Raising teenagers is a process through which fun youthful adults become elderly creaky senior citizens unable to utter a complete sentence. I’m about mid way, my wife has almost completed the process.
Our youngest son, is the baby, he was cute, adorable, loving & emotional, just a delight, when he was 5 years old. Now at 14, he is a beast, a big brute of epic size, long unkempt hair, stays in my old office, playing guitar, chatting with friends on Facebook and watching Youtube videos. He emerges to eat and once a week to take a shower. He’s not doing well in school, despite tutors and my wife’s daily task mastering. He gets physically angry and has smashed all kinds of stuff in the house.
The older one, is dissimilar, he’s tall and thin, get straight A’s in school, Honor Society, plays sports, probably is smoking pot. He never gets physical and generally is pretty even tempered. Unfortunately, he likes to play mind games and his brother is often the target in a classic game of “Jack in the Box”. Wind him up until he pops.
So last night, the little guy got wound up by his brother and the two of the destroyed the office door. Classic one of each side, taunting each other, banging their fists against the door. The older one calms down quickly, game over. The younger one steams for hours and I can still hear him yelling at “the world” while I’m on the phone with his mother.
Coward me, my wife had told the kids “my situation” now almost 2 years ago. It was a single conversation and since then not a word has been spoken about “it”. I’m steering in unknown territory. The older one seems fine, we have good conversations about business and technology. The younger one just seems to be anger, I’m sure it’s a list of things he’s mad at. His brother (who he’s compared to), his social standing (the older one doesn’t seem to care) and no doubt his family situation.
I try to keep communication lines open and no doubt there is more I could be doing. I am not the first nor last parent to deal with a frustrated teenage. Like a ship in a storm you batten down the hatches, steer into the wind and hang on, hoping everyone survives.
TC UPDATE: C6FV8 is at sea today, enroute to San Juan. TC is gonna do one more trip and I have booked him to fly back to DC Saturday week. I feel partially responsible for this failure, with no other plan in sight, I urged him to do a cruise ship. Daily work, daily bread and a new port every day, I thought.
Unfortunately, C6FV8 travels in international waters and isn’t subject local labor laws and it’s crew isn’t paid to look out the window. So it’s long hours and port visits that don’t allow you to get more than 1 mile from the ship. I suspect another chapter is gonna open again.