Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Teen Cusp

Last night I had a dream. It seemed all too real and the emotions that came with it were almost tangible! I had a dream that my 14 year old came home from hanging out with his best friend and he had 2 tattoos! She had given him the tats and he was unapologetic about it. There was a serious discussion that ensued about the decisions he makes as a minor and how they affect who he is as an adult. "How are you going to get a job with those tattoos?!"

When I woke up this dream still kinda haunted me. I have dissected it and what it means. Now, if you know my oldest, he can be a handful at times. But not in a tattoo party kid type of way. He is a sweet, considerate, smart, helpful boy. He doesn't talk back to us. He has stepped up during my bed rest. He is a fantastic big brother to our 3 year old. He has his issues- mostly with teachers (I don't know where he got that from...).

So where did this dream come from? I think that as I get ready for a newborn just as my oldest is entering high school, subconscious me is trying to prepare for the teen years. He is right on the cusp. Now is when he decides if he's gonna follow the rules or rebel against them. And with having 2 small children in the house, I fear the latter. My teen years were a flurry of anger and disrespect to my mom. The teen years of my own kids have always held a certain amount of anxiety for me. Because if Karma is real- I'm screwed! I have worked towards the teen years since day one with Tieren. We talk openly and I try to listen to him and give him a voice. I explain his feelings to him as well as mine. I think this communication has allowed us to have a great relationship so far. He still cuddles up with his mommy and won't leave for school without saying goodbye and "I love you". But no matter what you do, at some point they get their own ideas and start following their own paths- or (eek!) the paths their friends are on.

I hope my husband and I have done it right. I hope Tieren knows how much we love and support him and that we want him to make all the right decisions while maintaining his individuality (i.e. no tattoos until he's 18- or 100!). I hope that as we navigate the teen years for the first time while juggling 2 other small boys, that we all come out triumphant. And that as Tieren heads out into the world, that it gets a true glimpse of what an incredible man he will become. AND I hope Tieren chooses to give the world that glimpse.

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