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Culture » Culture Features

Whatever, Mom

Teens 'R' Us

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I recently had the opportunity for some Q&A time with Holly M—a local mama of two (now 15 and 16) who definitely seems to love and appreciate the role. And while she had originally wanted three kids, Holly realized one day in a parking lot that three would mean letting go of somebody's hand, and she wasn't willing to do that...

Taylor: What has excited you most about motherhood?

Holly: From the moment those pregnancy tests came back positive, I've been excited to see what kind of people my kids would turn out to be. It's like having a wrapped gift sitting on the coffee table in May that says, "Don't open until Christmas." You want to rip it open so badly, but you leave it be—with the occasional shake for clues—and eagerly await that day in December when you get to find out what's inside.

T: How's their relationship with each other?

H: Like every brother and sister, they argue occasionally. But they love each other very much... When my son was little, he saw a girl on a playground that he thought was cute, and he asked if he had hearts in his eyes (like the comic book characters he had seen). That's how he looks at his sister—he loves her dearly and without embarrassment. She's less obvious with her emotions, but if he's hurt, her inner mama bear comes out. And you don't want to mess with her brother then.

T: What are some of your favorite things about your daughter?

H: She's so strong and determined, and if she sets her mind to something, there's no stopping her. She's also very comfortable and confident in her own skin, and she's trustworthy and mature enough to see past some of the things that happen in high school in order to make good decisions and reach her end goals. Then underneath her tough exterior is a big heart.

T: And your son?

H: He's extremely honest—almost physically incapable of telling a lie. His wife someday better not ask him the age old question, "Does this make me look fat?" If it does, he will tell her. He's sensitive and so sweet though, and when he makes a friend, it's truly just because of the kind of person they are. He's also very smart.

T: How are they typical teens?

H: They text, want to sleep in, get an occasional zit and don't hear me the first four times I call their names.

T: What will you miss most when they leave home in a few years?

H: So many things, but mostly seeing them when they first wake up in the morning. I never dreaded hearing those first little happy noises on the baby monitor, and I still perk up when I hear their footsteps upstairs. Even though they're both taller than me now, they still come down and want to have a moment to sit on my lap and snuggle before they start their days. I will miss that the most.

T: Any advice for a mom with teenagers?

H: Pick your battles. If it doesn't have lasting consequences, then you might want to let that one go... Ask questions that don't have one word answers, or that may be all you get... And enjoy these years. You're running out of time with them, and they'll be gone before they actually leave.

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