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

This image shows the cover of Juneau poet Emily Wall’s new book “Breaking Into Air.” The book details a wide array of different birth stories. (Courtesy Photo)
A book is born: Juneau author releases poetry book portraying the many faces of childbirth

It details “the incredible power of women, and their partners”

Lemongrass chicken skewers are best made on a grill, but can be made in the oven. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion
On the strawberry patch: Tangling with waves

Lemon grass chicken skewers top off a day in the surf

This photo of Frenchy with a freshly killed black bear was taken on the Kenai Peninsula in the early 1900s. (Photo courtesy of the Viani Family Collection)
Unraveling the story of Frenchy, Part 1

The stories were full of high adventure — whaling, mining, polar bear hunting, extensive travel, and the accumulation of wealth

File
Seeing God’s hand in this grand and glorious creation

The same God of creation is the God that made me and you with the same thoughtfulness of design, purpose and intention

Chewy and sweet the macaroons are done in 30 minutes flat. (Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Sophisticated, simplified

When macarons are too complicated, make these delicious, simple macaroons

Michael S. Lockett / capital city weekly
Gigi Monroe welcomes guests to Glitz at Centennial Hall, a major annual drag event celebrated every Pride Month, on June 18.
Packed houses, back to back: GLITZ a roaring success

Sold-out sets and heavy-hitting headliners

Michael Armstrong / Homer News 
Music lovers dance to Nervis Rex at the KBBI Concert on the Lawn on July 28, 2012, at Karen Hornaday Park in Homer.
Concert on the Lawn returns

COTL line up includes The English Bay Band, a group that played in 1980

Marcia and Mary Alice Grainge pose in 1980 with a pair of caribou antlers they found in 1972. The sisters dug the antlers from deep snow and detached them from a dead caribou. (Photo provided by Marcia Grainge King)
Fortune and misfortune on the Kenai — Part 2

In Kasilof, and on Kachemak Bay, in Seldovia and later in Unga, Petersen worked various jobs before being appointed deputy marshal in 1934

The Western Flyers. (Photo provided)
Seldovia Solstice Fest features 4 days of music, art

The Seldovia Solstice Festival starts at 11 a.m. today, June 16, with a music jam on the Seldovia Bay Ferry

“Glimmer of Hope: How Tragedy Sparked a Movement” was published in 2018 by Razorbill and Dutton, imprints of Penguin Random House LLC. (Image via amazon.com)
Off the Shelf: The power of personal voice

“A Glimmer of Hope: How Tragedy Sparked a Movement” provides first-person accounts of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida