I just watched an episode of “Hoarders.” I don’t make a habit of it, but sometimes when I’m feeling overwhelmed by laundry, dishes or a house full of teenagers, it makes me feel better about myself.
I don’t think I am a hoarder, but I know I have tendencies. I like color and whimsy, but after a while I get tired of junk! I can’t stand to walk on trash, so the four feet of trash that always seems to accompany the homes on the show would just be out of the question … any question, ever.
I couldn’t believe the episode I just watched. They always seem to stem from family issues. A woman who was irritated with her adult children made a statement in front of one of her four sons. She said, “I don’t like boys. I never wanted boys.”
I nearly fell out of my chair. Who would say that? Well, obviously a sick person, but really? What would make a woman say that?
I mean, having grown sons is not so bad. Having teenagers is a challenge, but problem with the mess in her house was long past the teenage boy stage.
My messy house will be “teen free” for two whole months come February.
We have had children in this house for 30 years – 17 of those years with at least one teen. There must be a special prize for people who survive this without committing assault and battery.
I actually thought raising teens was a breeze, at first. My older two were very pleasant, happy, mostly compliant girls. I felt like an expert! I questioned what all the negative press was about.
Then I had teen boys.
While I have to say, in all honesty, I adore my boys, getting them through those turbulent years was not a picnic. I wouldn’t embarrass my children or anything, but climbing in windows at 3 a.m., discovering someone wiped the “Happy” off his birthday cake, finding everything imaginable under beds and endless, “Mom, I forgot”…(insert band stuff, English papers, black socks, lunch etc) were just a few little joys of motherhood with teen boys.
The second boy will turn 20 in February. A loud, “Hurrah” may be heard from my house, but it will be short-lived.
Our fifth child, a girl, will be thirteen May 1.
I am scared to death. Before teens, I was an expert … With my fifth, I am sitting in a corner mumbling about how they are surely going to win. I concede. I know nothing. I am out of ideas, I don’t know how to keep them honest, engaged, alive! I don’t mean to have such low expectations, but at this point I just want to survive. Maybe we will learn some things from each other.
I love my grown children more as they age. They are incredible people. I suppose when it’s all said and done, every year is worth the effort.
Teen years come and (thankfully) go. They are grown and out of the house before we know it. My only request is they take their stuff with them. I am looking forward to having an empty laundry room and two sets of dishes in the sink. It will only take 11 more years.
Angie Brown is a humorist who loves being a wife, mother and grandmother. She lives in Opelika with her husband of 31 years and four of their seven children.