When people around my age, typically with kids of their own, inquire about mine (and I tell them “Ya I have a 19 year old son and twin daughters who are 15” it’s always one of two responses. “Wow, you must have your hands full” or “Teens are the worst/I know what you’re going through”. I want to say you have no idea what I’m going through but then to most passing strangers, point in case the woman who changed my hernia dressing today, there’s no reason at all to go into detail about my life.
I don’t write alot about my son but he qualifies for a spot in this posting for sure so I will start with him. He is and was never your typical teenager. When I think of a teenage boy, I remember what I was like or how teen boys are (or at least used to be) depicted in movies. I’m talking partying, experimenting with girls, getting your first car (and subsequent accidents), staying out late, doing poorly in school and constantly aggravating and worrying your folks. Again.. that was me. I was bad. Maybe worse than most but I feel like most of those behaviours I just outlined are fairly accurate of a testosterone flowing young man. Not my Jeremy.
Since about his twelth birthday, he has gotten involved with gaming commentaries on YouTube. At this point, he has over 200,000 subscribers and he makes the same if not more than I do at my day job. He has bypassed the day job trap as well as time and money that could have went into college. He’s got a great head on his shoulders, has friends and is celibate by choice, with no plans to date or marry for years from now. His focus and work ethic is outstanding and I frankly don’t know where he gets it, but he’s got it. He never wants to put alcohol, tobacco or narcotics into his body, to boot. As his father, I am quite proud of him.
My twin daughters
From what I gather, most 15 year old girls are wearing makeup, are hormonal and have been getting their periods for years. They are familiar with bras and have zits they either coverup or pop. Most teenage girls have interest in boys, talk about crushes and even enter into the dating world. They stay up late with their friends and talk on the phone incessantly. They have their learners licenses and soon will have their own cars. But my girls are different.
Lexis has been wearing sports bras for about a year or 2 now but will often forget. Lindsey’s body is far behind in those areas of development that I worry will she ever need a bra. Same goes for will either of my girls ever start their periods. And will they even grow anymore? They are just around the four foot mark.
Lindsey has shown recent interest in wearing makeup so she received some for Christmas but bottom line is if she can’t even remember to brush her teeth (her gums and teeth are in a horrible state) or wash her breakfast off her face or remember to brush her hair, then makeup will not yet be in the mix.
As sisters, I feel like the most “normal” side of them in comparison with other girls their age is the quarrels they have with each other. And maybe the consistently messy bedrooms.
They are in a special needs school and the friends they’ve gravitated towards are 10 years old. My girls don’t get invited out places or over to houses. Not to say they are hated or horrible girls, they just don’t seem to be able to make solid friendships.
They talk about boys now and then on the lines of Justin Bieber for example and how Lexis will marry him one day. Nothing close to home or reality based, and to be honest I am more than happy they are years away from anything resembling a date or a boyfriend, my goodness.
Their lives are filled with prescription pills and multiple appointments weekly to various doctors and specialists. Monthly IV treatments. Subsequent missed field trips or special days at school. They are capable of reading at their age level but they prefer reading books geared at grade two’ers or watching repetitive tv programs like Full House or Spongebob Squarepants. They need to be reminded over and over in regards to everything. Did you take your pills? Brush your teeth? Wear appropriate clothes to school (winter gear etc)? Do your chores? What are your chores? Why didn’t anybody feed the cats.. I asked 3 times today? And so on.
The three words “and so on” says everything about how life is here. So much to say and I need to bookend this for now. That’s a very small picture of my life. Our life. So when I’m faced with “Oh, you must have your hands full” over the 3 teens discovery, you really have no idea.
And let me say this as I wrap this sucker up. You will never hear me complain. When I was briefly remarried, my wife complained all the time but I won’t. As crazy as things are in this household and for reasons most parents will never deal with, my kids are the sweetest, most patient, most happy regardless, most funny, most loving angels on the planet and who has been blessed to do life with them? Me. I was chosen to raise these pure and radiant gifts. So no matter what the latest doctor says or how exhausted they am or I feel.. I can’t and won’t complain. They are mine and I am theirs.