Tuesday, 16 October 2012

A New Frontier

This is a big week.  First of all, Boy 1, my first born, will be welcomed into the hallowed (and sometimes feared) age of teendom.  Yes, as of tomorrow Brad and I will be parenting a teenager.  Seriously??  I feel like it was just yesterday that we brought our almost 10lb bundle of pudge home from the hospital!

Am I worried about living with a teen?  Not too much because I'm really banking on the fact that Karma will remember how I didn't give my parents much trouble at all.  I was pretty tame by teenage standards.  My claim to teenage rebellion??  At the age of 14, often sneaking from suburbia into downtown Toronto via bus/subway to shop at the Eaton's Centre with my girlfriends while my parents' thought we were hanging out at each other's houses.  Ooooo, right?  Ya, I was a bad ass.  Not!  Hear that Karma!?!?  I was totally tame.  Be gentle.

Not only does Boy 1 enter into a new age group but so do I.  Because a mere 2 days after I get smacked upside the head with the very idea that my BABY is a teenager ... I turn 40.  Ouch!  Apparently I didn't do the math 13 years ago.  Ya, that would be called the one-two punch in the emotional gutt. 

Now, I could just take to my bed with a big old carton of ice cream therapy and get all emotional at the thought of all these changes but I'm not gonna.  You know why?  Because I'm not a hormonal teenager, I don't particularly like ice cream and I've decided that 40 is the new 26.  Why 26?  Because 26 was one of my favourite adult ages.  Back when I was 26 I was still a size 4, I was at home enjoying new motherhood with Boy 1, I had only given birth to one child by then so my Grinch Belly didn't even exist, and ... just cuz.  26 was nice.

With age, comes wisdom.  Or at least that's what I'm assuming.  Are there things that I'd love to tell my younger self?  Things, being a little older and *hopefully* wiser, that I'd like to impart to my, say, teenage self?  Sure there are.   

Here's a list of wise tidbits for Teenage Laurie ...

1. Trust your gutt.  Your head and your heart can lead you wrong but your gutt will always lead you on the right path.  If it doesn't 'feel' right, it's probably wrong.  Whether it's deciding to finally say yes to a date with Brad in 1992, or getting the feeling that you should go up and introduce yourself to that girl during Frosh Week because you just had a feeling you'd hit it off (hey Ang!!!) or deciding on a whim to move back to your hometown to raise your kids in a small town.  Use the gutt, Luke!  Er, Laurie.  Use the gutt.

2. Do not bother with people who want to be negative all the time.  They are happiness vampires and you will meet at least a couple of these people.  You don't have time for their crazy crap.  Cut them loose and move on to people who build you up and make you feel good and visa versa.

3. Family is always where it's at.  Period.  The end.  Oh, where do I begin?  You have a ginormous family and while at times we seem exceedingly LOUD and, let's be honest, bat crap crazy it's our own special brand of crazy.  And it works for us.  We literally have family shirts.  {Seriously, we had matching shirts made.}  We fit together well and just 'get' each other.  Yes, you'll have some pretty big bumps in the familial road over the years but you'll weather them and come out stronger.  Humour is the salve that we use to heal our wounds.   Our family may not be the 'norm'.  We have a very odd, yet hi-larious, sense of humour that others may not get but we're all very close and I wouldn't trade it for the world. 

4. Teenage Laurie, I want to save you some time here.  Stop wasting your hopes and prayers that you'll move into a bigger bra size.  Ain't ... gonna ... happen, hon.  That ship sadly sailed away earlier than you were hoping with the stupid Boob Fairy at the helm.  The wench totally forgot about you!  But take *small* (pun intended) comfort in the fact that gravity really won't have much effect on you and your 12 year old boy chest.

5. Try not to worry about what others think.  You'll put too much stock in the opinions of others until you get into your late thirties and then you really don't care what (the majority) of people think.  Stand up for yourself and stop being so Canadian all the time!  It's OK to disagree!  But beware because occasionally voicing your opinions may lead to 'foot in mouth' disease.

6. Thank your parents profusely for getting you the cookbook that you wanted for your 13th birthday because that was the beginning of a lifelong love of cooking.

7. Hang on to your besties.  You (thankfully!) will have these women for a lifetime.  They will see you through very difficult times, and give you memories that you'll still be laughing over 20+ years later.  They're your 'peeps' who get you.  The real you, warts, drunken stupidity and all.   They'll laugh with you, cry with you and never let you live down the fact that you used to snack on baked potatoes while studying, totally ruined a spaghetti dinner while camping, danced on a bar during your Stagette or used to have a crush on a Beast. These are the women who you just pick up where you left off in your conversation that happened over a year ago.  That kind of relationship is awesome, comforting, liberating and, at times, soul bolstering.  It's the kind of relationships that I hope and pray that my kids find.

So here's to a new era for Boy 1 and I.  Forty is lookin' pretty good from where I'm standing.  Being a Mom to a teenager isn't looking too scary because I've got some awesome kids who will help ease me into the teenage years and a husband who will be right there with me.  I'll go willingly, yet cautiously, into this melee called teenage parenting. 

Boy 1, you may not like the fact that you have to push through all of my maternal concerns and lead the way for your siblings into the teenage years.  It'll be a hard road as I try to hold onto you for just a little bit longer.  But I promise to let you grow up because I cannot wait to see the kind of man you'll become.  Just try not to grow up too fast, okay?  I want to savour every moment I have with you.  After all, before you know it you'll be 40 and wondering how your first born can be a teenager already!

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