My first born turned in her tweendom membership card, candy coated lanyard and the requisite snarl she never did make much use of, at the front door yesterday and became, without a lick of self-aggrandizing and, at her unspoken request, nary any fanfare, a teenager. The big 1-3.
Now that I’ve got that all important first day of teenage parenting under my belt, I thought I’d report back on how parenting a teen is going, because, you know, it’s so scary and some shit.
The first day of parenting a teen was unequivocally f*cking awesome.
It was f*cking awesome in exactly the same way as nearly every one of the prior 4700+ days of parenting her have been and, I’m guessing, although my financial services background taught me that past performance is not indicative of future results and hubris is most definetly the devil, the next 4700+ days will be as I continue to parent of the most lovely, funny, kind, caring and totally rad daughters a dad could, in like a gazillion years, ever hope for.
Y’all kept warning me too, as you do, in that way you do, to wait until she’s 2, 4, 7, 9, 12, whatever, but I didn’t pay those doomsday prophecies any mind because I heard all about and remember vividly the way you once told me I would change, and how the *real* world would be for me, when I reached 13, 16, 18, 21, and so on, and so I knew all along that the incessant and unwelcome yapping is rarely anything but bullshit dressed as wisdom. Your life experiences were never going to be mine, regardless of how often you tried to convince me otherwise.
There have been tough days, difficult conversations, bouts of yelling, hurt feelings and a few slammed doors at both ends of the hallway, and I anticipate more of all of those things, plus new and rougher parenting challenges in the future, but I remain unafraid.
Instead of being fearful, my eyes are as open as my heart and mind for what’s next on this remarkable journey.