Mom, you’re kinda weird sometimes, my teen says, but that’s okay. All my friends and I are weird, too. Everyone at my school is. It’s cool that way…
Weird? I ask, vaguely, like only a mother can be–one who’s grateful her kid’s talking to her and fairly certain she’s been dissed, but she’s so grateful to have a private moment with her teen she’s feeling almost giddy with the shame of it.
Yeah. I mean, we’re all different, and it’s okay, and no one’s trying to be normal, so I’m used to it.
You’re used to me?
You don’t sleep a lot of the time, and then you sleep for days once your books are in. And you go for weeks wearing mostly your pajamas when you’re on deadline because you hardly go anywhere you don’t absolutely have to go. And then you spend weeks meeting friends you haven’t seen forever and taking care of things outside the house, and it’s like you can’t stand to be here because you’re not writing and you need to be anywhere but here not writing. You know?
Yeah. My God, what have I done? Sounds kinda weird, doesn’t it.
No, the wise one says. It’s your normal. So that’s okay.
Now I know I’m not supposed to be bragging in these blog posts (even though I know I do, so, WHATEVER). And I’m supposed to be entertaining and sharing an insider’s view of what it’s like to raise today’s teenager. And my goal all along has been to record just a few of these precious moments, the way they are in the moment, to look back on later when we’ve all moved on to another season of our lives.
But, It’s your normal, is where I fell in love with my teen all over again. Or maybe it was, So that’s okay.
He’s still not sure what he wants to do. My techie teen is talking now about how much he’s loving statistics and finance, and maybe doing something business or management in college would be fun. He’ll be great at everything he tries, now that he’s on board with conquering how he learns in whatever learning environment he faces. And his mind is opening up to a world of opportunities.
And now I know that he’s starting to know that it’s not about looking or acting like everyone else, or studying what his friends think is cool or even what he thought was cool a year ago or even a month ago. And he clearly knows that normal isn’t the goal. That NOT being normal is totally okay.
And THAT is why he’ll be successful. That is what I love most about the entire bizarre conversation above–where my teen’s calling me a freak–like him. And that’s okay.
He’s seeing weird as normal, and normal as not the ultimate goal, and success as something he makes for himself. And that is a beautiful, lovely thing for a mother to behold.