Why It's Crazy to Guide Your Teens Through Life

The title makes it sound like I am going to tell you the reason, when in reality, I am gonna test the theory.

I was waiting tor the children to do their thing(school).  I played a You Tube video.  Okay, it was Cupid Shuffle.  Yes, I realize if I want them to do the work, we have to not take dance breaks.  I think it's spring fever.

Anyway.  One thing led to another and pretty soon I was eating a bacon sandwich and listening to music from new Footloose which led to old Footloose and before I knew it...Lynyrd Skynyrd (shut up).

It was noon and about 80 degrees.  So the kids were outside. I was listening to something vaguely resembling the soundtrack of my youth.  And I realized.

The reason this is crazy is that I remember it.  I don't think we reeeeeally remember being little.  Of course, we can see scenes.  Remember events.  But by the time I was in high school, there was a different consciousness.  Memories are complete enough to revisit with our adult awareness and gather subtext that we discerned, but were as yet to young to interpret.


I mean to say, that while some ditty from my youngpersonhood be-bopped in my ear, I glanced back and forth between the video and the kids in the backyard, and I realized the girl I was can completely identify with the needs and wishes and struggles and fears of my daughters at this age.  But.

I am responsible to guide them through making decisions.  By telling them the truth and letting them reject it.  And they seem to have a bit of a biological imperative to do so.

You know when you get to the age when you think, "if only I could go back to high school with the knowledge I have now."?

Then in a couple of years you realize, "even if I went back, it wouldn't be the same."

In a couple more, "not for a million dollars."

Well, guess what?

We do go back with all the knowledge and hard gained wisdom and scars. Unable to use them.

It's not the same.

It doesn't look like we get the million dollars either.


Jennifer said...

I think that's one of the things that makes watching them grow up so painful. We know, like we really know, but they don't. We can see what's coming and have to stand back and watch.

Carrie - ASassyRedhead.com said...

Oh, I see this with my nieces.

And I get that. I'm at the point where no...I don't want to go back.

I use the wisdom and scars I got back then today. And sometimes it amazes me how, even though I'm no longer that age, life seems to make me go back.

I'm just in an office now and not Algebra.

Elisa @ Crazy, Amazing Life said...

Oh girlfriends, I am SO with you! I have asked myself that same question hundreds of times, and I have finally come to the same conclusion.

Too bad for the million dollars, too.

Jeanette Nyberg said...

I am juuuuust getting a glimmer of this with 9 year old. It's sort of a scramble to try to reach inside for that wisdom, but I think as she gets a little older I'll figure out how to impart some of it on her. Maybe I need to turn on the Skynyrd!

Paulette said...

I am not there yet but I've seen the previews. It's tough to watch those we love struggle and try to find their way. We advise. We guide. But in the end, the choice is all theirs.

Jen said...

I love this post, Maggie. It's a very happy one. Must be Spring Fever :) Hooray for spring!!

Anonymous said...

Lord, am I happy I'm not a parent! It's a hard job and my hat's off to those of you do it well.