** Neither teenagers nor cats turn their heads when you call them by name.

** No matter what you do for them, it is not enough. Indeed, all humane efforts are barely adequate to compensate for the privilege of waiting on them hand and foot.

** You rarely see a cat walking outside of the house with an adult human being, and it can be safely said that
no teenager in his or her right mind wants to be seen in public with his or her parents.

** Even if you tell jokes as well as Jay Leno, neither your cat nor your teen will ever crack a smile.

** No cat or teenager shares your taste in music.

** Cats and teenagers can lie on the living-room sofa for hours on end without moving, barely breathing.

** Cats have nine lives. Teenagers carry on as if they did.

** Cats and teenagers yawn in exactly the same manner, communicating that ultimate human ecstasy — a sense of
complete and utter boredom.

** Cats and teenagers do not improve anyone’s furniture.

** Cats that are free to roam outside sometimes have been known to return in the middle of the night to deposit a
dead animal in your bedroom. Teenagers are not above that sort of behavior.

Thus, if you must raise teenagers, the best sources of advice are not other parents, but veterinarians. It is also
a good idea to keep a guidebook on cats at hand at all times. And remember, above all else, put out the food
and do not make any sudden moves in their direction. When they make up their minds, they will finally come
to you for some affection and comfort, and it will be a triumphant moment for all concerned.

Ah! the weird and wonderful years of raising teenagers. Too often they behave as stated above in this little joke.

Having been there, done that, I know how frustrating it can be when being the person responsible for these creatures. The temptation to hang them is too often in ones mind.

Yet, all of us were teens at one time, too. We, too, did exactly the same things as your teens are now doing to you. Oh yes! You did the same to your parents, and had it not been for their understanding and love, their patience and fortitude, you would not be the person you are today.

I laugh, today, at the things my teens did when they were getting their revenge on me. At the time, though, I took it
very serious, it was no laughing matter.

Yet, one of the largest single benefits of going through those years with your kids is they teach you a lot. They
teach you not to be so “patterned”. They teach you to get out, and stay out, of the rut you so dearly want to settle into.
They teach you there is yet a big wide wonderful world out there you haven’t yet explored.

They come home in weird clothes, with strange markings on them, with haircuts that look like they have come straight
from Dante’s Inferno. They seem to grow appendages in the ears, on the lips, and goodness knows where else, in the
form of little rings and studs that pierce flesh. They use make up like there was no such thing as coordination between
colors, even from one eye to the other. Aren’t they wonderful?

You look at a bunch of them on a street corner and you purposely go to the other side of the street to avoid them.
At times they look, act and talk like they were from another planet, an unfriendly one. Aren’t they wonderful?

Once in a while in your reflective moments you think “These are the people who are going to be leading this world in
another few years. These are the politicians, the lawyers, the doctors, the nurses, the pilots, the druggists and business
people of the next generation. These are the people who are going to be administering my pension, the hospital I will make an occasional visit to. They are the ones who will be running the old folks home you where I will go to live one day.” Aren’t they wonderful?

These young, grotesque, creatures you are involved with now may well, one day, be the ones you rely upon to give you a triple bypass heart operation. You may well find they are the new Governor of the State, the Chief of Police or a Fire Captain. Or you might fly across the country, or around the world, in a plane flown by that ugly little creature who used to live next door to you. Aren’t they wonderful?

Aaaah for those years! At times I miss them. I watch my children, today, learning the same lessons from their kids,
that they taught me. I look at what their teens are doing to them and I smile. Aren’t they wonderful?

I watch the fathers among them, trying to be stern, serious, and teach their teens lessons. I smile. I watch the mothers
among them trying to have the kids keep their rooms clean, their clothes clean, help out around the house, do dishes.
I smile. I watch the kids twist their parents around their little fingers because they learned so long ago how easy it was
to make a parent do what you want. I smile. Aren’t they wonderful?

I try to phone my kids these days, but can never get through. Oh! Yes, I remember, teens on the telephone. They talk for
hours. Lord knows about what but they can talk forever. I smile. Aren’t they wonderful.

Do you have only one computer in your house? Mistake. You can’t get near it can you? Aren’t they wonderful?

Only one phone? Mistake. You can’t get on it can you? Aren’t they wonderful?

Wait until it comes time for them to drive. Your heart will be in your mouth more often than not. Somehow they were
born knowing all there is to know about speed, about handling a car in traffic, about servicing a car. Aren’t they

Oh, yes, money! They all handle money like there was a never ending source, you. They can go through money like it was water. They have an innate capacity to overlook any amount of work you might have to do to earn an income.
Work? At home? Earn their keep? Such ideas are preposterous.

Ask them for rent and they are insulted. They will move out and pay rent somewhere else before they will pay
rent at home. Help out with the family work or the family budget? Ridiculous. Aren’t they wonderful?

Breathe easy. It does come to an end. One day they come to realize how much you’ve grown up. One day they understand how much Mom or Dad have smartened up. One day they begin to talk to you in a language you can understand and one day they will look at you with love, understanding, and thankfulness in their eyes and heart.

One day you will walk your daughter down the aisle to put her hand into the hand of the one she loves – – and your heart will burst with pride.

One day your son will come home with a little grandchild that is the spittin’ image of him and your eyes will tear up.

One day you, too, will learn – – – Aren’t they wonderful?

Ken Darby writes articles, books and other material helping people achieve their goals. We pay for your dream home. For an amazing income opportunity take a look at http://www.thenewsshop.com/oursalespeople.html You might want to see if an internet business is for you. For a series of short emails that shows you, sign up for the Pebble at  http://www.the-pebble.com

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