It's winter break week here in Massachusetts - well, it's winter break week for the public school children in Massachusetts. Henry is still in school, getting up at the crack of dawn for hockey practice and needing rides home from his van. Which makes going on a vacation impossible.
I think we've managed to do some fun things. Gordy took the girls and their friends to Dave & Busters for a few hours of arcade games and then he dropped them off at the mall for lunch and shop. Henry and I met them there later (Henry had Monday off) and it looked like they were having a good time. Cupcakes were involved and there was a lot of laughing.
Georgia and Josie both had "mock" sleepovers (all the fun but none of the over-night torture) with friends. We had a southwestern-themed dinner and then they watched movies. That also seemed like great fun.
Josie had guitar lessons and hockey practice (fun! and fun!) yesterday and today, I'm taking the girls into Boston to the see the new Omni-max movie about The National Parks at the Science Museum (super fun!) and we'll probably get an ice cream(fun!). And then it's home for a flute lesson (okay, so maybe just a lower case "fun" with no exclamation point) and another hockey practice (fun!) before the evening events commence. Josie is staying over a hockey team-mates house and Georgia has been invited to a bingo game and dinner with friends at the local country club (FUN!).
And then FINALLY, tomorrow, our whole family (minus Henry who will be in school) are going to paint a mural at a Boston Public School as part of Volunteer Day program through Gordy's office.
Sounds like a good week, no?
I thought so.
So imagine my surprise when Georgia came downstairs this morning and informed me that she was not going to the National Parks movie (she is, actually. I bought the tickets yesterday) nor was she going to participate in flute lessons (again, yep! she is). And she is angry that THE ENTIRE VACATION HAS GONE BY AND SHE HASN'T DONE ANYTHING FUN!
And she's had no time to be with friends.
How can I possibly describe what it's like to live with teenagers?
Teenagers are amazing - when they are good moods. And Teenagers are horrific when they are not in good moods. And you never know which Teenager you are going to get.
I know this isn't new information, but we're living it, so it seems new to us.
We're hitting important milestones now. Henry is a sophomore and soon it will be time to look at colleges. He's taken his PSAT and now we have to decide whether or not to get a tutor before the SATs and whether or not to just skip the SATs and take the ACTs. He had three applications to fill out this week - all that required essays (some short but others long) and you can imagine what a real joy (insert eye roll) that was. The first application was for a summer internship that Henry hopes to get. The second was for an honors level class (you have to petition for a spot) junior year and the third was for an off-campus semester program. All three things are important for his college applications.
This is how we are thinking right now.
There is so much to balance with older kids. Social lives, driving lessons, school work, sports, music lessons, internships, jobs, honors classes, test prep....
And while we are running around doing all these things, it's equally stressful to think about how in two years, Henry will be in college and we'll only be running around with two children. Two more years does not seem like enough time.
Yesterday, I took a pilates class and Henry's first grade teacher was there as a drop-in. This is going to sound cliche - I've already written that teenagers are hard work, so I might as well keep on going - but Henry's first grade year seems like a month ago and it was weird (really weird) to tell her that Henry is now a tenth grader.
Which is why I'm "making" Georgia go to the omni-max with me today. I'm using quotation marks because we all know that once we get there, Georgia will have a good time.
We have a lot to squeeze in to a short period of time!