It is what it is: Teen life

My daughter turned 13 back in January, and my son is 15, which means that for the past eight months, we’ve been living with two teenagers in the house.

This is not the first time we’ve had teenagers living under our roof. In the past, we’ve hosted Peninsula Oilers ballplayers and foreign exchange students. But when it’s your own kids, it’s a little different.

There have been quite a few changes in our household over the past year or so. I can’t say that anything happened overnight, but we’ve definitely been gradually sliding into the teenage years and all that goes with them.

For example, what used to be our weekend family breakfast has turned into more of a brunch — sometimes a very late brunch — as the kids aren’t quite as eager as they used to be to hop out of bed for blueberry pancakes or bacon. In fact, there are many weekends where I cook breakfast and leave plates in the microwave for the kids, which they eat while I’m having lunch. Our house is very quiet on Saturday and Sunday mornings — though that may change this weekend as the NFL season kicks off.

There’s quite a few other signs that we have teenagers at home, and with apologies to Jeff Foxworthy, here’s a few:

If you go to your pantry cabinet looking for snack, only to find that it’s filled with empty cereal boxes and bags of chips containing nothing but crumbs, you might have teenagers living in your house.

If you can’t find a bowl in any of your kitchen cabinets because they’re all stacked on the window ledge behind the curtain in your daughter’s room, you might be living with teenagers.

If you go to load the dishwasher, and at first glance, it appears to be full, but when you pull the rack out it almost falls off the rails because the back row is completely empty (putting dishes there apparently requires a skill set that teens haven’t yet developed) you might have teenagers in your household.

If you’ve asked for a chore to be done and, when confronted with the response of “What do I get for it?”, answered with “You get to live here,” you might have teenagers in the house.

If you’ve ever wanted to use the dryer, but found that someone appears to be using it for clothes storage instead of their closet or dresser, you might have teenagers in the house.

If you’ve ever tried to express some heartfelt sentiment or valuable piece of wisdom, and, after saying what you wanted to say, had your child look up, take off their headphones and ask, “Did you say something?”, you’ve got teenagers on your hands.

If you’ve ever threatened to change the wifi password just so you can stream the last 20 minutes of a movie without it buffering because your kids are hogging your bandwidth, you might have teenagers in the house.

If you hear strange noises coming from the stereo and are told that it’s music and not, as you had suspected, migrating sandhill cranes, you might have teenagers in the house.

If you’ve ever tripped over sneakers, gym bags, sports gear or back packs piled directly in front of the door, you might have teenagers in your house.

If you wonder what your kids are sleeping on because their clean sheets have been in the laundry basket for a week, you might have teenagers at home.

If you’ve ever felt like you need a spreadsheet to keep track of who needs to be where and when, you might have teenagers in your house.

Of course, for all the little frustrations, there’s plenty of joy in our house, too. We have great kids who are smart, witty and compassionate human beings. With two teenagers comes lots of laughter and fun. When everyone is home, it’s noisy and chaotic, but when the kids are gone, it feels a little empty.

So here’s one last item for the list: If you’ve developed an appreciation for laughter and noise and hectic schedules and everything else that goes with it, you might have teenagers living in your house.

Reach Clarion editor Will Morrow at will.morrow@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in Life

The welcome sign for the City of Kenai, as seen in this city Facebook page photo.
History with a sense of humor, Part 1

The first part of a two-part collection of humorous tales gleaned from old newspapers on the central Kenai Peninsula.

Ward off Halloween’s mystical monsters with these garlic-infused cheesy shells and pepper sauce. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Tasty Halloween

Keep spooky creatures at bay with garlic-infused shells and pepper sauce.

Will Morrow (courtesy)
Let there be lights!

When I stopped in at one of our local stores, I didn’t cringe when I saw all the holiday decorations on display.

Cabbage, potatoes, salmon and an assortment of pantry staples make for a culinary challenge. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Take a culinary pop quiz

Get creative with what’s in your pantry

This undated John E. Thwaites photo, perhaps taken near Seward, shows the S.S. Dora grounded. (Alaska State Library photo collection)
Resilience of the Dora, part 3

Her long career had come to an end at last.

Nick Varney
Unhinged Alaska: Sometimes I wonder, who needs who

Dog whispers we are not. Suckers for unconditional love, you bet.

Meredith Harber (courtesy)
Minister’s Message: Don’t let termination dust bring you down

If I’m honest, this time of year is the hardest for me mentally and emotionally.

Pieces hang on display at the Kenai Art Center for the open call show on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
‘They felt like they could share with us now’

Art center open call offers space for new artists.

The Cosmic Hamlet Entertainment film crew prepares for a new scene to roll on the set of “Bolt from the Blue” at the Kilcher Homestead on Sept. 28. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
‘Bolt from the Blue’ film features Homer

“The Office” star Kate Flannery cast in feature film produced in Homer.

These old-fashioned doughnuts don’t skimp on the fat or sugar. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Memories of old-fashioned doughnuts

My recipe is for old-fashioned doughnuts, and since I make these maybe twice a year, I don’t skimp on the sugar and fat.

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: October is here again

The days are shorter. We are losing nearly six minutes a day. It’s getting colder.

This John E. Thwaites photo shows the S.S. Dora near Sand Point, Alaska. Thwaites sailed as mail clerk on the Dora between at least 1905 and 1912. (Alaska State Library photo collection)
Resilience of the Dora, part 2

The S.S. Dora touched lives on and became part of the history of the Kenai Peninsula and Southcentral Alaska.