The road trips to visit family in Indiana have always been an adventure. When my kids were young, they were always amazed at how many cows and horses we would see along the way and the idea of people living without “near neighbors” was something their suburban minds could barely comprehend. But, now that they are older, our car drive conversations have changed and are no longer centered on cute farm animals.
During our most recent trip, my middle son educated all of us that drug dealers often clear out the middle of cornfields to plant marijuana—a fact he learned during his 8th grade health class. This statement, while possibly true, is the perfect example of how being the parent of a teen changes everything. It changes the way we see the world because our kids are suddenly seeing the world so differently. The cornfield, which used to spark conversations about fresh corn on the cob, has become the focus of a ‘just say no to drugs’ discussion. Who knew?
The hard part of parenting, which I was convinced would be left behind with the midnight feedings and diapers, is actually just beginning. It is less about taking care of them and more about teaching them to take care of themselves–a task that is so much easier said than done.