Friday, January 6, 2012

Today I think it finally happened. I think my tear ducts ran dry.

March 7th 2003 was the day my world began its slow morph into the empty black hole it suggests today. It was an innocent enough day, in fact, it was a day that most parents look forward to; it was our first born child’s 13th birthday. Innocuous as it may sound, like a slow growing disease the teen years have turned my life inside out, upside down and challenged everything I thought I knew to be true about life.

How many water droplets are in the ocean? Countless. How many tears will a mother shed as she ushers her children though the teen years? Countless. Or so I thought, but today I think it finally happened. I think my tear ducts ran dry. I couldn’t cry if I tried, nothing came out. Not words, not tears, nothing. Wow I thought to myself. This is how it begins, the complete desensitization of aging.

The drama and the sheer brokenness of the life we live now is nothing like the life we used to know. There are no smiles, no laughter, no chatter, no planning and no recalling of nice memories from days long ago. We shuffle in, we gripe, we go to our four corners, we eat dinner in silence, we gripe some more then we shuffle to bed and then hit repeat the next day.

Oh you think you know don’t you? I thought I knew it all too. I used to judge people who said they couldn’t control their teens, trust me, I don’t any longer. Can you control depression? Can you control ADD? Can you control PTSD? How about OCD? Good luck with that. To satisfy your curiosity, no our kids aren’t spoiled. They don’t have TV’s in their rooms, they don’t have every latest cool gadget and we raised them to be polite respectful human beings….and they are, to everyone but us.

This life leaves me envying everyone who doesn’t live with a teen. Your twins are 6? Oh how adorable. They still kiss you goodnight, hold your hand in public and tell you stories about their day? Awww!

Oh, you live alone? OK, I imagine you with your cat reading the newspaper on the davenport on a sunny morning; you are drinking coffee and your cat is playing with the fern that needs to be watered.

What? You’re a homeless man who has been given a month’s shelter in the basement of a church? People approach you with kind eyes and ask you gentle questions about your life, how you ended up here and equally delicately ask you where you will go next. Yep, I totally envy you too. It’s true!

In two months we will celebrate our sons 22nd birthday, he has been out of the teen years nearly 3 whole years, but alas we now surf an even bigger tsunami that came thundering around the corner (w/ 15 and 12 year old daughters) oh yes, we were warned just like the fisherman of Sumatra but we ignored the warning and went to the beach anyway. We saw the water rapidly drawing back, but we were greedy and thought we could quickly pluck a few shiny fish in its wake and somewhere around the 5th year of parenting teens, we let out the air we had been holding so tightly in our lungs and exclaimed “Hey we can do this!” We have ‘experience’ now. …things can’t be any harder than that! Wrong! Nearly 9 years of the non-stop parenting of teens makes us understand why people do crazy things. Why do marriages split up? Teens. Why do the little pleasures in life seem to escape me daily? Go ahead and spend just 10 minutes with a teen girl who rolls her eyes and cuts you down to size with one fell swoop. Why do people buy red convertibles? Teens. Rob stores? Teens. Tramp stamp? Teens. Speed? Teens. You can see where I am going with this. Not only can I NOT cry, I am blaming everything including the problems of the Middle East on teens. 9 years down, 7 years to go….Calgon, take me away!

Lisa Ekanger Your Preferred Realtor!

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