…and other things I say to my sons that they don’t pay attention to.
I love having teenage sons.
Yep. I said it. Go back and reread it if you need to. Adjust your glasses; blink a few times. I promise you read that right. And, believe it or not, I actually mean it in a totally non-ironic way! But just in case, let me repeat myself for good measure.
I love having teenage sons.
I honestly had no idea that I would enjoy these big, hairy, noisy, smelly man-children as much as I do. When they were little and sweet, I would look ahead at their teenage years with dread. Would they become obnoxious? Would they think they were too cool for their old mom? Could we possibly stay as close as we were? And what would it even feel like when my babies became taller than me?
So, to answer quickly, here goes:
Yes, they’re obnoxious sometimes.
No, they don’t always think they’re too cool for me. Quite rarely, actually.
Yes, we can stay as close, but it’s a different kind of close.
They’re definitely taller than I am and it’s pretty darn cool.
I have found, though, over the past few years of the teenage boy infestation, that there are a few key phrases I say all. the. time. Maybe you have a future teenager and would like to be clued in on your script for the future? Here goes:
Repeat After Me
On the subject of home and family:
- Help the family!
- You didn’t wipe off the counter. You may have wiped at it, but it’s not clean!
- Do not antagonize your sister.
- Let’s review: this is IN the sink and this is BY the sink.
- HEY BOYS! COME HERE! (Because they are never where I think they should be.)
On the subject of entertainment:
- TURN OFF THE DADGUM SCREENS!
- Hey, buddy, whatcha doin’?
- You don’t think you have anything to do? Well, you’d better find something soon or I can find something for you to do!
On the subject of school:
- Are you sure you don’t have any homework?
- Have you actually studied for that test? I mean study studied?
- If you did this well on the final, why could you have not put the same effort into the class all year long?!
On the subject of friends/girls:
- Just be kind. Above all else, just be kind.
- Be one of the good guys.
- Don’t be a jerk.
- I don’t care if their parents let them (fill in the blank). You’re my kid and these are my rules.
- What’s the speed limit here, son?
- Slow down.
- Your phone stays put away, remember!
- Text me when you get there!
Maybe they do listen, after all.
Fortunately for all of us, though, I’m pretty certain that kids can learn lessons through…let’s call it auditory osmosis. They may not be paying attention at 100% all of the time, but they do hear what we have to say. I have found that, in teenage boys, lack of response doesn’t necessarily mean lack of message reception. Because, wouldn’t you know it? These boys of mine are really good at helping the family. And they are good students, good brothers, and kind and respectful young men.
So, if you have teenage boys who may not answer all the time. If they drive somewhere and occasionally forget to text you that they have, in fact, arrived, maybe follow this advice. Don’t give up hope, mama! Stay the course, keep saying what you need to say. And pray that the message gets through, because honestly? It most likely is.