Porcupines aren’t the cuddliest creatures. They look kind of cute, actually, almost like you could pet them if you approached slowly enough, but don’t try it. In fact, if you tried to cuddle with one, if you even moved too quickly or too closely to one, it would likely, well definitely, raise it’s quills in defense. Porcupines use these sharp spines as visual and tactile deterrents to protect themselves from being harmed. Teenagers are very similar to porcupines.
Something happens after about age 10, sometimes earlier thanks to added hormones and other crap in our food; our sweet little kids become adolescents. They stop hugging us all of the time, or at all. They stop smiling when they see us. Actually, they try their best not to see us often. If we try to hug them, those quills come out, not literally, but verbally, in the form of loud sighs or “stop!” It’s almost like we are hurting them by trying to be affectionate.
We try to think back to when we were teens. We didn’t act like this. Sure, we didn’t really want to be around our parents. We avoided them, only spoke to them when we had to or when we needed something, but that was different. Our parents were overprotective, annoying and totally not cool. We are cool, right? Why would our kids not want to be around us? It’s different, right?
Wrong. Parents are parents. Even Gene Simmons’ kids have expressed their embarrassment of him on their reality show. AND THIS IS GENE SIMMONS – THE DEMON OF ROCK. If his kids find him embarrassing, you can bet that the rest of the young adults in America, the ones without rock star parents, aren’t the biggest fans of their parents.
The teen years seem to take forever. In the meantime, we have to make it work, somehow. So, either we try to avoid those quills, or we suit up and hug anyway. If we practice avoidance, we stop hugging all together. We stop communicating, just to spare our own feelings. Let’s face it; those quills hurt. They are a constant message that we parents are no longer heroes or protectors; we are just pests and obstacles. In spite of that, the only thing we can do is keep hugging, and gritting our teeth when the sharp points are pricking us. One day, the quills will fall out. One day.