Teens and parents: Comings and goings and straining bridles

One of the places I work at is adjacent to a high school. On Monday morning, as I entered the building, I passed two teenage boys (16 or 17?) having a discussion about life:

TEEN ONE: Life sucks. Right now we can’t do anything we want because our parents are always on us. Then we’ll finish school and have no money, so we’ll have to work and won’t be able to do anything we want. Then we’ll get married and have kids and not be able to do what we want. And then when we have money and retire, we’ll be too old to do what we want.

TEEN TWO: Welcome to life.

Despite the grim prophecy about their life prospects, I smiled to myself. I couldn’t say that he had it entirely wrong; he skips across some truth there. But is it really all that bad, and is life even supposed to be an unrestrained gallop through grassy fields of wildflowers? 


Photo courtesy of Alex Loach, B&W Artistic Country Landscape https://www.flickr.com/photos/53825985@N02/

Then, yesterday as I exited the building at the end of the day, I passed two mothers:

MOTHER ONE: When they’re young, they’re so cute, and fun, and they love to be with you. They lull you into a false sense of security. And then BAM, they’re teenagers, and it gets ugly.

MOTHER TWO: Yep. I’m just gritting my teeth and counting the days until my son is human again.


Oh, but sometimes parents do weep.

I smiled again, because the juxtaposition struck me. One morning I walk in past two teenagers straining against their bridles, and one evening I walk out past two parents trying to hold the reins.

‘Twas ever thus. The push-me/pull-you of teens and parents. All we can do is choose to enjoy the ride.





About Arlene Somerton Smith

Writer, laughing thinker, miner of inspirational insights, sports fan, and community volunteer

Posted on November 20, 2015, in Arlene Smith, Arlene Somerton Smith, Inspiration, life, metaphor. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Ain’t that the troot.

    Course the kid overlooks choices. If he doesn’t want any of “life” as he dreads it he could opt out and live alone under a bridge. 😏😌


    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Isn’t it funny how are views change, when we start to see things the way our parents did and their parents did. In reality the world has change, but teenagers have not. The aliens will always take our children for a couple years leaving behind clones. But we can be reassured that they will return as maturing adults. Life’s lesson is to enjoy ever moment we have with them, they are all precious.

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