Whoever said being a teenager was not easy must not have been that teen's parents.
Before I had kids I had a certain vision of what motherhood would be at different stages. I pictured how smooth the teenage years with my son would be, for I was supposed to have it all covered. But with three children in various phases of growing up ... I am very close to waving the white flag. My real experiences with motherhood is nothing close to what I had pictured
My 15 year old thinks we are not as cool as we could be. His dad would have reasonable knowledge but he is sure that I hardly know things I should.
I am just not that ' into ' him.
And the list goes on about how my choice of clothes which I think are hep are actually unwearable for him, or how I just don't get the noise that makes his music, or why the talk on the latest gadgets all over the world seem out of this world to me and of course, how I am unable to understand his passion for the job he will pursue in the future, which to my knowledge is not even a job for that matter.
As a woman edging towards her 40's I have to believe that I have lived a little enough to tell you things you ought to know apart from the basics of be kind, helpful, thoughtful, dream big, think your own thoughts, chase your passions, and yeah, don't leave the toilet seats up.
So here goes -
1. You don't need designer brands and expensive stuff - take care of what you have irrespective of cost and whatever you wear, wear it well.
2. Look people in the eye - do not avoid eye contact. A lot also is to be said about a firm hand shake and a confident hug.
3. Never question a woman's personal fashion choices. You won't understand it, you don't need to and just let her be. Yes, I mean your sister now and others later.
4.Don't ever start smoking. There is nothing cool about it at all.
5. Clean your room up once in a while. Throw stuff that you do not need and keep things that are memorable or meaningful. They will be important in the years to come. Yes, Muthasi's (Grandmother's) hand written card counts in that list.
6. If you learn to ride it - learn to fix it and maintain it too. Applicable to your cycle now and later to every other mode of transport you shall acquire.
7. If you end up sitting for the major part of the day - move your body at the end of it. Quit slouching and sleeping is only meant for night and if you are unwell.
8. Have a lady in your gang. I know you do right now - more than one and that is great.
9. Learn to cook. And perfect your very own signature dish. It will be endearing to certain people later in life. But more than that there is a lot of joy in spending time creatively in the kitchen.
10. And no matter how old you get, remember that Amma and Achan will always love you.
So, my dear boy even though I may not actually understand the vlogger on youtube you so ardently follow or how the Japanese cartoons ( world-wide popular ones as per you ) can be so exciting - I have been there myself, even if eons ago.
So I do get it. Well, almost.
And I have decided to move past all the generation gap stuff and realise that I am raising a pretty decent semi-adult human. And of course all the 'stuff' that happens in the process is just details and something to get past by.
But the expression on your face which is perfectly pitched between sympathy and exasperation ... remains. Not for long I hope. Not for long.
What would you say to your teenaged son?
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