Did I Just Say That Out Loud? {The Teenage Years}

Did I Just Say That Out Loud? {The Teenage Years}

I’m fairly certain that this post should begin with a fair warning. I do me. And when it comes to motherhood, I am so down for teenagers. There is a small window in the first 3-ish months of life that I find adorable, even in the middle of the night, but with that exception I was created for teenager mom life. Mine are 18 and 15, and the teenage years are as good as it gets for this Momma. Give me a discussion on IV drug use or a hard conversation about ANYTHING over potty training. I just suck at all the things there are to suck at when it comes to littles. I mean, mine survived. It was not without expert intervention by grandmothers, uncles, aunts and a wickedly adaptive father. As for me and my skills, we are most helpful in the later years. 

That is right where we find ourselves today. With big emotions and COVID and not leaving for college and changes, a house filled with 1/2 of its occupants in the teen years has proven to be…entertaining? Let me give you an example. This blog. I asked the girls to help me think about what life with teenagers is like for our family. They both covered their mouth and the less-filtered child of the moment demonstrated her genetically gifted wit. With a gentle reminder of #writingmanners, I was politely told that I couldn’t write about half of what happens in this house. And the exact quote that came out of my youngest’s mouth was immediately followed by, “Did I just say that out loud?” Yes, ma’am. You. Sure. Freaking. Did.  

Why I Love the Teenage Years

Did I Just Say That Out Loud? {The Teenage Years}

They fight back. It’s just that simple. While I have to parent through the real and hard, the rest of the hours of the day seem to be living examples of the sarcasm, humor, passion and love that both my husband and I bring to the world. Teenagers are living sponges. They never admit it, but the words they speak and the things they care about are directly tied to the people that are parenting them on the daily. With my mouth, the lack of filtered conversations and my undying need to talk about all the topics and all the varying viewpoints {all. the. time.} these moldable young adults are the best gifts that I could have in my life. 

Find A Car

Want to really get in the mind of a teenager? Find the closest available car and take it for a spin. Drive to the neighborhood park or drive to Baton Rouge for the day, but put your teenager in a car where they cannot escape and go. One fair warning, they prefer their own playlist to really sink into comfortable. I have tried to inspire with my favorite 90’s singers and songwriters, but when one of the offspring called my favorite spirit moving music “country” we had to have a chat. Melissa Etheridge is gold, child. I digress. While playing the Jonas Brothers or The Killers, open the box. SECRET:: teenagers are ready to talk. They will spill their guts in 2.2 seconds. Just lob up a freebie question and watch them turn into the greatest storytellers. And when they do, listen. Ask questions. Let them know that they are not alone. 

Travel Together

Do you want to see your teen’s eyes come to life? Show them the world. Teach them about others. Show them how to fully celebrate life in the water, at a concert, in a new city. When they don’t have technology to hide from you, you get to see an amazing side of your kiddo. Let them plan a day of exploring and see life through their eyes. Sit on a park bench and have them tell you what they see. How are they experiencing the world? This is the sweet spot. That sacred moment of connection with a human that still relies on you for existence and wants to separate from you completely. It’s the ultimate see-saw ride, so hold on tight.

Have Inside Jokes

The single best thing about the maturing process is their humor. As it develops, the genius moments are found in the stupidest humor that will connect you for life. There is not one time in all her life that my daughter will hear Harry Styles and not giggle about that year that I would scream, “Watermelon Sugar” and wait for her to sing, “HIGH.” These are our moments. And sure, they are mixed with crying jags and screaming matches, but those are small moments compared to the laughs that we have together. These gems also allow your teenager to live through the moments when you want to kill them. Just saying. 

Separation is Painful

I can’t write this piece without honestly acknowledging the biggest challenge of the teenage years. If you give them wings, they will want to fly. That is a good thing. But it hurts. As one that wants this season to last for years to come, the realization that you have taught them how to want the one thing that will change your fun house into an empty house is hard. That’s the double edge sword of the teenage years. When you give them the tools, they grow into capable, loving, curious humans that are ready to explore and leave home. And it’s all your fault. You taught them to want the world. You taught them to learn. You taught them to laugh at themselves and not take failures as forever. You did that, Mom. So you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit. 

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Lacy H. is the mom of two teenage girls - Anna Jane {2002} and Ally {2005} - and has been married to her partner in all things, Lucas, since 1998. A 4th generation Baylor Bear, she bleeds green and gold. You’ll often catch her listening to everything from Dr. Dre to Panic! At the Disco and watching “Criminal Minds” and “30 for 30” on TV. Her mid-life “growth” has included learning to play a pink bass and adding to her tattoo collection. This season has also moved her away from two decades of serving and leading in the Christian Church. Her personal journey through brokenness and healing grounds her life. Sometimes the road has taken turns filled with rebellion and pain, other times it has been beautiful and full, but it has always been an adventure. After years of crafting communication though the spoken word, she found a passion for writing. Continually fumbling through the messiness of life, all of her faith and doubt and healing can be found on her blog, The View From The Bathroom Floor. Lacy’s interests include LUSH, the weather {she has 6 weather apps}, knitting, podcasts, college football and growing up. You can follow Lacy on Facebook and Instagram @theviewfromthebathroomfloor and Twitter @lhilbrich.


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