Here’s a vent.
Going through puberty is hard, man. I’m not talking about the child, and I’ll address him in a bit here. But seriously, WTF?! One minute he loves me. The next minute I get ejected from his life. I feel like I’m on a
roller coaster Hellavator ride with my 12-year-old. FYI, a Hellavator is a 202-foot vertical tower, where the seat cart shoots upward at 75 kph and then free falls back towards the ground, providing an added free-falling force of negative 1G on the way down. I appreciate the word hell in the name, as it fits this post perfectly.
The last two days have been emotionally tough on me, my husband and our youngest son. He’s moody, irritable, sad and, on top of all, confused. There are days where I feel defeated and worried about him. Can I have my baby back for a little longer? I miss cuddle time with him, singing lullabies and rocking him to bed. I miss meditation with him. Yes, my 12-year-old meditates with me, reminds me of lessons learnt, love and gratitude. He’s my baby that leaves me drawings and daily reminders to be positive, calm and centred. I miss his calmness.
This morning, during meditation, I had a moment of clarity and remembered that a relationship takes two people in all its aspects. I can do everything in my power to try to establish an open and trusting relationship with him, but he needs to have the will/want to hear me first. If he’s unwilling to cooperate, there is no communication or negotiations. Lately, he’s not doing that, and to me, I feel helpless and frustrated. It’s tough for me just to let him be, but according to my husband, sometimes I have to let him sort himself out first; otherwise, I’ll just sound like one of the muppets to him.
I have two boys, and going through puberty with my oldest child didn’t seem so bad. In fact, it was a breeze. I know my boys are both different in their own individuality, which makes them, them. Respectfully so. I suppose this is just me saying – Hey, puberty, lay off me, yo!
I know that puberty is difficult for kids. They’re scared and confused one minute, happy and sad the next. They have loads of questions as things are changing within them, physically and emotionally. It’s a glorious time to be alive for the kids and parents *note the sarcasm* /smirk. Some highly sensitive kids may take it much harder than others, and that’s ok too. I recognize that it’s over these next few years, my boys will start to really grow into their skin and do things to try and find themselves. And if my husband and I can provide that nurturing environment to coach them correctly, I hope that they embrace their natural temperaments and be true to who they are to be the best version of themselves.
On top of my little man’s inner storms, he goes to school and interacts with other moody hormonal-driven kids, and kids can be mean with their raging hormones! We’ve all been there. It’s like HumptyDumpty walking around eggshells all day while trying not to break his own shell. Learning to read situations, body language, gauging to see if poor Jimmy today is in a good mood or a bad mood, when to say something, how to say something, worrying if what was said was wrong or not, and understanding that everyone has their inner storms while trying not to lose yourself is exhausting. I’m spinning just writing about it. Life is challenging even for adults, so how can a kid not be influenced by other unqualified over-opinionated kids with no filter? No kidding that his little heart is so heavy.
Plus, I can see that he’s conflicted. He has an ideal way to love and be open, to accept all parts of himself while interacting with others, which can seem hopeless to live up to and gives him a feeling that he’s failing. Trying to reframe that ideology has been my goal, and that’s difficult as it can be a tricky concept to grasp even for adults. The truth is, we all sometimes live in our ideal way of going through life, and often it causes us suffering because ideals are not real. Ideals are great to give us a series of directions to strive towards. It’s there to help train and expand our capacity of understanding love, how to be open, and all those good things. Unless we live utterly alone in the world, our idealistic ways, unfortunately, when brought into real life, are dependant on real human interactions and human limitations.
I recognize that my 12-year-old will come around on his own time. Not on my schedule or ideas of how things should go for him. However, I can take this opportunity to be grateful that my son can be my teacher in this as he’s teaching me things along the way too. I’m expanding my patience, finding new ways to speak to him, and most importantly, he’s currently teaching me who he is. This shift of perception brings me to a place of greater humility and a state of wonder. So instead of bracing against his inevitable changes, I can learn to go along with him. And thus, I decide to ride this stage out with him from this perspective. I quote Chirrut Îmwe from Star Wars: Rogue One, “I Am One With the Force, and the Force Is With Me.”
So puberty, not only be kind to our babies but be kind to us parents too.
To all the mama bears and papa bears out there – we got this.
May the Force be with you.
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