Through the years and several moves, I held onto teen diaries, a shoebox of notes passed throughout junior high school and the highlights about high school dances written on tiny pieces of paper attached to corsages.
As a young adult, I was convinced that I was not supported by my parents or teachers. And I wanted desperately to keep the passage open from the depths of teen angst to the hopeful maturity and power of adulthood. In an effort to keep the pain alive, as a teen, I would set the microwave oven to my year and as the clock ticked to zero I would recall a memory for each year, over and over until I had no more memories to relive.
The result of this collection is The Teen Spell Book, a consortium of visualizations and affirmations to move out of the darkness of loneliness, anger and apathy. I hoped writing this book would help me let go of some of the anger. It did a little. Even more so, I hoped keeping all these talismans would help me relate to my own teen children. Now that’s funny.
As my now 13-year-old son rails against me in an attempt to cut proverbial apron strings, I’m reminded of myself and I cringe. I’m not so convinced anymore that it was lack of understanding or love that caused me to feel alone and run headlong into trouble. Only now is it apparent that my hormones did a lot of that talking (or screaming) and framing of the memories.
So mom, I apologize, profusely. I don’t pretend that my sincere regret will drastically affect my karma, so I’ve devised a plan for teen survival.
I’ve decided that teens say the darndest things and if I can frame this as endearing (like a toddler) and simply indicative of their maturity and limited experience rather than a direct attempt to refute my guidance or point out my newfound stupidity, I have a chance to get a chuckle now and again, rather than pull out every last hair in my head.
And maybe I have the makings of the next book???