Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Surviving Bonding With Your Teen

Ah, teenagerhood. A time of learning new things, stretching your wings, becoming involved and getting your parents to do things in the name of youth/parent night that could get them hurt, maimed or at the very least, embarassed.

I have now been on two such excursions. The first being on a youth event that parents could attend if they so chose. There was food involved so that did not take long to decide. It was a beautiful day at a lake with munchies and fellowship giving me a nice time to get to know the new youth leaders and let my daughter get to know the kids. (We were new to the church). After me sitting enjoying doing nothing for a while, Dearest Daughter said she was going tubing, Did I want to go in the boat or the tube. Well, being a water lover and adventure lover, I said I'd want to try the tube. It was a 2 seater, so we went together. Yay, a bonding time. One we would talk of in years to come!

It was great. A nice slow start, chugging along behind the boat. What fun! Nice chatting with Dearest Daughter. Bonding, bonding. The scenery was great. Now we're pulling into more open water, getting farther away from everyone, going faster. Okay boat veers to the right, what's he doing?, I ask. Bump goes the tube as it goes over the wake of the boat. Oh, ok, that was fun. Oh look he's veering left. Another bump. Much smiling and laughing. I notice we are going along at a really good clip now. More bumps, more laughs. Signal comes from the boat asking if we want to come in. Dearest Daughter says it's up to me. I say "No let's go one more time." I am after all enjoying this bonding experience with her where she can't leave me. So we go on. Really fast. Sharp veer. Tube goes over the wake. Big time. Dearest Daughter laughing. Mom, that would be me, now riding about a foot or so off the tube hanging onto the tiny hand holds for dear life. Mom's bottom lands on tube, not in the seat mind you, but barely on the back end of the tube. Daughter still laughing. Mom now pulling with all her might to get her bottom back in the tube before she lands in the ice cold lake! Mom's arm sockets, biceps, and neck sore for two days.

Fast forward 2 years. Strapping son says youth/parent activity coming. "Yipee! ", I say. "It's paintball, Mom." he says. "But don't worry." says Dearest Daughter. "It's a riot!" Unfortunately she can't participate due to a fractured foot. So off I go with son on this new adventure. As I'm donning my coveralls, and face mask and listening to all the rules I'm thinking what in blazes am I thinking. This is gonna hurt! But on all us parents go as it's decided it will be parents against the youth. For the first two games, I didn't get hit once. Now before you applaud me, I will admit it's because I did not come out from behind the relative safety of the wall. I considered it once, but when I peeked around the corner, I was spotted and the shots came fast and furious and were hitting the wall above my head so hard my heart was pounding.
Again the thought of "What was I thinking?" flew thru my head. Third game I got hit on the finger and on the top of my mask. Finger was numb for 10 minutes. Once that happened I got braver and it actually became fun. I think I made a hit or two myself and I once carried the flag over our line. Legs were sore for a day from all the crouching and I was exhausted, but again I bonded and laughed with strapping son!

So I survived both youth/parent events and lived to tell about them. It was a time to get closer, a time to laugh and share an adventure with my teens. And we will talk of it in years to come even if it's to have a laugh at my expense. I will face the next challenge with my chin held high and say "yipee!" again. After all, I've got at least 6 more years of youth group between my 3 kids.

But please, can someone suggest bowling or something for the next one?!


momrn2 said...

Good for you! Those sound like such great fun!

And may I say "thank you" on behalf of the youth leaders. My husband and I lead the youth group at our church. It's always such a bummer when you put all the work into planning something and then.... little or no participation.

So, THANKS! Thanks for being one that is willing to participate, to find the fun in it, to be willing to function a bit "out of the box" and to create life long memories with your children!!

Heather Smith said...

LOL! You are too funny! I'm sure your kids are so glad to have you there with them! Just remember that through the pain. I'm with you on the tubing thing too. I went tubing once when I was about 15. I came down VERY HARD on my backside. It was very hard to sit for the next several days. Other than that it was fun!!

Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) said...

LOL! You are one cool and brave mom!

New here - just clicked over from your comment at Carol's. Looks like you are new to the blogosphere by your archives. Is this your first blog?

So nice to meet you. I am Janice.

GiBee said...

I say -- ROCK CLIMBING!!! WOOO HOO -- Good for you!!!

Ummm ... I'll be sending my husband on these events!

Susanne said...

momrn2: or rather: "out of the tube" :D You're youth leaders on top of everything else you do? THANK YOU, thank you for taking that job on.

heather: it was fun but don't tell them I said that

janice: nice of you to come by and say hello. You're a fellow Canadian, eh?

gibee: don't say that so loud! Someone may hear you and get ideas! :\

Lauren said...

Bravo, well done! I'd go tubing in a heartbeat but the paintballing, I don't know... I'm kinda whimpy about getting hit.

GiBee said...

I keep coming over to see something new ... but noooooo ... nothing yet!

Susanne said...

gibee: Sometime around June 20th she said. I can hardly wait!

Susanne said...

gibee: My sidebar stuff is sorta new. Aren't you proud. I figured out how to put up sites I visit. See your on there!

GiBee said...

You go girl!!! You even got your site meter on there! WOOT! Can't wait until the 20th!

Katherine@Raising Five said...

My kids keep daring me to go on scarier and scarier rides at Six Flags. They love to hear my blood-curdling screams. Anything for the shared experiences, huh?