With mental health in our teenagers being at an all time high, as well as the negative press a lot of teenagers are given today, my thoughts turned to my own family.....
I once had this lovely little boy. He was funny, loving and sweet. He thought I was wonderful and loved spending time with me.
He would spend hours outside building dens, bug hunting and exploring and loved nothing better than to cuddle up in bed with me reading adventure stories and chatting about his day.
Now he is taller than me, sometimes moody, occasionally rude and spends a LOT of time in his bedroom killing zombies!!!!!!!
I embarrass him sometimes just by my very existence and irritate him often....No he hasn't had a personality transplant or been replaced by an alien ( although it feels like it at times!) He hasn't been brainwashed by a cult...HE BECAME A TEENAGER!
For a while I missed that little boy, I felt sad that those days had gone. Sometimes it felt like a stranger was living in my house. He looked a bit like him but his lovely curly hair had been replaced by a short slick new hairdo that required more products to keep those pesky curls in check than the local chemist could possibly stock!
He no longer had to be dragged into the shower and his bedroom was stocked with "manly" grooming products and bottles of aftershave for a face that had never had a razor near it! His voice broke ...my little boy now smelt and sounded like a man! Oh where was my sweet little boy?
And then I thought about it in a different way..................The little boy hadn't disappeared he was just growing up. We were on the next part of the journey. The journey to adulthood.
The things we had enjoyed together hadn't gone, they had just changed.
We didn't lay in bed together and read books anymore but we could sit on the sofa together and watch a film that we both enjoyed or I could at least pretend to enjoy.
Now I couldn't make him laugh till tears ran down his face by pretending I was a french waiter when I dished his dinner up. However we could still have fun and laugh together but at different, more grown up things.
We could chat about his day over a milkshake in a cafe or go out for lunch at the weekends...
All was not lost ..just different. He still loved me and needed me, it just wasn't in such an obvious way anymore.
His embarrassment of me reminded me of how embarrassed I was of my own Mum when I was a teenager. When I was thirteen she became pregnant with my sister. I was mortified.
I wouldn't be seen in public with her or let her get out of the car at school because then people would know that she had been DOING IT! At her age as well..disgusting! (She was thirty)!!!
And then there was the tap dancing ..I still blush at the memory of her showing my friends how she still remembered a tap dance she learnt as a child, not only did we have the energetic dancing but the little song that went with it .......Cringe!
At an age where it matters so much what other people think of you, it's quite understandable that teenager's are embarrassed of their parents who are way past caring what others think!
As for the bedroom zombie massacres, I have realised that maybe they're not such a bad thing after all. When you think about it, after all, if we ever find ourselves in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, we will have a whole generation that will know exactly what to do to survive!..What a life skill!