get yourself into a bind and make decisions that you aren’t fully proud of, call me. I won’t ask questions, but I will be there to pick you up in a heartbeat. You know my rules and expectations, I won’t hound you with them on this night. Just don’t make the same stupid decision again. And when you get home – take an honest look at the friends you surround yourself with.
While I understand that texting, SnapChat, Fortnite any electronic device is a connection to your friends, I will set limits. I will continue to involve you in family activities because that will also help you decompress. You will continue to learn how to have social interactions that will take you far in life. These are the moments I am soaking up the last of the few years I have with you. Give me that time.
If anything, FIND GOOD FRIENDS! Do activities with them outside of school that don’t involve drugs, alcohol or playing video games all the time. These may be the guys that stand up next to you at your wedding. Choose them wisely. Listen to me if I see something in them that you don’t though. Experience speaks volumes when you are a parent. No you may not understand, but I don’t care. If you hang around people who aren’t good for you, I will set boundaries. Remember, if you don’t want them to meet your grandparents then you might want to rethink the friendship.
READ son! And no, that doesn’t mean The Diary of A Wimpy Kid. Read something with depth and meaning. There is a whole world waiting to be discovered inside the covers of a book! No the internet isn’t EVERYTHING! Pick up a book and lose yourself in it. You’ll learn something about yourself along the way. No….reading Instagram and SnapChat isn’t the same thing. Good try though.
Stay on top of school work and participate in a sport you love. If you fill your life with these things, trouble will have a harder time finding you. Enjoy EVERY SINGLE DAY of your teenage years! Among the cyber bullying, stupid pranks, continuous activities, and school pressures, understand that YOU are making your way in this world. And how you live these years will directly impact your adulthood. Enjoy them!