Diana Landen: Teenagers are supposed to be awful. Like werewolves, they transform overnight into hairy monsters. They hate you, they defy you, they make your life miserable.
Oddly, I am enjoying having a teenager so far. Sure, there are problems with missing homework, he calls me a hypocrite and I doubt he tells me everything. But there are also plenty of things to love about my teen.
1) He fixed the kitchen cabinet. I was whining one day about my husband's failed attempt to fix the door. My son looked at it, took it off its hinges, put it in a vise and glued it together properly.
2) At lunch, he tells me what's wrong with math education in America. He is passionate about the problems in our schools, from spending too much on fancy gadgets to making math boring.
3) He does laundry, takes out the trash and mows the lawn. In a pinch, he'll throw together burritos for dinner while I run around picking people up.
4) At dinner, he complains about how the American press isn't covering the attacks on Uzbeks in Kyrgyzstan. He's been listening to podcasts from the BBC and thinks someone should do something already.
5) He invented his own version of stir-fried noodles. His little sister loves them, so he makes her lunch, too.
6) He debates us about morality -- is it relative, or not? How do you justify the need for morals? What can you prove about morality? He questions everything, but he wants to know what we think.
7) He babysits! We don't need to find someone when we go off on a date anymore. This is more precious than rubies.
8) He designed and built a motorized balsa-wood boat for his father to play with. I am trying not to act too jealous.
9) He follows his gym teacher's advice about taking care of his body. He avoids French fries and candy. He no longer resists showering.
10) He enjoys hiking with us. I doubt he'd want his friends to know it, but he still wants to talk to us, watch movies together, even play games as a family.
What are some reasons you love YOUR teen?