My boys are having a tough time.
They are teenage boys and they’re having a hard time socially which I think some might think is odd. Not the “norm” it’s usually the girls that have so many social issues. Wrong. Boys have a tough time, too, but they aren’t as vocal. Well, at least that’s what the therapist says. I wish sometimes mine weren’t so vocal.
When they hurt, I hurt.
What’s the saying? We are only as happy as our saddest child?
Well, lately that’s about it in my house. I never know what I’m going to get. Which emotion from which kid. My oldest is 16, the youngest 15 and they take turns being confused, sad, hurt, upset…you name it. Oh, there are good days in there, too. I just never know when they’re coming. One minute could be good, next… the “absolute worst day ever.”
They yell at me, get pissed and it’s usually my fault.
But when they get angry at me, I know it’s then they’re hurting the most.
It’s then that I hug them the tightest and tell them, “I know, and I’m here.”
And my friends have the same issues. It’s not just me, thank gd. But it’s usually the girls that do all the talking, not the boys, right? Boys just hold it in; girls are like drama queens. Well, my boys sing like birds. I guess I should be happy. Lucky, they talk to me for hours; telling me their every feeling, problem… every emotion. I listen, letting them vent. Trying not to solve anything. I try. But it’s so hard not to fix. I’m a fixer, I want to fix everything.
But I can’t. It’s all so different now with technology. Every event and party flashing in front of their eyes, the texts and “snap-maps” showing where all their friends are at all times. Oh, and they aren’t invited. Omg. I want to scream! I watch as they look at their phones; unable to help them or change the outcome. I watch as their happy faces turn sad and disappointed. I look at their eyes as they read the texts or see the pictures the change in their disposition.
It happens so fast, too.
Back in high school when we had parties or sleepovers we just went, no one knew about it until we got back to school on Monday, and by then who even cared? No one. We didn’t post pictures in groups; snap each other and DM from the party. We just enjoyed ourselves IN THE MOMENT. Now, the kids that aren’t there get to see all the fun from the couch in their homes like a flippin’ movie or reality show. Causing anxiety and depression. And we wonder why teenage suicide is higher now that ever?
And it’s not just the girls; it’s the boys, my boys.
I listen to them and when they get up and leave, I call my ex-husband crying. We try and come up with a plan of action. We blame ourselves. Was it the divorce? Do we live in the wrong place? Should we move them home, to a new school? Is it because they’re Jewish? We run the gamut of “Why’s” and play the “blame game.” What we can do to help make this easier for them: therapy, medication for anxiety, meditation… we would do anything. But then we realize they need to navigate it themselves. It’s their journey, right? But how much is too much? When as parents do we need to step in and help them?
Don’t we all want to just make it better for our kids?
Sometimes, I wish they didn’t talk to me. That I didn’t know the pain and angst they are going through. But then I realize how profoundly lucky I am to have two boys that can share their emotions and feelings. They feel comfortable enough to come to me and their Dad for help with their problems. How amazing is that? I am so proud that they feel secure enough to admit they are having emotional issues; that high school isn’t easy, and they are struggling.
Yes, I am tired.
Yes, I am emotionally drained.
And yes, I am going to do whatever I need to do make sure my boys get through this high school thing in one piece. Even if it means Dunkin’ Donuts chocolate-covered donuts and Frozen hot chocolate for dinner. 😉