I have four teenagers. Yes, F-O-U-R. I didn't realize how much easier it was when they were toddlers. Because back then I was just so exhausted from entertaining them and trying to be the perfect parent, trying to cover up the fact that I'm a flawed human being. It's a relief in a way when kids get to be teenagers and you can stop pretending you don't swear. But, it comes at a cost. And that cost is a lot of awkward moments with your teens.
It starts in the tween years before they're even teenagers and you tell them about sex. Trying your best to be honest, direct and make eye contact with your kid, who can't look you in the eye because they are so grossed out by the thought of you, they're old, embarrassing, disgusting parent doing that. But, what's even more awkward than that is when you get a new king size mattress for your bed and you go to give your oldest (who has a crappy mattress) your old queen size one because it's still in good condition. And then you think about the things that have happened on said mattress (I'm sure that thought gives my kids nightmares) and hope that your teens don't do that for a long, long, long time (the thought keeps me up at night).
The truth is, I kind of resent my kids in a way. I know that sounds really bad, so let me explain. It's their fast metabolism and that fact that they can eat whatever they want without consequences. (Except for dairy products, I've got a couple kids who need to avoid those or we all suffer.) That and the way they know everything. I remember when I was a teenager, when everything was so black and white before I realized I didn't know a damn thing. Not one. Because you only realize how stupid you truly are when you have kids of your own to raise. And then you're like...."Who the hell let me have kids? I'm a complete idiot!"
Of course your teenagers only reinforce the notion that you are an idiot. Like when you can't help them with their algebra homework. Or when you're teaching them to drive and they call you out on all your everyday traffic infractions. Then suddenly out of nowhere, they start to think something you're doing is cool. So they start borrowing (stealing) your sneakers (chucks) to wear to school. And you're like oh my god, I'm cool. My kids think I'm cool! But, they don't. They think they are cool wearing your chucks, but they think you look as old, embarrassing and ridiculous in them as you are wearing or doing anything else. Then one day they return your chucks to your closet (all molded to their foot) because now vans are way cooler. And now it feels like you're walking in someone else's shoes. Because you are!
Then there's the whole social media thing. As if I don't embarrass my kids enough in real life, social media and my blog take it to a whole other level. I think the stuff I put out online is PG, at most, but it doesn't matter. My kids are absolutely mortified by it just the same. Especially when their classmates find my blog. Which is exactly what happened with my youngest recently. She told me so-and-so from her 7th grade class reads my blog. Even though I try to tread carefully with my writing, especially where my kids are concerned, I have an underlying guilt that what I share publicly effects them. So, I asked the important question: "Does he think I'm funny?"