I Secretly Love Having Teenagers

Okay, I've only had 2 teenagers for 4 months.

And I've only had any teenagers at all for 19 months. (Though Ironflower started acting like a teenager when she was like 10, so I think I deserve some credit for those years)

But I feel super comfortable saying that I do love having teenagers in a way that I did not love having preschoolers - even though I actually love preschoolers. (In small doses. When I'm well-rested.) In fact, until fairly recently, I would have told you that I love children 0-11 way more than I love teenagers.

I would have been lying about the toddlers, though. Toddlers are assholes. Adorable assholes. 

I would have told you that I was dreading having teenagers and that I wished all my kids could stay kids forever. Even though Lois Duncan wrote a captivating book about why that's a bad idea. I must have reread that book 10 times when I was 13 or so. Because 13 is the worst.

But since I remember that feeling so vividly - in a way I do not remember being 2 and feeling like I would die if I couldn't wear my blue dress - it's so much easier for me to empathize with my teenagers than it ever was with my toddlers/preschoolers/elementary schoolers.

I mean, I always tried to lead with empathy and talk about feelings but. . .I had 3 kids in 4 years and not one of those kids could have ever been described as mellow or easygoing. Sometimes survival took on a great importance than empathy. Now that someone isn't always in danger of running into traffic and/or throwing a tantrum, it's a lot easier to be empathetic.

But as much as I would love to attribute enjoying my teens so much to my greater empathy and subsequent closeness, that's not the bulk of it.

The bulk is that my teenagers share my sense of humor. My really inappropriate, snarky and filled with fucks sense of humor. I'm sure it will get them into trouble some day if it hasn't already, but I'm genuinely okay with that. I love it when they make me laugh and I also love the fact that I no longer have to censor myself around them. That's what I secretly love about having teenagers.

The fact that I can leave them home alone, or make them run into the store for me or reach things out of the tall cabinets are just bonuses, I swear.

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