Saturday, October 6, 2018

Writing Prompt Saturday ~ Celebrating Teens

We usually have our prompt up much earlier than this but I've literally been running around all day since I woke up. Not that I'm not usually, but today was special.

My daughter turned 14 on Monday and today, we planned for her party with her friends. Well, it was more of a get together, but we'll call it a Birthday Party. She chose to go to a place called InTrap, where you're essentially locked in a room for about 45 minutes (unless you're crafty enough to get through it sooner) and given clues to lead you to your escape. When she told me about this place my reaction was: O_O. I am a total claustrophobic. The sound of the door locking behind me would have that panic button being pushed within the first few seconds. And with rooms like 'Haunted Apartment' and 'Prison Cell', I can't really see myself participating in such an activity.

Of course, there was a panic early on. She'd invited a few of her friends over after the event so I told her that we needed to tidy up a bit more so they could...well...mess it up. I know it doesn't make much sense but, hey. In my mind, I'd done my weekly job of cleaning the house (or the main lived-in areas since that's all I had time for this morning) so whatever they mess up becomes their duty to clean up later (yes, wishful thinking, but I can create the fantasy).

They did their thing at InTrap. We heard them screaming in their room as we walked down the stairs to pick them up, so we figured it must have been a good time...or someone had a heart attack, one or the other. After that, we crammed six overly-hyped, screaming 14-year olds, my youngest, my son, my husband and I into our minivan, which normally comfortably fits 6 people. Needless to say, it was an interesting ride home. Stimulating conversation, ear-piercing laughter and my youngest cutting the circulation off in my leg.

When we arrived home, this spunky group of girls scared both the cat and the dog (which I internally applauded as the animals were quite naughty all morning), then, of course, we offered snacks, root beer and cupcakes. And wouldn't you know my youngest found my husband's stash of gummy candy, elevating the Birthday chaos to a level I don't think I ever recall reaching.

Now that it's 7:00, I can finally sit to get some work done, if I don't plunk down on my keyboard from exhaustion. With everyone gone except one of my 14-year-old's closest friends, who has this gift of calming everyone down in the house just with her presence, I can actually look back on the day with a smile.

I'm probably deaf now, my brain is fried from young people chat I really didn't need to be a part of, and I'll most likely find chips and cupcake crumbs everywhere for the next week no matter how many times I sweep or vacuum. But my girl had an awesome time.

We had a ton of other stressors thrown at us in between this lovely fiesta, but I can honestly say it's times like these that really make me love being a mom. Sure, it's easier (and cheaper) when they're younger. But when I stood back and took look at these young people, I realized I didn't do such a bad job. Too often, society tends to place stigmas on teens where they are lured into a totally different kind of party scene. They don't all turn that way, and if they do, they come back knowing someone cares enough to welcome them. There are more teens, like this group of girls, who turn to each other and keep the goals they have set for themselves, never letting negative temptations pull them too far away.

That's why our prompt today is to celebrate our teens. Celebrate the ones you are raising, the ones you come in contact with, the ones who are doing amazing things for their communities and for others, the ones who are your students and the ones who are your friends. I know I celebrate mine every day.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go see what the dog is licking off the couch cushions.

Enjoy the rest of your Saturday.

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