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Jewish Journal

Motherhood 101: Teenage Drama

by Ilana Angel

November 25, 2013 | 7:56 am

This is a typical conversation with my child:

Me: Hi. How was your day?

Him: Good

Me: What happened at school?

Him: Nothing.

Me: Anything exciting going on?

Him: Nope.

Me: What did you learn today?

Him: Stuff.

Me: Great. Tell me about it.

Him: Nothing to tell Mom. I'm going to my room.

The conversation is always the same, unless I push for one more question, in which case I am met with, "God Mom. Nothing is going on. You need to relax."  That is quickly followed by some laughing, a tilt of the head implying he is looking at someone pathetic, occassionaly a sympathy hug, and then his going to his room. Not sure if it is his age, that he is a senior, about to turn 18, or perhaps because he is a boy, but I am not digging it.

I am a very lucky woman when it comes to my job as a mother. I have a great kid. He does not drink or smoke, has not done drugs, is respectful of women, is a great driver, and I don't have to worry about a lot of things other mother's need to worry about.  Even knowing I am blessed and that things could be way more difficult, his lack of communication is pissing me off. By pissing me off of course I mean he is hurting my feelings. I sound 12.

I have raised this child by myself and I am proud of my work. I managed to put him through 10 years of private school on my own, encourageed him to believe in himself so he could boldly charge into his future by getting into one of the best high schools in the country, and he is applying to a dream list of colleges, any one of which will be lucky to have him. I have done a lot for him, and sacrificed endlessly, yet I can't seem to get a converation?

If we talk about college, which is all I think about these days, he tells me, "I got it Mom".  That annoys the hell out of me. Important to note however, that if I want to talk about his car, gas, money, shopping, Monty Python, movies, or music, he will happily talk to me forever. It is only school, college, homework, and his future that gets shut down. Apparently there is nothing to talk about on those fronts because "he's got it covered".

I cry everyday. Not because of the lack of communication, but because I am scared. What if he doesn't get into a school? What if he does? How will I pay for it? Will he hate me if I move where he is and get a job in the cafeteria so I can catch a glimpse of him everyday? I mostly cry because I cannot understand how my baby, my one and only child, managed to grow up so fast. I do not know how we got here so quickly. I am proud, but also sad.

The sadness is for me not him. I am sad I didn't do more with him. When you are a single mother life becomes about work and providing for your child because there is no back up. My child has had a blessed life, but could I have done more? Should we have gone on more vacations? Should I have taken more pictures? Should I have worked less? Will he look at his childhood and think it was great? Will he remember it as I do?  Was he happy?

He will turn 18 in a few weeks and time is flashing before my eyes. He plans to go on a big trip after graduation, then college will start, and my oppotunities to have time with him will be down to holidays and breaks from school. It will not be enough. I know right now that it will not be enough. I want more. I am not ready for this part to be over. Is it the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning? What is going on? What do I do now?

At the end of the day I love him. Really, really love him. I know the world is waiting for him and I want to share him, but I just wish I had a little more time just him and me. Time for me to ask questions and be ignored, time for him to go to his room laughing at me, time for me to sleep well knowing he is the room next to mine. I just want more time. Maybe today will be the day I hear about what is going on. Doubtful, but I am keeping the faith.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Ilana Angel writes two blogs for JewishJournal.com. KEEPING THE FAITH is about her worldview as a single Jewish mother, and KEEPING IT REAL is all about reality television....

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