In the event that you should suddenly add some teenagers to your house, here are some things you should know:
1. They will drink all your root beer and not tell you.
2. You will buy them Hot Pockets, pizza rolls, chicken tenders, fish sticks, sandwich meat, and a Sam’s cart full of other food. They will eat all of it in record time…as in, four corn dogs as an afternoon snack. But one will also eat the last of the leftovers from the complicated and time-consuming meal you made the night before….the leftovers you were planning on having for lunch. You realize that leftovers no longer exist.
3. You will take them for frozen yogurt at TCBY, and when you look up to see the gallon-size containers they’ve filled to the top, you will realize that you should ALWAYS specify a strict monetary limit for dessert. You will feel confused as you fork over $40 for yogurt.
4. You will introduce them to new foods, and one will develop an intense affinity for sushi. He’ll also really like the truffle oil you ordered from Amazon in an attempt to recreate a special dish you tasted while traveling. He will want to pour truffle oil on everything, and he’ll give you sad, puppy eyes when you say, “Ummm…..no.”
5. You will realize that the majority of lessons you’ve learned relate to food. You sigh….and head back to the grocery for the third time this week.
6. They do their own laundry but not until 2 a.m. or so. You’ll awake to find a pile of your clothes, still-damp and wrinkly, on the chair.
7. They will spend an inordinate amount of time on their appearance. They seem to get hair-cuts daily and have more products than you’ve used in the past 10 years. They will blush when you tease them about this fact.
8. They will make fun of you for watching Glee, but sometimes, they’ll watch it with you….but only because Santana is “hot.”
9. One of them will teach your little girl to dance with her “happy feet” stomping the ground, and it will be the most hilarious thing ever. (Here is Ellie sharing the briefest preview of her new skills in Sams; the teenager will be glad I don’t have his instructional session on video. Yet. And yes, I am that Mom who puts her kid on a leash. Don’t judge me.)
10. The other will call her “little buddy,” and she will run to him for hugs and snuggles.
11. You’ll discover that one has a love for board games, and you’ll force your husband to join in playing Monopoly and Sesquipedalian; the teenager will beat you much too often, but only because he got lucky. Whatever.
12. You’ll hear snippets of their conversations with girlfriends and friend-girls and find yourself fretting over any drama in their lives. You’ll see pictures of girls on Facebook and say, “You’re going to date her?! That picture makes her look like a….well, you know.”
13. When they experience a milestone, you’ll cheer them on! You’ll also feel a little old.
14. You’ll watch them face the consequences of their choices and the challenges of work, school, etc., and you’ll struggle with when to help and when to let them fail.
15. They will lose loved ones to illness, and you won’t have any idea what to say to make it any better.
16. Many times, you will get frustrated and angry. You’ll feel guilty when you’re too tired to listen. For these times, you must learn to forgive yourself and start again the next day.
17. You will assure them that they’ll always have a home with you, because after all, they are your family—-imperfect, annoying, frustrating…..kind, amazing, funny, and loved.
For anyone who is concerned, I always ask the boys before using their pictures and videos. They’re good sports. 🙂