The confidence in one’s knowledge as a teen takes time to dissipate. The time that it takes for a teen to realize that they don’t know it all can be a very trying stretch for parents who not only know that the teen doesn’t know it all, but who are also acutely aware that they themselves don’t know it all. I think that during the teen years parents age disproportionately. You may have heard that the twos or threes are the terrible years, but the folks who say that have no idea – NO IDEA – what is coming. Try living with the knower of all things for five to six years. Being the parent of a teen who knows it all is the equivalent of spending years in a dunce cap while sitting on a stool in the corner looking at the wall. Trust me…I have done this three times already…my dunce cap is personalized, my stool is worn and there are thousands of hash marks on the wall where I have marked the days as they pass.
My youngest, Cheyenne, is only twelve – but she is gifted. Ah yes, she is already quite convinced she knows it all and that I am just the hapless parent that by some miracle managed to keep her alive to this point. It matters not that I have managed to earn two doctoral level degrees, that to some I am considered accomplished, that her older siblings even acknowledge that I know things – as I said -matters not. What do I know? Well, in teen speak – I know nothing! I feel like Sergeant Schultz from the old television show Hogan’s Heroes - “I hear nothing, I see nothing, I know nothing!”
You would think that having had three previous experiences of know it all teenagers I would have figured a way to handle this…yeah, not so much. I have just learned to embrace my hat and my stool and to keep reminding myself that eventually she will realize that I know something. By then let’s hope that I still remember I know something.
Day six hundred and seventy-three of the new forty – obla di obla da