I offer these simple tips knowing I do not have all the answers, not even close. But somehow, for some reason as luck would have it, we have one amazing teenager ready to take flight. We have two to go, ask me again in a few more years and perhaps I wont have any tips at all. Perhaps I’ll be mumbling incoherently on a street corner asking for your loose change – so I think it’s best I write these tips of what I think I know down right now incase it all turns to custard.
1. Before you do a thing –go buy a paper bag. Place said bag over head in public at all times. You are always embarrassing.
2. Learn the primitive language of grunting. All questions will now be answered in this format so it will serve you well to familiarize yourself with any subtle tones and inflections as to avoid any miscommunications with your teen.
3. You are never right, you know nothing.
4. Always walk one block ahead of teenager in public, preferably on the opposite side of the street. You are not supposed to exist.
5. Providing food at intermittent periods will guarantee regular sightings of your now bedroom bound teen.
6. There’s a “look”. It is kind of aimed at you and will most likely involve eye-rolling and frowning. It really isn’t for you, it is for the entire world but you just happen to be in the way. All the time.
7. Text ” I love u” or “I am thinking of u” at own risk. Some days this will be ok, other times it will be a thoughtless, careless and cruel act. You will never know the difference. If in doubt stick to the basics, like “When do you think you might come home?”
8. It is essential you nurture all relationships with other women who drink. Tell them they are on speed dial and will only have a moments notice to pour you a chardonnay, or gin. Practice this drill prior to your child turning 12, until you are sitting at their kitchen table with drink in hand and a listening ear under 5 minutes.
9. Always remain close enough, but not too close, learn the difference. Proceed with caution. You may need to wear protective clothing, teenagers can be prickly.
10. And never, not ever, not for one day, not for one breath stop believing in, trying, giving, forgiving, encouraging and loving this person. For wasn’t it only yesterday you were busy squeezing a zit in the mirror hoping nobody noticed it as you desperately tried to impress the world? Yep, thought so.