I wrote a rather long journal entry today— wallowing in the angst of parenthood. I will spare you the glorious details of self-doubt, imposter syndrome, and general whining about how hard it is. Whether parents or not, most of us know all that emotional drama happens sometimes. Many can relate- either from the parent’s point of view or from the teen’s perspective. That’s why so many plotlines in sitcoms revolve around the adolescent frontal lobe not quite living up to the job it needs to do.

As I came to the bottom of the third page of the day, I wrote a line that meant something:

Stop pushing a chisel through the rock that water needs to wear away. You’ll just mess it up and leave scars.

My son, like many of his ancestors, is a bit stubborn.

When I say that, I mean– my son, like his mother, his father, both his great-grandfathers, and many others who share his DNA, would win a gold medal every day in every competition of the Resistance Olympics. He’s an introvert who does not readily suffer things he deems pointless or does not enjoy. He is possibly the most passive-aggressive, able-to-wait-out-anything-you-try human I have ever met.

I often remind myself doing things that don’t interest you, doing them well, and doing them with a Mary Poppins attitude is unrealistic. If I get to claim that in my own life, it’s only fair I allow the same for my offspring.

While wallowing this morning, I wrote a lot about perspective.

  • It’s frustrating to never live up to expectations– even those you have for yourself.
  • It’s discouraging when the targets constantly move.
  • It’s exhausting to have life on fast forward when you need extra time to process.
  • It’s disappointing to be isolated from your friends and everything familiar.
  • It’s not fatal to have missing assignments.
  • It’s not criminal to not love school.
  • It’s not going to bring on the apocalypse if he opposes something.
  • It’s not easy to be 14.

I love my son.

He shares my humor.

He makes me laugh.

For some reason, he thinks I want him to get a haircut, so he’s growing it out to spite me. (OMG. I did the same thing, people. I did it for YEARS. My mom hates long hair, so of course I grew it out to waist-length.) (Also: I don’t actually care. I love his curls.)

He has a tender heart.

He loves the same books and movies I do.

He is sweet and kind when he’s not being the Mr. Hyde version of himself.

He is my heart walking around in the universe.

It’s not my job to chisel him. It’s my job to sometimes dry his eyes and to keep his head above the water as it does the job of shaping who he becomes.


This slice was inspired by an email. An Adult drew a line in the sand and squared up about something he loathes. Nothing I can really do but watch him be shaped a bit. My money’s on him, though.