God, teenagers can be miserable buggers. I mean, I know that they have to deal with a whole load of shit on a daily basis, mainly parents, and I am also aware that life must be really hard when quite literally the whole world is against you. But surely it wouldn’t kill them to muster up a “hello” in the mornings? Are they in danger of cracking the layer of make-up with a smile? Don’t for Christ sake say that you actually liked the fact that I made you a cup of tea, or that you are grateful that I brushed up your crumbs and wiped the jam off the table (again), because you will be dropping your teenage guard and leaving yourself exposed to the possibility of a conversation with your mother.
I have decided that I am actually battle scarred, because I can laugh about this now. A few years ago I was reduced to tears and screams of frustration almost on a daily basis. I don’t care less now, I am bothered less and I believe that there is a subtle difference. I seem to have developed an armour that protects me from teenage moods. The occasional sword still gets through and stabs me, which reminds me how cruel they can be. But mostly I am hardened to their sarcastic comments that try to put me in my older person’s place; their disgusted looks that are trying to tell me how sad I am and how I need to get a life. I have grown a turtle shell that, rather than pointlessly rising to comments, bounces them back in a jovial tone. I can smile at their tantrums and stand back from their worries a little, which makes the advice I can offer more meaningful. My own worries are less now too. I still want them to achieve, but I see their achievements as their own and that they must reach them on their own.
I am always here, a mere step away. They can still reach me with their voice or with two arms outstretched. I am here, I’m just not sitting in their space.