Monday 28 April 2014

A letter to my teenager (while he's still a threenager)

On Saturday morning at an unearthly hour I was on a train travelling to Birmingham for the awesome Tots 100 Blogcamp. Sitting next to me was a woman who was with her teenage son and from the Birmingham University prospectus on the table between them I deduced they were attending an open day or something similar. He was clearly tired from whatever teenage debauchery he had been doing the night before and Mum was flicking through the weekend Guardian magazine while he talked about his planned travels round Europe before starting at Uni.

My threenager
At one point he mentioned that he'd be arriving at his destination very late and did she really want him to 'Watsapp' her at 2 in the morning ? I wanted to reach across the foldy table thing and take his hands and plead with him, "Yes, please always call your mum at 2 or 3 or 4 in the morning to let her know you are ok.
A) She's not going to be asleep if you are in a different country and 
B) You're going to want to tell someone from back home so that they can post it on FB so that all your mates are jealous.

However, I didn't say anything - which is unlike me. I always say something. It's my thing.

So as I didn't say anything to two complete strangers who most likely would have smiled weakly and pretended to care I am going to say it to my teenage son. Of course he's actually a threenager right now, but if I say it now then when he actually is a teen I'll have done it in the cold light of reason instead of the fog of having a teenage boy living in my house.

Dear son,

  • Your taste in music is wonderful. I know you think we just don't get it - and we probably don't - but, please don't assume that we're clueless. We were going to gigs before you were even born and we took you to some while you were still being made. 
  • Wearing the same clothes for days on end will make them smelly and no one will fancy you. No one. 
  • Stop pinching Dad's shaving and washing stuff. Do you really want to smell like your father ? Think about it. 
  • Just because your friends are doing it doesn't mean you have to. Sometimes doing it differently is what makes you awesome. 
  • Be brave, take risks. I will worry about you - it's my job - but don't let that stop you from being amazing. 
  • When you don't want to tell me or Dad something that you are worried about, please find a way to do it. We won't hate you or stop loving you, whatever it is. Honest.
  • We don't expect you to agree with us on everything - well on anything actually. We love that you have your own opinions. Please be gentle with us when you discover the meaning of life and want to tell us what it is though. 
  • If you are not in the house/country we are worrying about you. It doesn't mean we don't trust you. It means we love you. 
  • Whatever the time of day or night if you need to call me or your Dad, call us. Nothing we are doing is so important that we won't want to talk to you. If we are busy we'll call you back.
You know me so you know I could go on, but for now that's what I want you to know. 

We love you,

Mum & Dad xxx

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