The Playground of Life

Yikes!  Can it really have been over a month since my last post?

Actually, I’ve been paralyzed by the horror implicit in finally having three teenagers in the house.  My youngest  turned 13 and the hormones here have reached crisis levels.  Add to that the fact that I’m approaching menopause with alarming speed and it’s hard to express enough sympathy for my poor husband.  It’s like living in a terrifying playground complete with emotional rollercoasters and mood swings.

It occurs to me that the path to adulthood has children leaving home toward the end of their teens for very good reasons.  They can’t leave earlier because by the age of 15 they are, to use a medical term, completely crazy.  On the other hand after a few years of crazy the average teenager really needs to create some space between them and their parents or it’ll be murder she wrote.

I remember commenting in the face of toddler tantrums that childhood is supposed to be a happy, carefree time of life. Well apparently the tragedy of being denied candy at the supermarket checkout pales in comparison to the appalling suffering of the teenager.  My oldest  is miserable because her friends are all away at university and she’s stuck at home with the most boring people in the universe.  My second is miserable because he has to live with the most annoying, stupid people in the universe (oh how I wish I had it all figured out as well as the average 16 year old).  My youngest is just miserable, but I think he at least still likes us.

It’s amazing how your standards change.  I now find myself reeling in delighted surprise at any tiny demonstration of spontaneous courtesy; celebrating whenever I catch a glimpse of a bearable human underneath that appalling scowl.  Each of those moments is like a light at the end of the tunnel – although, to quote Terry Pratchett, you can never be quite sure whether that light might be an oncoming train.

Oh yes, it’s all fun!

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