You have never been a Teenager before! We have never parented Teens before! As much as you don't know how to travel this road - NOR DO WE!
You are the most cherished people to ever come into our lives. We have cared for you since you were a small babe in arms. We have fed you, watered you and nursed you in your sickness. We have walked you to the school gates on your first big day and invited friends to play so that you could enjoy the company of others your age around. We have stood in the wind and the rain and watched your sports games and encouraged you on stage in assembly when you didn't want to go. Over and over again we have worried over you and shed blood and tears over you, not because we have felt obliged to but because we LOVE YOU WITH OUR WHOLE HEARTS.
When you hurt, we hurt too. When your friends upset you, they upset us too. When you feel great pain, we feel it too and when the stress of exams get too much - we wish we could take it all away.
Without you the sun does not shine. In the midst of your darkness we want you to know we are battling on your behalf to blow away the clouds so that a few little rays can break through and somehow light your path once more.
Through the journey you travel our greatest desire is that you would know of our great LOVE. It is our wish that it would remain in the core of your being as a fountain that would overflow throughout your life. When your days go well that love is often more evident than when life becomes tough, but when your world shuts down and everything expands into overwhelm, our desire it that somewhere that love would gently whisper to you of how special, cherished and unique you are.
We (believe it or not!) were also once teens and like you sometimes felt 'out of control' when our hormones raged unwelcomingly. We suffered the painful rejection of friends and at times we also felt useless, unloveable and unworthy. Loneliness sometimes came and knocked at the door and even though we tried to not let it in, invariable it just came anyway.
As you are learning, we are learning too. As you make mistakes, we admit we do the same. We wish we could be the perfect parents and always get it right, but when we don't, know that we ALWAYS do what we do with the best of intention and with your best interest at heart.
We do not always appear to understand you, BUT WE DO LOVE YOU.
We LOVE WHO YOU ARE.
We LOVE your idiosyncrasies.
We LOVE the little things about you that make you UNIQUE!
We LOVE you in your good times and we love you when you are vulnerable.
Please know that even in the times where communication between us seems to break down WE ARE ALWAYS here for you and our hearts will always be there supporting you whatever you do and wherever you choose to go.
As we CELEBRATE the times we have had together, we want you to know how proud we are to watch you transition into young adults and we HONOUR who you are. As your life and ours continues to unravel one day at a time we are your greatest ever fans. That may not be cool....but its just the way it is!
by Sue O'Callaghan
(A Parent of 4 Teenagers!)