Metaphors abound when attempting to understand an adolescent boy…here’s a solution…maybe.
Helen Keller once said that life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood. I couldn’t agree more. However, it’s not the lessons that I mind the most. It’s the tests; especially the ones on being a parent.
Just when I think I’ve got this parenting thing down, one of my children ambles up to adolescence and the warm fuzziest of childhood come screeching to a halt.
One day they’re warm fuzzy little creatures curious about bugs and sticks and worms; and the world is their oyster. They carry on meaningful conversations with dogs and they’re not afraid to take a tiger by the tail. Every word that you speak becomes a fragile little droplet of rain that needs to be stored ever so gently in their precious little minds. Then…it happens.
The warm fuzzies are now growing on his face. Suddenly without warning, he grows a telephone out of one side of his head. Those stories about mythological characters come to life as narcissus roams to and fro seeking his reflection. Hormones manifest themselves through his pores.
The attitude needs constant readjusting and his attention hangs on every word of THE GIRLFRIEND.
MOM takes a backseat in his life. SIGH.
Test? Thanks, but I’d like to skip this class. I didn’t do well on tests when I was fourteen. I wasn’t paying any attention then, so why should I be tested now?
Although…there is something that we could do if we could skip the test. We could put them in a TIME CAPSULE! Leave them there until things are normal again. Oh, it wouldn’t be so bad! Not if you throw in a comb, a hairbrush and a phone to keep them company.
Don’t forget the mirror.
Charge up the phone just in case they’re in there for a while. They’ll need a large tube of hair gel, a CD player, some CD’s (throw in some of yours to remind them that the world existed before they came along), and a pair of baggy pants. Don’t worry about taking up too much room – there’s only ONE favorite pair. Throw in a picture of THE GIRLFRIEND and you’re set! They won’t even miss us!
Meanwhile, we take the tests. The tests were easy when they were warm fuzzy little creatures. There was plenty of room for errors. They were so busy playing that a mistake or two went by completely unnoticed. What is being tested now is your patience, your attitude, your compassion and even your memory. Listen closely and you’ll hear yourself reproducing your own mother during these years. This is a test to see if what you learned during the quiet times will hold up when the heat is turned up.
So, what should we be doing while they’re inside this time capsule? Maybe we could think of it as an “incubator” instead. During this time of incubating, we could cover it with layer upon layer of love, prayer and tears. We could speak a great future into them even when it seems that they’re tuned into a different station. We could try not to sweat the small stuff while we are searching frantically for the buried treasure that has been deposited in them.
DO enjoy the humorous times and laugh, A LOT. Remember that they won’t always be in the time capsule…uh…I mean, incubator. There will come a time when they will no longer need our aid. Besides, we might miss some of those meaningful conversations he and I would have on the way to school where he asks:
“Hey Mom! Wouldn’t it be cool if you could tilt the wheel, and the front end of the car would pop up, and we could drive that way?
Yep. We need to be sure to get them out on time. Future generations deserve to discover these lessons on their own.
Jacob survived adolescence (not to mention having me as a mom), and became a successful young man and awesome parent to a beautiful daughter named Chloe Beth. Even though he’s grown up, he still has my heart, still makes me laugh and always makes me proud.