Hey Teens… Remember To Thank Your Mom On Mother’s Day!


Sunday is Mother’s Day. I mention this as a community service announcement because, if you are fortunate enough to still have your mom, you do not want to forget her on her day — even if you are a teenager.

I single out teenagers specifically because life is hard for teenagers. They get a bad rap for being lazy or self-absorbed or forgetful or angry or all of the above. But let’s look at it from the teen’s perspective. For years, your parents have been telling you to “grow up” or at least giving you the skills to do so. Then you reach your teens, and you have all these skills (you could make your own breakfast, if you had to) and smarts (you always look both ways before crossing the street), and you’re almost an adult (18 isn’t so far off from 21), but you’re stuck in a house with other adults — a mom, a dad, maybe even a grandparent. And they’re still giving you advice! Will it ever end?

Well, no. It will never end. Because, throughout our lives, we parents have picked up tidbits of information — a lot of it learned the hard way — and we would like to spare you kids from the mistakes, embarrassment or (worse case scenario) jail time that we experienced. We see words as the best way to do this. We could be wrong there, but we keep trying.

However, I will admit that we need to try harder to remember that you have your own challenges — challenges so daunting we oldsters have chosen to forget them. Dating, for instance. Many people nowadays don’t get married until their 30s, yet your hormones begin ruling your life at about age 11. To stay single through college graduation (at age 22), that’s 11 years of emotional turmoil with final exams and a few term papers thrown in for good measure. And if you don’t get married on graduation day, you’re faced with another problem — you have just a dozen years left to achieve average-ness.

So there’s that. Then there’s the “my house, my rules” thing. Parents realize that their kids would rather live in their own place — a place where their friends can stay as late as they want, where they can eat anything they want, where they can play their music as loud as they want — and the only thing holding them back is money. All the babysitting and lawn-mowing in the world isn’t going to bring in enough for rent, electricity, water, food, clothing, automobile expenses and (again I bring this up) dating. Of course, there’s that pesky law saying that parents have to supervise and take care of their kids, but most of us do it out of love.

And that brings me back to Mother’s Day. If you have a roof over your head, enough electricity to power your game console, enough water to take the occasional shower, enough food to eat when the drive-throughs are closed, enough basic clothing to accessorize any way you want, any sort of transportation at all and the occasional loan for Friday night movie tickets, you probably have a mom.

Thank her. That’s all I’m saying.