When Your Child Becomes a Teenager

picture of a teenager sitting in a chair textingI spent the weekend in bed with a stomach bug. Peter took Marilee and William skiing on Sunday, so it was just our teenager, Penny, and me together all day. In between my naps, Penny took care of her mom. She brought me crackers and bananas and ginger ale. She cleared my dishes and retrieved books and offered many sympathetic looks. She snuggled with me. We “went to church” via Facebook Live, in bed. She even cleaned the kitchen, per my request. 

I told her I’d like an hour on my own to read, so she went downstairs. But then I thought it would be better if we watched a movie together. I settled on Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, the Tom Hanks’ film about a cynical Esquire journalist who is given the assignment of profiling Mr. Rogers.

text exchange with teenager about watching a movieAs our text exchange shows, she complied out of a sense of love and obligation, not out of any personal desire. After half an hour, I released her from watching with me. She went back to Instagram. I finished the movie.

When Your Child Becomes a Teenager

So yes, she’s becoming a teenager who isn’t all that interested in watching movies with her mom. She wants to text her friends and watch TikTok videos instead of Tom Hanks. Fair enough. But she’s also still the child who wants to take care of people. Still willing to do whatever it takes to make sure I feel comfortable and supported and loved. It is a sweet gift to watch her grow up.

{As always, shared with Penny’s permission.}

Continue reading with Amy Julia about her child becoming a teenager:

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