The Creatures Known As Teenagers
I have always wondered what was going through my Aunt's mind during my teenage years. I know I was not the worst out there, but I was not one of the most comfortable teenagers either. Whenever I complained about being disciplined for something, she would say "when you become a parent, you will understand". Apparently, I did not think anything about it. As a teenager, I could get away with anything, and no one would be the wiser. Or at least that is what I told myself. No one understood what I was going through which only reinforced my rebellious nature. The adults around me were not making an effort to connect with me because they did not care.
How can you claim to love and care for me and not even show it? Instead, you ruin long drives together with talks of school, how I should be behaving, and my teenage antiques. If you actually loved me, you would not do all that. These were the things I thought about the way I was brought up as a teenager. I excelled in school because I wanted to make sure I did not have to listen to another lecture about my grades or how I'm being prepared for my future career. I was a teenager, why should I care about jobs? I knew what I wanted to be and when the time was right, I would change. Adulthood was not something you prepared for, it just happens when the time was right. Again, lies I told myself.
As my Aunty predicted, I am beginning to see what she meant all those years back. If there is one fact that I cannot argue with is that teenagers are an entirely different species. I know because I have one of these so-called entities in my home. Only a few inches taller than me with a voice an octave lower than mine, this being is usually referred to as Junior (he's not a junior, but I don't want to burst his bubble). You must understand people, I love this strange being as much as any other parent would, but I just can't seem to get through to him. When I am around him, he loses all motor skills and speech. If I call his name, he automatically assumes I'm about to chew him out. Hearing him speak is like trying to catch your shadow. I know he's there and I can hear him talking to everyone else when I'm in the other room. But as soon as I walk into the same place, everything goes silent.
I have seen how he is with others and members of his species. He lights up and would not stop talking. When I do speak to him about school, I hear myself turning into my Aunty, and he looks at me the same way I use to look at her. Friends tell me to go easy on him. The only thing with that is I have not even started being hard on him. I've been giving him time to get to know me and adjust to being in America. I have read the books and listen to so-called teenage experts, and I have come to a conclusion that teenagers will never understand the things their parents do and as parents, we will never understand how their species operate. This does not mean that we cannot love each other. However, I am not going to force this strange being to be my best friend. That is why he has friends, brothers, and cousins. My job is to parent him through this awkward phase that he is in till he becomes one of us. I can't wait for the day (like when he's 30 or something) when he will come running to me that his teenage child is acting strangely. I can already see myself smiling so hard that my cheek muscles hurt at the irony.