Slice of life: Surviving the teen years

By Helena Rodriguez: PNT By Helena Rodriguez: PNT columnist

Time to do the Dance of Joy, and not a moment too soon. My daughter, Laura, has less than 24 hours left of being an official “teenager.”

Tomorrow Laura turns 20. Was it that bad? Well, put it this way, if I can survive seven years of “teenhood,” I can survive any man/woman-made disaster.

When a child is between 9 and 12, they’re called “tweens” — between childhood and adolescence.

What shall we call Laura’s unique stage? Like many of my community college students her age, they throw tantrums (a natural regression to childhood following the teens) and complain that they’re old enough to register for the draft, but not old enough to buy an ice-cold draft.

Perhaps our drinking age law is for the sanity of parents. It gives us a year to recuperate from the “parenTEEN” years.

Seriously now, children are not man/woman-made disasters, but blessings. If you’ve done your parenting job the best you can — with lots of divine intervention — you can look back at the “teenage” years and laugh, and cry … and cry … and laugh some more as you see your once rebellious, know-it-all teen suddenly becomes humble and begins to stand, not on their own, but on a foundation you helped lay.