“When I Was Your Age….”

I was going to skip blogging this week but was inspired after watching a story on the Today Show yesterday. Evidently the new “thing” for kids to do is “smoke alcohol“. I’m not kidding. You could tell times have changed and Jared and I are getting old when we were both staring at the TV and saying things like, “But how…?”, “Who in the world would think to do that?!”, “Kids these days…” The last thing I said as he was walking downstairs was, “Imagine what we will have to deal with when Quinn is a teenager.” For some reason, I keep thinking about that concept – Quinn as a teenager. Dating. Getting in trouble. Driving. Worrying his mother. I immediately had a mini mommy panic attack.

Every time I watch “Dateline” and they expose a new thing that kids are doing it freaks me out. Long gone are the days when it was enough to find someone’s 21 year old sibling to buy you and your friends a bottle of Boone’s Farm and a sixer of Zimas with jolly ranchers. Who would’ve thought things like Jelly Bracelets, The Choking Game, I-Dosing, sexting, bullying, etc. would be things parents even have to think about. Even the way teenagers dress, mainly young girls, stresses me out. When we were at Ribfest, two girls walked by wearing next to nothing. I turned to Jared and said, “If that was your teenage daughter would you let them leave the house dressed like that?!” to which he replied, “You used to dress like that.” Dang it. He’s totally right. But I was in college! And my boobs weren’t falling out of my shirt! Not that I had them to fall out of anything but whatever… DETAILS!

I dread when Quinn comes home and says, “I have a girlfriend.” I remember thinking “I’m going to be a really cool mom one day when it comes to that stuff.” Yeah…. Easy to say until you have kids. I’m not going to be cool. I’m going to be protective and overbearing. I’m going to be the mom who sets the no being in a room alone with a door shut rule. I’m going to probably use inappropriate words to describe the little girl who comes in my house with half a skirt on while Jared and I wait up to make sure Q makes curfew. I’m going to use phrases like “When I was your age” and “One day you’ll understand” – You know…. things I hated my own parents saying to me. I’m going to kiss him on his cheeks and hug him whenever I feel like it, even in front of his friends/girlfriend and remind him that I gave him life. Of course at the rate he’s growing I’ll have to climb a step ladder to do this by the time he’s 14…. I fully plan to have Q tell me how “embarrassing dad is when he raps to his old Eminem songs in front of my friends!” I can already hear Jared coming behind him and saying, “That s#@t’s a classic yo!” Yup, no matter how much we say when we’re young that we won’t be “those parents”, it’s unavoidable.

When I would get in trouble as a teenager or young adult, my parents never said, “I just don’t want you to make the same mistakes I did” because they generally never did those things when they were young. They were both really well behaved during their adolescent years. I know I put them through the ringer many times. I feel like because I did that, it’ll be a vicious cycle with my own spawn. Jared grew up in a more liberal household than I did so I wondered how he’d feel about rules and discipline when it came to our own kids. Between Jared and I, we’ve been there, done that. We both got in our fair share of trouble, made bad decisions…. We hope as parents that will allow for an open dialogue with Q as he grows up and he will feel that he can talk to both of us about anything, regardless of consequences. But I think that’s every parents hope. And as honest and transparent as we hope to be, I hope he never sees some of the pictures of his mother in college… at least not till he’s 30. I can’t imagine any parent wants their kid coming around the corner holding an old photo album and saying, “Is this you? Holding a beer bong at a foam party in Mexico?!” I should probably destroy the evidence now just to avoid that scenario all together….

My kid is only 2 and I’m worrying about this stuff. Is that normal? But when Q is already asking to watch YouTube videos on the Surface, can unlock my phone, discovered his boy parts months ago and already can tell the difference between soda and beer cans/bottles, yeah… I think it’s ok to start worrying about this stuff now. Thank God we have a few years left to try and brainwash him into believing the only thing he should focus on is, “How to get drafted into the NBA so mommy and daddy can retire early.”

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