I have four children, three of whom are adults and have (thankfully) flown the coop. I thought I had this whole, raising-teenagers-in-a-stress-free-zone thing down. Even patted myself on the back for getting them off to college without an arrest record or a shotgun wedding. And then came wild child number four, who could easily have been a poster child for birth control. Now seventeen, this boy is the reason behind the industrial size bucket of hair dye I use monthly to cover my gray, and why I am a gold card carrying member of the local Wine Mart. A typical morning with this kid involves matches, an aerosol can of cologne spray and a plastic milk jug to set off the fire alarm… long before my coffee I.V. drip has kicked in.
Despite the gray hairs and mini heart attacks I suffer daily from my son, I’ve discovered the positive side to raising crazy ass, teenage boys:
1. You’ll no longer need to waste money on expensive theme parks with fast rides. Your teen will gladly attach your rolling office chair to his bike with a rope and pull his buddies down a busy highway. Like heart-stopping rides? This one’s for you.
2. Piss yellow will become your favorite bathroom tile shade because there isn’t enough bleach in the world to make those urine stains around the toilet disappear.
3. Like exotic pets? Great, because rodents love to nest in the sour-smelling pile of laundry at the back of your son’s closet. Dirty dishes and stale pizza crusts will also invite a village of cockroaches to colonize under his bed.
4. If you failed science in high school, don’t worry. You’re going to get a hands-on education about fire, electricity, and how much damage a potato bomb can do to your neighbor’s fence.
5. You’ll lose those last, pesky ten pounds because all boys are born with noses like bloodhounds. They’ll sniff out every hidden cookie, potato chip and even the coveted Godiva chocolates from Mother’s Day that you tried to disguise in an empty tampon box. Your grocery bill will triple during his teen years but your waistline will shrink. Just be sure to lock the liquor cabinet before he turns fifteen.
6. Miss those nights of club hopping from your twenties? Relive your youth when your teenager hosts raves in his room while blasting techno and dubstep from subwoofers the size of refrigerators. Toss back some tequila shots chased by a few aspirin and you’ll feel like you’ve time traveled back to the good ol’ days at a fraternity house party.
Even though there will be days when you’ll wish you could lobotomize your son or trade him in for a house-trained Labrador, just remember how much fun it’ll be when he has sons of his own. Grab a lighter and load up the potato gun. Karma has a sense of humor, after all.
This original piece by Marcia Kester Doyle was written exclusively for In the Powder Room, a division of Hold My Purse Productions, LLC.