• Michelle Zunter

To The Parent With The Teenager — I See You



I see you.


I see you in the car, in the early morning light with that look on your face.


That look of silent frustration yet determined purpose.


On the way to school, I pass you by in my own car, with my own teenager, and with my own inner struggle.


I see you with your teenager in the passenger’s seat. And I know some of what you may be going through.


The awkward car rides in the mornings. The moody silences. The verbal land-mines. The wondering if you should even bother to start conversation thoughts.


Yes, I see you.


Who knows what your morning was like. If it was anything like mine, you’d have dealt with the vague grunts as you said good morning or the last minute remembering of a project, homework, or binder which almost made you leave late.


Are their brains supposed to be this zoned out? Was I like this when I was a teenager? Probably.


And that’s the thought that gets me through.


Knowing that there was a time when I was a frazzled teenager, angry at my teachers, parents — the world. And not even sure as to why.


I see you, parent of the teenager beside you.


I see you biting your tongue as you get that oh-so-sarcastic response to a simple question you asked. I can almost hear you wanting to retort back SO badly.


But you don’t. You know that once you drop them off at school, the energy will change. There’s no point in arguing right now.


After school, a different teenager will emerge. Maybe the attitude will be better — maybe it won’t. But that morning doom and gloom will have given way to the next thing, the next drama, the next mood.


This is what I have learned so far.


Your teenager has worries, pressures, and swinging moods. As do we all. And the mornings are notoriously more difficult than any other time of day. Their brains want to be sleeping and expanding, not stuffing backpacks with last-minute papers and rushing off to school.


But this is the life, sweet parent. This is what we have. And soon these often tense journey's to school will be over.


I see you. I see you in those final years of rearing your child who used to rejoice when they saw you coming but now they frequently recoil in disgust when you speak.


I see you, trying desperately to hang on to anything positive.

I see you attempting to make memories with someone who is ready to be free from you and out with their friends.


I see you being that parent — the parent of the teenager. Doing all the things and maybe never getting so much as a ‘thank you’.


But I’m here to say thank you.


Thank you for getting up each day in the daunting face of adolescence, hormones, and sullen attitudes. Thank you for biting your tongue when you really just want to speak your mind.


And thank you for reminding me that I’m not alone.


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