great expectations

It’s been a struggle, people. A mighty struggle.

To put it plainly, I live with a 13-year old Girl and a 10-soon-to-be-11-year-old Boy. There is  a whole lot of stuff going on in their little heads lately, is all I can think.

The Girl Child has been busted twice recently for lying, and likes to be rude when she knows better. This morning she had not made her lunch when it was time to leave. I dared to  suggest she get up earlier or spend less time changing her shirt (40 minutes?! really?!), and then it was on with the rudeness.  I ended up saying nothing and leaving on my own, though I did wait at the bus stop to make sure she made it.

The Boy Child has unexplainable freak-outs. Yesterday, he showed me his birthday list, which had only three things on it, so I suggested he add some other things to it. Since, you know, odds are more than 3 people would like to get him a gift.  He completely lost it. Tore up his list, declared he didn’t want a birthday, threw stuff out of his room, rolled around on the floor.  It was nuts. A mark of how nuts: he threw NIGHT NIGHT into the hall.  Night Night slept with me.

I KNOW there are hormonal and pre-teen demons at work here. I’m reasonably sure they are good kids.  But GOOD LORD, this stuff is exhausting. I also know we are not the only ones with these demon children – I am pretty sure there is a support group for it, and it’s called vodka.

I know they are stretching new muscles and finding their way, dealing with stresses we know nothing about. I refuse to give in and be bullied by my own kids. I  expect them to be part of a family where we respect each other and try to be nice, for crying out loud. To be responsible for fixing the hurt they cause with the words they say without thinking.

I know the day will come when they turn into people who can control their emotions, maybe not say things that make no sense when you suggest a new morning routine or more birthday presents. I fear it will not be soon enough.

In the meantime, make it a double.

a family photo, back in the day