Skip to main content

"These are NOT the best years of your life"

I hated high school. Pure and simple. I felt ugly, never really had a date, didn't get asked to prom, was definitely not a "popular" kid. Never played sports, was much more into writing, reading, the drama club. Nerd. "Seventeen" magazine had glossy pictures of lovely girls who seemed to have nothing in common with me but that was the standard.

While I escaped those years relatively unscathed (but it took a lot of writing, listening to music, and weeping), I still remember how much it (my mom hates this word, but...) sucked. I felt stifled, overlooked, unimportant.

On the flip side, I knew I was smart. I knew there was stuff out there waiting for me to accomplish, people I could relate to. They just weren't in my small town. Not that I was completely friendless, but it was still a painful time.

Dear Husband and I were talking about Youngest Son this weekend. He's sixteen, growing so fast that his bones hurt (literally), and stuck somewhere between little boy and man. When we were visiting friends last weekend, Youngest Son cheerfully played Legos for hours with the 6 year old. He sweetly helped out with the party set-up for the family we were visiting. He was playful and great to be around.

Yet on Saturday, when he was asked to do a few chores, he was snarling and mean. Spitting like a cornered bobcat. He hid in his room, emerging only for food.

He has to switch schools this fall, through no fault of his own (budget cutbacks) and both Dear Husband and I know this is weighing heavily on his mind. He doesn't feel like he's particularly good at anything. He was told by our Pastoral Associate at church to leave (he was sitting in the narthex during Mass, and she said that wasn't good enough), and now we can't drag him back.

My mom used to tell me and my sisters constantly when we were teens, "These are NOT the best years of your life. People will tell you they are, but they are NOT. Don't get down about it. It gets better and easier and more pleasant." Thank God, she was right.

When dealing with teens, it can sometimes to be hard to remember that culture is telling them How Much Fun They Are Having As Teens, when in fact, they are usually struggling. Hard. Be gentle. Even 6'5" teen boys are still that - boys, trying to figure out how to grow up. These are NOT their best years. These are their hardest years.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

So close to Jesus

This past Sunday, at Mass, Dear Husband and I had the great good fortune of having a dad, toddler and infant sit next to us in the front pew.

"Good fortune?" you say. Sounds horrible. Kids are so distracting. Put 'em in the nursery.

Nope. We sit up in the front pew, and always invite parents with young kids to come and sit with us. Having raised 5 hyper kids, we can pretty much ignore anything, plus kids do much better when they can see what's going on.

I have to admit, I wanted the toddler to act up a bit so I could whisper to the dad, "I'll watch the baby if you have to take him out."

Instead, we saw something rather remarkable.

Oh, the toddler (not quite 2) was a toddler. He was a bit anty. He wasn't quite sure that he liked seeing his mommy in front, cantoring, where he couldn't get to her. He whined and fussed a bit.

But during the Consecration, his enormous blue eyes locked onto the priest. That baby boy saw Jesus up there. You could just…

Fading Into Friday

It's been a long week. Monday was just ... bad. I ticked off our IT guy at work by opening up one of those d*%$ emails that as soon as you click on it, you think, "Oops." So I trotted over to his office, and he promptly yelled at me. Like I was a child. Or stupid. Or a stupid child.

This was after I found out that every imaginable driving route from my home to office and back home again is under construction. Can't get there from her. Orange barrels. Must as well sleep in the office.
This, combined with the fact that I am now the ONLY person on the planet who stills checks their blind spot before changing lanes, makes me want to quit my job and go live in a yurt.

Our health insurance company sent us these gloom and doom letters that Dear Hubby and I HAD to go online and fill out a health assessment NOW or OUR INSURANCE WOULD BE CANCELLED!!! They were SERIOUS! So, I went online Wednesday. Their system was down for maintenance.

Tried again yesterday. I swear I could n…

If you're ill, don't shy away from God.

There was a time when lepers had to carry bells and loudly announce their presence, so that the "clean" people would have time to seek shelter from them.

Illnesses were blamed in parental sins, or even farther back the family chain. When the AIDS epidemic first struck in the 1980s, they were those who were convinced that this was God's way of dealing out "justice" to homosexuals.

Illness can sometimes seem like an additional cross from God: "Great, I just started a new job, and the kids have different schools this year, and I haven' even thought about a summer vacation and sorry, what's that? Lupus. No. No, you don't understand, I don't have time for that.,,,,

That may be true. YOU don't. But GOD does. For whatever He also int our lives is good and life-giving. Facing any serious illness, chronic or life-threatening, is not something anyone puts on their calendar. It can also make things very difficult to explain to people.

Oh, people …