But I have a confession to make. Even though it’s all true, and it’s all really hard, I think teenagers are pretty cool.
For those of you younger mothers who might be dreading the transformation of darling to delinquent in the coming teen years, here are some rare but positive words about 14 year old boys:
They’ve grown. Big enough to need the space of a man, but child enough to pile on top of each other shamelessly: in our van where half the JV soccer team will cram themselves like sardines in a can for a ride to practice; on the floor of our small TV room where six of them will sleep squeezed and tangled like puppies in a crate; on the couch, shoulder to shoulder so they can all see the Xbox.
They’re polite. Well, the ones that don’t belong to me, anyway. Visiting teens shower us with thank you, thank you, thank you. They hold back at meals, waiting like bashful little boys to be invited for seconds when really they want to devour everything in sight.
They sing. With their head phones on. You can’t hear the music and you can’t recognize the song. It's terrible and endearing.
They sing some more. Standing in front of the Xbox with friends cranking YouTube. With abandon and altogether. With embarrassment and without.
They dance. When you’re not looking and sometimes even when you are. Like rappers and goof balls and super stars.
They laugh. With newly deep voices that rise an octave and crack when something’s really funny.
They apologize. Quietly, late at night, and with remorse.
They love. In the evening, if you hold very still and make no sudden movements, they will lay their head on your lap and sigh.