Friday, August 3, 2012

It's That Time Again--Ben

I've been around this "junior year of high school parenting" block twice before.  And true to my other two experiences, I've found that sixteen is a delightful age--an age where they are adult enough to discuss movies and politics and religion, but still kid enough to respect my opinions and listen to me a little bit.

Ben was off on his own adventure--a humanitarian mission in Fiji--while I was in Pennsylvania with the four littlest kids.  I missed him so much, and it was really good to have five hours, just him and me, to discuss life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
We discussed politics a little--he's not extremely involved politically, but he knows where he stands on the important issues.

We discussed school a little--he's ready to turn over a new leaf and really work hard, but he doesn't know if he has the momentum to make it a full year because he's so mellow about school work.  He's honest with himself.

We discussed his new haircut a little--after holding out for most of the summer, he caved in a few weeks ago and asked me to cut it.  I misunderstood his ideas, and I cut it WAY too short.  In true Ben fashion, he made a few clever remarks, even though he was quite mad at me, and then it's become a joke.  I know now what he means by "the same on the top."  I won't make that mistake again!

We discussed movies a little--he and I both agree that the new "Batman" movie is one of the best works of cinema EVER.

We discussed religion a little--he knows what he believes and he's strong enough to stand up for those beliefs, and hopefully he can apply a few lessons learned while serving the people of Fiji this summer.

We discussed fashion a little--since he wears a uniform to school, he's more into shoes than my other kids are--Sperry and Nike being the top choices for him this year.

We discussed food a little--he's a strong supporter of Firehouse Subs over Subway, and he is right, I found out.

We discussed football and weight training a little--he's got a pretty good idea how much he'll be playing this year, and he's working harder than ever before, especially now that he's a junior and an upperclassman.

We discussed money a little--how much things cost and how much it takes to raise a family.

We discussed college a little--he's thought about it quite a bit, and he has the foundations of a plan in place for the next few years, a plan that he was able to sway me to understand and mostly support.

We discussed family a little--he's a very observant member of our family, and he had some pretty accurate observations on family life and Brad's and my parenting.  I actually asked him if we were hard enough or too easy as parents, and he gave respectful, thoughtful, insightful opinions.

I love parenting high school kids.  Mostly, I am just so glad I get to be Ben's mom.  He is one of the coolest people I know.


  1. I miss those days SO much. But not quite enough to do them over again.


  2. I remember that day - that very day with my now-thirty-year-old. Precious, and you know it. And that's why I read your posts.

  3. It sounds like Ben has an awesome mom! I've got one starting high school in the fall and I'm a little worried about it. It sounds like Ben has it all wrapped up!

  4. He IS cool, this is a true statement. I love your back to school traditions. Perhaps someday I'll be cool enough to do the same.

  5. I saw the picture of Ben's haircut before I read your comment about it and I was thinking how GREAT it looked on him. He doesn't like it?

  6. I agree completely! Some of the best talks I ever had with my kids were those quiet one on one conversations while they were in high school. Good memories.

  7. It has been fun to read about your "lecture" to the kids about getting ready for school.

    They are growing.
    This has got to clean out the bank account!

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.