Raising a teenager, that is. I thought it would be hard, that there would be yelling and carrying on and much rolling of the eyes. I hadn't counted on the sheer terror.
The Boy scares me. Often. Badly. He comes home late, or disappears out of his bed in the middle of the night, or doesn't show up to school. True, it's a been a month now since the last of these shenanigans, so maybe I have brought home the magnitude of the Scary that happens when we don't know where he is.
He always thinks he's got it covered. There's always a misunderstanding or innocent mistake in there somewhere. The thing is, when it's all going down you, as parent, don't know this, and you imagine horrible accidents, trouble in great boiling clouds, worse trouble that grows from subtle and seductive beginnings. You imagine the million little things that could send a kid down a path that fucks their life up for years. For always. You imagine big unstoppable things bearing down on someone small and clueless. You imagine blood and bones. You imagine not being able to stop screaming when someone gives you the god awful news. And even though he's always come home before, you can't stop imagining it all over again because he's not home now.
He's got it bad too, of course. I'm sure he could write you a paragraph that would make you wonder why he ever stayed home, and why, if he made it out, he would come back home at all. That's what it is to be a teenager.
He is right to think he is misunderstood and unknown. I am right to think that he's fragile and naive. I am right to think he's selfish and just plain wrong, he's right to think I'm overreacting and unhinged. We can't help it.
Don't you remember this?
Wishing remembering helped,
I know it's all temporary, and we'll both grow out of it, and we do a remarkable job of talking things through, actually. I just needed to vent a little.