December 20: Favorite things: Teenagers Advent with SusieJ


Other parents complain about the teen years, but the teen years are the best years (so far). What makes parents hate these years is probably what makes me love them: that growing independence and desire for independence, mentally, physically, and socially.

We've been lucky enough to host a couple of exchange students, better known as our "borrowed children." Tobi, Sarah, and Hannah are amazing people and we had a wonderful experience with each of them (and we thing they one with us). We showed them Philly, and the East Coast, and the rest of the US. Included them in our hobbies and celebrations, attended their school events, drove them and friends places. We are still in touch, and see them as often as we can (curse you, COVID!). Being a small but formative part of their lives was a blessed and humbling experience.

As a parent, watching someone who has loved you unconditionally and thought the sun rose and set with you become independent of you is not easy, but that's our job. Our now-teen is their own person, with their own interests, tastes, and opinions. As a family we three share a lot of interests (gaming, SFF, biking, angry music), but now the kid's sharing stuff they discovered with us, and it's really, really cool.


The first time making this coffee drink that is everything I ever wanted in espresso was when Tobi, our first exchange student, offered to show me how to make it in order to get out of doing math and physics homework.

Young woman cartwheeling on a lawn.

Our Sarah cartwheeling by the old elementary school. Teens are sometimes kid and sometimes adult, and always a joy.