Being Besties with your Teenager
Do you remember that first time you went to a movie, or to dinner or shopping with your teenager and it was like hanging out with one of your BFF's? The feeling is almost astounding, an epiphany of WOW, that was so different and so fun! This is not to say that outings with my children when they were young weren’t fun or magical but there was always an underlying sense of responsibility that usually resulted in running to the bathroom in the middle of a movie or carrying a crying child to the car right when the food was served at a dinner out in an actual restaurant. I have loved every stage of my children’s lives BUT I enjoy my teenage children in a way I never imagined.
The older one, my son Bryce, and I were always very close. We were the first in line to hit up that Harry Potter movie and now I travel 6 hours just to catch every new superhero movie with him, even Deadpool, yes really. We have been great friends for a while now and I love that about our relationship.
My Tee4Two co-conspirator, Emily, is 14 almost 15. She is a girl, she is in high school and she is my best friend. PLUS, bonus, I am hers. I have read and heard over and over that you can’t be friends with your children and parent them at the same time. I so get that this may be the rule for some, but for us, we are able to be besties while I parent her. It may sound complicated or even impossible but it is neither and I wouldn’t change a thing.
When Emily was about 4, she went through a huge hormonal shift that took years to get diagnosed and she became an emotional challenge, the understatement of the year. Yes, the struggle WAS real. She essentially had the hormones (hmmmm and emotions) of a teenager at a young age and this went on for many years. I think the real shift in our relationship happened when my son left for college. It was gradual so there was no real WOW moment but all of the sudden we couldn’t wait to have a girl’s shopping day or to take trips together or to just grab a Starbucks. We chat with each other about everything and, when she is sad, happy, stressed or grumpy, she still wants me...and that is priceless! There really are no words that can explain just how close we are and how I hold that so dear to my very soul.
Not that long ago, our family went through a rough time. I was not dealing well with the events that were occurring and my precious girl became my rock. A close friend invited us to church and we began a spiritual journey together that brought us even closer. Prayer and each other really is what helped us get through our family difficulty.
Emily is sweet, loving and godly. There is nothing about her I would change (well, maybe a cleaner room) and I feel so blessed that God gave me such a gift in life. This is not to say that I don’t correct her when needed (just ask her) but our arguments always end quickly and with hugs. She not only thinks of me as her bestie but she shows utmost respect to me as her mom. I thank God for both of my children everyday and for my husband who is supportive and loves that his daughter is so close to her mother.