“What? Is that Life Lesson #23?” Adrian said with a smote of sarcasm.
Well, yes. Yes, it is.
As I approach the last 3 years of direct influence over my kids, I find I’m reduced to imparting tips. I figure the big things are (hopefully) ingrained, like ‘give it your all’, ‘work hard’, ‘play fair’, and ‘do unto others’; now all I can offer is maintenance, some fine-tuning, and probably very little patience as three strong females try to inhabit the same house.
When Adrian refused to get out of the car one day at school, I realized that I can no longer physically force a teenager to do what I want them to do. They are almost as tall as me. They have opinions and agendas and buttons that can be pushed too. I can still “throw my weight around” if need be, but that ‘weight’ is to withhold things. No iPod today! No PC! No TV! No ride! No Money! Or all of the above.
Since the first 3 days of the school year were unbearable, with cranky kids and moods and lots of finger-pointing, I removed two of the reasons for arguing, the TV and the PC by putting passwords on the electronics, so that the first week of school was centered around getting back into the studying groove after two months of pure laziness – getting up at 10, clothes on by lunch, and even more TV watching and PC surfing during weeks where there was no camp.
But back to the lessons. I was amused when Adrian threw out a random number, mostly in sarcasm, but probably very adept at my strategy.
What was the lesson? I hardly remember. I think it was “use the little plastic loops on your clothes when you hang them to dry. That’s what they’re for and if you don’t, you may end up with pointed shoulders on your sweater when you go to wear it.”
Hey, I didn’t say these were earth shattering philosophies to dedicate your life toward!
It’s just that I think I’m almost done and I only need to offer ‘slight tuning’ to the spectacular people my kids have become. The flowers they have grown into. The bourgeoning adults they will soon be.
Girls, get ready to fly.