Shocked young business woman with expression face , isolated on grayAs the mom of four teenage boys, every one of the last 6,800+ days has been a learning adventure. I recently decided to reflect on some of the—uhhhh—let’s call it “wisdom” that my guys have imparted to me directly, as well as several axioms I’ve learned while parenting them. I’m proud and simultaneously a little horrified to share a bunch of these insightful (i.e. questionably useful) nuggets of knowledge. But here we go nonetheless:

  1. Humans smell markedly better when they use soap in the shower.
  2. Wise-assery is hereditary.
  3. Wearing a blue blazer improves behavior.
  4. “Please” and “thank you” are still cool.
  5. When your team loses, a good night’s sleep erases some of the sting.
  6. The older your driver’s license, the less of a thrill it is to drive around running errands.
  7. A shirt on the floor will stay on the floor.
  8. If you leave an unopened pint of Ben & Jerry’s by your bed overnight, there’s a 100% chance it will melt.
  9. Sleeping on a wool rug leaves marks on your face.
  10. Making a good case is more effective than whining.
  11. It is more than possible to overcome the odds.
  12. Whatever someone else is eating looks way better and bigger than what you have.
  13. Someone will always find out that you lied. Always.
  14. Often, the quiet ones are the most interesting.
  15. Condiment choices are very personal.
  16. Sometimes stuff breaks, even when you swear you’re being super-careful.
  17. Pee-splashed aluminum baseboards will eventually rust.
  18. Lots of people are unsatisfied with their birth order, and there ain’t a damn they can do about it.
  19. Resilience rocks.
  20. A whiteboard and a marker is an irresistable temptation.
  21. The cartoons you grew up with will always be nostalgic comfort food.
  22. If you work hard and stay focused, you’ll get to where you want to go.
  23. Sometimes where you think you want to go isn’t the best place for you.
  24. Tattlers sound just plain silly.
  25. If you slam a door too many times, the doorframe will crack.
  26. Be true to yourself; it’s not worth worrying what other people might think.
  27. The “cool crowd” is really only cool in their own heads.
  28. The same haircut will look different depending on whether or not you use hair product.
  29. If you liked smoked bluefish paté before your first birthday, your culinary choices will become exceedingly more sophisticated and expensive with subsequent birthdays.
  30. Student backpacks are insanely heavy these days.
  31. When you can’t seem to get something done, sometimes it’s as simple as having someone hang out in the same room with you.
  32. People appreciate honesty. And the whole truth.
  33. Though you didn’t realize it a mere moment before, you will be jonesing to chew gum as soon as someone nearby unwraps a stick.
  34. Sometimes the Costco quantity still isn’t sufficient.
  35. Teenagers suddenly need your full, undivided attention as soon as you’re on the phone with someone interesting or important.
  36. Teachers who scold you for running in the hallway are simply people who need to get laid.
  37. The heartbreaking end to one team’s season heralds the beginning of a new season for a different sport.
  38. Friends are peeps who like you for and despite who you are. To hell with the rest of ’em.
  39. Be assured, you will have a zit for your senior portrait. And for prom.
  40. Mama hugs never go out of style.
  41. The bigger the shoes, the stankier the feet.
  42. A dog that a teenager is supposed to let out while watching The Hangover or playing Gran Turismo will almost always choose to poop on the white rug.
  43. Just because your lips are moving doesn’t mean I’m actually listening.


So, what have I left out? What can you add to the list?

2 Responses to “43 Things I’ve Learned From My Teenagers”

  1. David Ducharme says:

    Some lessons are better learned than explained.

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