A letter to my teenage boys

By Lise Floris Source:Global Times Published: 2017/10/10 15:13:39

I overheard a conversation between two women while I was trying on some clothes in a shop.

"We went cherry picking yesterday and then we went to a huge playground outside Beijing. The kids loved it! They were so happy and exhausted. They basically passed out in the car on the way back. You should check this place out!" I caught myself daydreaming a moment.

Not about cherries, but about days gone by.

Days when you used to jump up and down with joy when a family outing was announced. Days when we could take you by the hand and say "let's go to the park" and you'd dash down the hallway and fetch your football. The Sunday shows at the puppet theater. When sleeping in a tent was the most exciting thing in the world. When you'd taste new food, write letters to Santa and spend weeks on the perfect Halloween costume.

Things have changed. Getting you out of your dens is proving more difficult and every family outing requires anything from 30 minutes to weeks of negotiation, no matter how cool the idea.

With time, I have come to the realization that the problem is not the activities we present you.

It is the idea of family time that bores you tremendously. And I get it. 

We are relatively young parents. We turn up the music really loud in the car. We host fun parties. We often enjoy a drink with you. We talk about everything with you, including puberty and sex. We are surely not boring. Or are we?

It's OK boys. I was a teenager once. I remember when hanging out with parents was uncool.

We mustn't forget the positive things. We're getting young people who, sure enough, challenge us but also teach us things could be different from how we see them.

We are getting independent humans with their own opinions who speak their minds. Their own lives to deal with. Their own friends, their own experiences and mistakes.

I am proud to be the mother of independent youngsters. I will back off when needed but I won't quit. I will insist on spending time with you before you leave the nest. Take my hand and let's have fun, boys. I'm not asking you to take your football - but trust me when I say there are certain moments in life we never get back.

This article was published on the Global Times Metropolitan section Two Cents page, a space for reader submissions, including opinion, humor and satire. The ideas expressed are those of the author alone, and do not represent the position of the Global Times.


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