Teenagers, Parents and Peach Jam

To all parents who look at their teenagers — those strange alien creatures who know everything and about everything and believe you know nothing about anything — and cannot imagine them as coherent and responsible adults, I promise there’s hope. For instance, let’s say you have a teenage daughter who sports purple hair and multiple piercings (when she can get away with it) and has the annoying habit of seeing how far she can stretch your patience parental boundaries. I just happened to randomly pick this example, by the way. Nothing to do with any real person at all. Not at all. Anyway, if you’re in this situation, do not despair. It will seem as if one day your teenager incurs multiple weekends of enforced home time due to multiple infractions of parental rules (“No. 3. Being home by curfew means all parts of your body are inside the house and the door is closed. It does not mean you’re in the same general zip code.”)  and the next day she’s a wife and a mom and a Martha Stewart devotee who gets her whole family involved in making batches of lovely and delicious peach jam. Promise.

The Captain and Tendrils

How 3-year-old grandson Captain Adorable went from hippie nature child to sweet little boy to cool rocker kid in 20 minutes …

We didn’t really realize how long the Captain’s hair was until the stylist combed it out — there was more than enough for a Locks of Love donation, which is what the Captain’s mommy wanted.
Oh so cute … this look says, “I use my inside voice and sit quietly in Sunday school.” And while the Captain can do those things (well, sometimes, anyway), they are not his favorite activities.
This is the Captain’s new look. It says, “I like worms, mud and climbing over anything that Mommy & Daddy say I can’t.” Bath time took care of the blue spikes, but they could reappear at any moment. 

The Captain’s mom, my Older Daughter, is having a hard time with the new ‘do. She was tired of people mistaking her little boy for a little girl — an understandable mistake, though — and going through more bottles of conditioner for his hair than she used on her own. But this is new. And different. It’s change. Her baby’s growing up. And mine, too. Sigh. 


And Baby Makes … More Things to Shop For

My older daughter and her husband, parents of our almost-3-year-old grandson, Capt. Adorable, are trying to decide if they want more children or if they want the Captain to be an only child. And just so y’all can see that I’m a mature and reasonable grownup, I’m sharing with you what I tell Older Daughter when she asks my opinion about that topic. Okay, the “when she asks my opinion” part is a big fat lie. Older Daughter never asked my opinion about anything while she was growing up and obviously sees no reason to start now. But that probably was a good thing because invariably back then her opinions were much better than mine. (See: Past boyfriends Mom never ever should have dated.)  However, in this case Mom knows best. “Look,” I tell her. “It’s true that I want all the grandchildren I can get. That’s no secret.  But this is y’all’s decision, and whatever you decide will be the correct choice for your family.” I have cautioned her, though, about having only one child out of fear — fear that she can’t handle more than one or she can’t love more than one or they can’t afford more than one. Fear shouldn’t make the decision — she and her husband should. Almost every parent worries about those things, I say reassuringly. They’re normal concerns that will work themselves out. See, I can give good grandparent advice! But then we go into a posh baby/maternity shop for a baby-shower present and while the Captain heads determinedly for the toy trucks, Older Daughter and I immediately start squealing over these too-adorable baby-girl hats that we want to take home even though we have no little baby-girl head to put them on. Yet.