I don’t really ask much from people. It’s not that I don’t need anything ever. Hear me out. It’s that for most of my adulthood, I have kicked butt and taken names. I handled the things. I did the things. I said the things. I didn’t ask for help or a handout. I didn’t know there were life coaches. I thought that too many cooks might spoil the stew. I figured out the things.

At a very physically tired, emotionally weary, mentally drained 47 years old, I can tell you that nothing brings your butt kicking, name taking, handling, and doing to a collective halt than a teenager.

I used to be cute. I used to be resourceful and ingenious. I used to have the right words, think fast on my feet, and come up with solutions to problems.

Now I’m tired and pissy. I hold on to the words of Facebook-blogger-writer-moms for motivation. I can’t think of appropriate words (that I can actually say in mixed company or would say in front of my Papa, God rest his soul), I’m slow to respond (generally out of shock), and when it comes to teenager challenges…I got nothin’ in the way of solutions. And perhaps worst of all, it’s aging me. I feel way less cute.

This year, 2022, has pretty much been me precariously balancing on one toe on a tightrope teetering over the grandest of canyons trying to remember to pray a lot. I have hope, because I already got through one set of teenage boy years. Surely, I can make it through these teenage girl years. It ain’t for the weak.

I often think about my own teenage years and wonder if it was THIS hard. My parents would probably say they were challenged and bumfuzzled by me from time to time. I actually remember being a pretty good kid, though. Then I imagine my teenage self, but add the internet, add social media, add more world crises than you can count happening at any given moment, add a pandemic, add easier-than-ever to get drugs, add lower education standards, add horrible language to every song on the radio, and Sweet Jesus, add a couple of mental health disorders. What would I have been? It’s not the same.

It’s no wonder I’m tired and pissy! THIS is hard. Teenagers are freaking hard. THIS can’t be what our parents struggled through with us. THIS can’t be trumped by the “I walked to school in the snow uphill both ways” stories that oldsters used to hit you with when you complained about your life. THIS is truly a mess. We were not warned or prepared. I don’t think anybody could have predicted it. *BOOM* Here you go, Gen X, sink or swim.

So I raise a bottle, Y’all, for all of us who are balanced on a toe over the canyon. It’s a 16 oz Coke Zero bottle, because who can get tipsy? Somebody’s got to stay sober in case a teenagers pulls a stunt, cops an attitude, or throws a “this is due tomorrow” at us on a random Thursday night.

God’s got us. He must, or we would’ve run screaming into the night already. Bless our souls. I see you, Moms and Dads of teenagers. You’re in good (and, of course, tired and pissy) company.

Published by Amanda Herring, Writer

Practical wisdom, joys and pains, motivation and tough love, from the perspective of a Mississippi mom, traveler, business owner, goal crusher, substance seeker, and full-time dreamer

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