After the twins were born, I stood in the middle of my living room one evening….bleary-eyed from lack of sleep with hair that hadn’t been washed in a week….wearing pajamas covered in spit-up…..
…..and wailed plaintively to my mother.
“How can I do this?”
“I’m not going to make it.”
“They are totally winning.”
Then I wiped my faced and brushed the hair away from my eyes….inhaled and exhaled several times and then stood patiently waiting for her words of wisdom. I mean after all….my mother is brilliant (and getting more brilliant with every year that passes) and experienced and wise….
….and has never met a good piece of advice she didn’t like.
But for once….she didn’t say a word.
She just took one look at me and laughed.
And laughed some more.
And then she offered up this sage piece of wisdom that made my heart beat faster and my palms sweat and shivers run up and down my spine….
“This is nothing…..just wait until they are teenagers.”
That was 12 years ago.
But I’ve never forgotten it.
Sometimes I would look at those cherubic faces and sweet smiles and tiny hands tucked into mine and bright blue eyes that were full of wonder and joy. I’d listen to those little voices that chirped out the funniest things that made me laugh out loud….
…..and think about what she said.
Was it possible?
Would they one day roll their eyes at me and say things like “Whatever” and “I am so sure” and toss their hair and stomp their feet….
…..and demand a tattoo and jeans full of holes that cost $200.
And even though I worried…..I thought I kept all these concerns to myself.
I mean….why borrow trouble? Why give anyone ideas about what might be ahead on the horizon? I wasn’t even sure they understood that sometimes being a teenager could be challenging for parents.
Until the other day.
When the twins trooped into the kitchen whispering and laughing and hiding something behind their back.
“Ummm….mom. We have something we want to show you. Something to make you feel better. Something so you won’t worry.”
Two sets of twinkling blue eyes looked at each other conspiratorially and then smiled at me with mischievous grins.
“This is for you, mom.”
It was a one-day-I’m-going-to-be-a-really-nice-teenager contract…..written on a purple piece of construction paper scrawled in their own handwriting that read:
“I promise that I will try to be a good and nice teenager.
And if I am not….you may pull out this contract and show me.
I will try to be nice and kind to all people around me
and follow rules
and ten commandments.
Thank you for your appreciation.”
And at the end…..it was signed and dated.
Super official looking.
I wanted to laugh.
I wanted to cry.
I wanted to call my mother and tell her she was wrong….because the next couple of years would be a breeze.
I mean….after all…..I had a contract, right?
But I didn’t.
I simply smiled and told them how proud I was and tucked that purple construction paper contract away in a drawer for safe-keeping.
After all…..I want to be prepared in case someone turns 13….
….and decides to appeal. 🙂
PS Have a little more coffee left?
Here’s another story to make you smile.
And one more for the road. 🙂