and just when we imagine we know everything

As my darling 4th daughter, Jodie, turned 20 this year, I was fairly confident that we have this parenting teenagers down. After all, ask any of our family, friends, acquaintances, people we pass shopping at Target and they will GO OUT OF THERE WAY TO TELL YOU HOW PAINFULLY DIFFICULT IT IS TO RAISE TEENAGE GIRLS!

No, really.

‘They have. Literally any and every chance that came along.

And they have been right…well, sometimes.

My darling husband and I have four amazing daughters, who as teenagers challenged us in ways that made us certain that our mothers’ curses upon us were very real…and in ways that we could have never, ever imagined. Raising teenagers in the brave new world of social media? Did we really see that coming?

But we survived.

We did not die.

None of us.

And now, with four young adult women making their way in this world in their own way, we have imagined that we might actually know what we are doing raising teenagers because pseudo-experts told us girls are hard and boys are easy.

Heh!

All y’all know nothing!

Nothing!

Believe me.

But one thing, as parents of teenagers, remains true still. We are really, really good at embarrassing our adolescent children.

 

Taking your teenaged son to a Styx Tribute Band concert might seem to be a perfect way to provoke the best of eye rolls and more and because of all the eye rolls, heavy sighs and never mind, Mom. 

This should be easy. One would think so, but no. Although joking about wearing an old Styx concert tee might be too meta did result in a half eye roll coupled with a really, Mom.

You’re going to write about this, aren’t you, Mom?

Well, maybe.

Fine. Make sure they know I had fun, because I did.

Of course.

:::he rolls his eyes:::

He did have fun hanging out with Mom, Dad and all those old people.

Yeah, he is also suddenly so much taller!!!

He’s rolling his eyes again right now.

seeing red

When I see him like this, I see the same strong will that was with him when he was just a one pound micro preemie fighting to live.

I see focus.

I see strength.

I see a determined thoughtfulness that astonishes me as I see this amazing boy child of mine becoming a young man.

A young man who has just earned a red belt.

And a brand new dobok…not a moment too soon because he was outgrowing the old one.

playing with sharp objects

Just in case you missed the other night in the land of Laura’s social media, this happened:

Three years ago he began this adventure with all the trepidation and tears any kid might have over the idea of shots literally every day. Still, we soon settled into a routine where mom or dad and sometimes sisters and even sometimes favorite aunties have given him his daily injections. But tonight, three years and ten inches and fifty pounds or more later, he asks if he can give himself the injection. And with his Dad’s hand on his for moral support, he does it.

We might still be in complete and utter shock over this here under The Big Top y’all.

He asks the next day if we are proud of him for giving himself his own human growth hormone injection.

Proud?

Yes.

Surprised?

Absolutely.

Surprised?..

He ponders this.

Well, most folks who need injections of medication aren’t so eagerly doing it for themselves. His own mama, who needed to inject a subcutaneous needle into her skin every three days while pregnant with her fourth child, just wasn’t that into that until her home health nurse told her that her darling husband can learn how to do it for her.

Yeah, no.

Necessary, Yes. But c’mon, not something we are falling all over ourselves to do to our own body with a sharp needle used to pierce our own skin….I get it son. I really do. Poking yourself with a needle is hard. But you did it. You really did it!

one last time

First day of school here under The Big Top, y’all. It’s just Daniel here under The Big Top but it’s still a big deal.

Dude…he grew TWO INCHES over summer vacation!!!

Meanwhile, here we are starting 8th grade and for me, mom of an 8th grader one last time. Lots of emotions and eye rolls under The Big Top this morning as we prepped for first day of school. Family and friends only encourage me to be that insufferable 8th grad mom as I shared the prerequisite First Day of School picture on social media. If I do become that mom, I make little apology because this is 8th grade, one last time.

:::eye roll:::

Mom, it’s time for school.

If you have been following this adventure since his very first day of school, you may join me feeling all the feels right now because here we are, eighth grade life, one last time.

I promise for him to try and restrain myself.

missing

Daniel has been away this week having his own adventures with one of his most favorite aunts and uncles…and cousin too.

Jealous we are because triple digit heat and smoky, stagnant air thanks to triple digit heat and wild fires here in California. But, hey what a perfect way to complete his summer vacation because school starts next week. Still I am missing him because he is missing here under The Big Top.

And as I am missing my favorite son, I am enjoying seeing his once teeny, tiny feet inked on my body that is shared over at Cool Mom Picks this week. Yes, I know, literally EVERY mom get’s their baby’s feet inked onto their bodies nowadays. But 11 years ago… Those impossibly small feet, which are actually, really HIS footprints, naturally represent just how small he once was; but inked over my heart there is so much more representing our beginnings as mother and son. Moving on I have to tell you there are 11 other tattoo ideas that are so much more kick-ass and more original than mine. I imagine Kristen included mine because, after all, I did send her a picture of my boob…because I do love her. Nevertheless, go. Go now and check out some pretty kick-ass parental tattoo ideas to inspire your own ways to permanently honor your own kids.