I’m feeling pressure to be cool. I suspect my teenager thinks I’m lame because I’m always saying “no” to everything. I’m not lame, I’m reasonable. And responsible. I’m scheduled, structured and logical, and things just need to go a certain way around here.
OK, I’m lame.
But I’m starting to understand that if I want to see my teenager and his friends, I’m going to have to relax and just say “yes” to some things. Doesn’t matter if I’m tired or it’s inconvenient or it’s completely ridiculous, the next time something comes up that I would normally veto, I’m just going to casually shrug and say, “Sure, why not?”
Turns out it’s a lot harder than I thought. I’m coming off a sleepover with three 9-year-olds, I’ve slept exactly five hours, and all I want to do is get my teenager and his buddy to the Hornets game, get him home and then crash.
But he wants his buddy to spend the night. Ugh, tonight? Why tonight, I’m a zombie – you’re going to the game and we have church in the morning, shouldn’t you get to bed?
“Sure, why not?” I grit.
OK, I did it. That wasn’t so hard. But then he texts me from the game that he’s run into three more friends and he wants to bring them ALL back to the house to spend the night.
Are you out of your mind? It’s almost 9 o’clock. Where is everybody supposed to sleep and how am I supposed to die my slow horrible death from exhaustion with five teenagers lumbering around?
“That sounds great!” I chirp.
The pack gets dropped off and they all head for the driveway to shoot hoops. No no no, it just rained, it’s muddy, it’s going to get all over the house – your size 10 footprints are going to look like I laid brick in my kitchen!
“Nice shot!” I holler.
I resist the temptation to fuss over shoes, jackets and athletic socks being thrown about as they run into the house and holler that they want me to order a pizza.
Seriously? It’s almost 10 o’clock! Don’t you know you shouldn’t eat late at night, you’ll have nightmares – scarf down a meat lover’s pizza and you’ll feel like you’re in a slasher movie. And didn’t you eat nachos at the game? Sausage is not exactly a dessert.
“How ’bout some cheese sticks?” I offer.
So, the house smells like pizza grease and sweaty socks. But the brick looks nice in the kitchen. And even though I know I’ll be losing sleep tonight, I did gain some things – I got a brief hug and a quick kiss on the cheek from my son. And cool points from all his friends.
And the last piece of meat lover’s pizza.