It’s a weird thing, being a parent to a teenager. I was a teenager once. I was such a teenager. I had a poster of Michael Jackson on my closet door and Beastie Boys’ License to Ill and Paul’s Boutique tapes in my dual-cassette record player. I had a phone in my bedroom with a cord that stretched the length of my daybed, and a black and white TV with a screen smaller than the laptop I’m using right now.
I wore neon clothes. Then blue jean miniskirts and twist-a-beads. I begged for Guess overalls and Tretorn tennis shoes and Liz Claiborne purses.
I got my first French kiss as a teenager, on a sectional couch in my high school sweetheart’s basement watching an IU game while his parents watched the same game upstairs. I lost my virginity as a teenager on that same couch. I smoked my first cigarette as a teenager and got high for the first time as a teenager.
The rest of this essay can be read on Grown & Flown.