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Surviving Those Teen-Age Years

Today is our granddaughter’s birthday. She turns nineteen, the last year she can celebrate as a teen-ager. Though I consider her more mature than many nineteen-year-olds, still, she’s a teen.

Remember when you were that age, and the worst thing that could happen to you was being laughed at by your peers?

You probably have your own litany of youth mortifications, if someone were to ask. May I share a few I’m personally acquainted with? (Yes, I know that’s a preposition.)

There was the time the student council president invited me to go with him to a Christmas party for the elite council members and their dates. I tripped and spilled hot chocolate all over him. It was such a seismic wave of hot liquid that I snatched up napkins and knelt around his feet, trying to mop up the puddles. I drenched him so thoroughly that he had to send someone home to get a change of clothes. Miraculously we both survived—and he even spoke to me afterward.

Then, there was the time a good-looking young man whom I had practically swooned over did something unusual: he asked me for a date! Remember those days when the opposite gender appeared almost magical? Think Barbie and Ken. I wasn’t Barbie but he resembled Ken.

When he drove me home afterwards in his dad’s restored classic car, my little brother and his fiend—er, friend, joyfully bounced a basketball against the side of the pristine vehicle while my dream date walked me to the door. Mr. Drop-Dead-Good-Looking disappeared into the night, never to be seen again. Miraculously, I allowed my little brother and his friend to live—probably because they could outrun me.

Try explaining to your peers as a teenager, how you are wearing that cast on your leg because you fell out of a chair and broke your foot.

Or try looking for a place to hide when you discover the lady you are mimicking in front of your friends in the elevator, happens to be standing behind you, listening to your impersonation.

Better yet, live down the guffaws of your siblings as they describe to their friends how you parked your Volkswagen Beetle too close to a street sign in your little town, and some men had to pry the bumper off the pole before you could leave. Living in a small town presents challenges when trying to live down humiliation.

Ah yes, those wonderful, yet turbulent teen-age years.

Back to my granddaughter. Happy birthday, Samantha! You have survived teen years so well and made us proud of you. May this be a year of special blessings.

How about you? Any special memories of your teen-age years and how you survived? Don't forget to comment below.

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