Entering a new chapter in life

A terrifying thought struck me this week. It’s something that I’ve feared and put out of my mind for the past year, but it will soon come to pass.

In less than 30 days, we will enter a new chapter in our lives. We will have a teenager living in my house.

Thirteen years ago, I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of our son and wondering how much our lives would change once our little fellow came home. Little did I know that he would turn everything upside down and sideways. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I was talking with a friend recently about this and she reminded me that it would just be another year and he would be asking to get his driving permit. Yikes. I won’t be bringing up that subject until he does.

This year, for his birthday, he’s requesting clothes, a new phone, video games and contact lenses. When I turned 13, I was worried about getting the next K-Tel album. I had just gotten wire-rimmed granny glasses which were all the rage then and I was very concerned with the width of the belled pant legs of my hip huggers. I was listening to KC and the Sunshine Band, Jim Croce and ABBA. We were watching M*A*S*H, Mary Tyler Moore and Archie Bunker on television. We laughed every week at the Carol Burnett show. There were no cell phones, home computers, electronic tablets or hand-held video games.

My bike was my principal mode of transportation, and in a small town that would easily take you from one end to the other.

My friends and I would meet up at the Dairy Sweet or Edgewood Park to sit and talk about all of those important things in our lives – boys, music, boys, clothes and, of course, boys.

I don’t know how my parents put up with me. They were a little older when I was born and had already been through the teenage years with two other children. I’m not sure whether that prepared them or frazzled them for my teens.

One of the more influential people in my life during my teenage years was my older sister. She took me under her wing several times over three or four summers. She would spend June through August at a cabin in northern Minnesota – about as far north as you can get and still be in the U.S. I thoroughly enjoyed those days swimming and skiing on that little lake. And I learned a lot from that remarkably talented and smart woman.

She kept telling me to enjoy those teen years and not to grow up too fast. She was right. All too soon those years are gone and then begins the responsibility of adulthood – sooner for some than others, of course.

I hope that’s something that I can impart to my son, but I doubt that any teen has ever listened to that advice. As I?recall, being treated as an adult always seemed to be the ultimate goal.