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My oldest son turns 13 today. My mantra for the last several months with him has been “You are not a teenager yet, so stop acting like one!” He is a good boy and sometimes I am hard on him because I have expectations, but I also have fears. I am responsible for turning this young man out in to the world and I really don’t want to screw it up. I also realize that with age comes responsibility but we as parents have to remember that they are still children and we are still in charge. Children will test us and push us to our limits, but they really aren’t trying to see what they can get away with, they really want us to show them how much we love them by NOT letting them get away with anything. So be involved, talk to your kids, do your best to stay calm when they call at 3am for you to pick them up because they refused to get in the car with a friend who’d been drinking. (Lord, that hasn’t happened yet, but I imagine it will in a few years.) With that, I take my Bear Totem in to the realm of the Teens and repeat my new mantra, “You may be a teenager, but I’m still your mother, which makes me the boss!”

Here’s a poem I wrote for my son on his birthday. Stay well!

Today my boy turns thirteen
Not a man or babe, but something in between
As the candles go out on his baker’s dozen wish
“Is it an XBox, PlayStation or even a satellite dish?”
No matter the gift, we’ve moved on from toy blocks
I pray for you happiness, oh and by the way it’s socks!
But in truth my dear, sweet, little boy,
I wish for you a million things, but above all else, ENJOY!