Monday, March 2, 2009

Tween Transitions

Have I told you lately that I feel old? Really, REALLY old? Yeah, that's what happens when you have children entering adolescence. Welcome to puberty, Hensley family! It's that time in life when kids sprout up, fill out, and maybe even mouth off. Yay! The crazy thing is that we expected it to be hitting with Lane since he's only 8 months away from being a full fledged teen. His greasy hair and squeaky voice didn't surprise us at all. Tatton did though. He's exactly two years younger than Lane and sure enough, he's got the same symptoms. Plus, he's moodier, utterly angst filled. Thankfully, the kid totally digs science, so I was able to explain it all to him very technically and every time he starts to drive me crazy I can say (feel free to tune out on this part):

"Your hypothalmus is releasing gnRH which travels to the pituitary gland releasing two more hormones (LH & FSH.) Your gray matter is growing rapidly especially in the frontal lobe which is the control center for "executive functions" like planning, impulse control, and reasoning. So, of course, sometimes things seem a little off balance. As complex as technology has become no man made machine or system can quite match the complexity of the human brain."

I usually ramble on like that until I see his eyes get good and glazed over. Sometimes it takes longer than others. I like when it takes hardly any time at all. Easier that way. I'm really not prepared for this though! There are two kinds of moms: the ones who relish the baby stage and gleefully read Dr. Seuss books and sing along to The Wiggles and the kind that I'm not. I admire those moms... the ladies who don't mind playing taxi for sports and orthodontist appointments and all of the other stuff that is too much for any calendar to hold. The people who don't think it's disturbing to buy their kid's razors and shaving cream. When I was driving my 10 year old son to a sleepover birthday party, it occured to me that even though we had talked about drugs and alcohol several times over the years, he may not know about huffing and so I had to talk to him about that. I can't believe my baby's old enough that I have to give him lectures on the dangers of huffing before I drop him off at a friend's house! (Or that he is old enough to roll his eyes and say, "Duh, Mom! I'm way smarter than to damage my brain like that. Why would I breathe in toxic fumes on purpose? DUH!") Notice that his statement began AND ended with a DUH? This is scary territory.

So, I'm controlling what I CAN control. I'm making sure that my boys get the extra nutrition that they need right now. You can tell a mom who's grasping for control when you see the lady reading labels on every box in the grocery store & cramming omega-3 fatty acid capsules down her kids' throats. I'm reading books that remind me to be firm yet fair and I'm trying to show them that I believe they're responsible by setting realistically high expectations and holding them accountable. I'm scheduling constructive family time, especially activities that work all of their newfound tension & aggression out by using their large muscle groups (I decided that it's worth it to sign up for that YMCA membership now.) And most of all, more than anything, I'm saying my prayers and thanking Heavenly Father that I have a few more years until my daughter goes through puberty and that I don't have to deal with bra shopping or menstrual cycles YET. This parenting, it's heavy stuff.

I need ten thousand angels.


  1. I work with teenagers, but I never picture myself as a mom of one. I always think of myself as a mom of small kids!

  2. Be sure to pass on any wisdom you acquire in this area, I'll really need it...

  3. That's the way it works thankfully (they come as small kids first that is.) I never pictured myself as the mom of teenagers either. I mean, I knew it was inevitable, but it just seemed like this distant thing and I seriously thought I would be in the younger stage for a while longer. Time flys!

  4. ohhh that was nice to hear. Trav Jr. just turned 12 a few months ago....I see it coming little by little. Good stuff! Keep it coming:)

  5. You sound like you are doing an awesome job!! Your kids are lucky to have such a concerned parent!!

  6. Ha Ha.. This made me laugh out loud in an uncomfortable sort of way. You know, when I realized that this will be me as well, but instead of 3 boys going through puberty.. I'm going to have 3 girls..