teenagers. full stop.

Once upon a time there was a couple 
who had two teenagers.  One is now 19 and the other one is 15.  Despite my hubby and I raising 2 highly intelligent, very sporty, very funny, very independent and successful kids, we still know one thing to be true.  Never, ever, seriously ever, try to understand your kids.  

With one at a chefs academy and one in high school we are reminded often that we will never know as much as the two of them combined.  We will always somehow manage to regularly say the wrong thing at the wrong time.  We never let them finish speaking without interrupting ..... etc etc. 

I love it.  Parenting is all at once exciting, funny, soul destroying, fun, loving, lovable, joyous, annoying, head banging ... the list is endless. 

Our daughter is at a top chefs' academy.  In order to churn out top class and highly skilled chefs, they do not namby pamby these kids, or release them when they are tired or go easy.  They prepare them from day one to understand the pressure, the ridiculously long hours, the standing, the depth of knowledge.  In the going on 3 months she has been there, she has learnt a phenomenal amount.  We literally see her in 2 outfits only nowadays .... her chefs kit and her pyjamas.  Everything in the laundry from her is white ... chefs jackets, neckties, chefs hats, aprons, tshirts, dishclothes ... it is week in and week out of stuff needing to be kept brilliantly white.  I am quite excited when I see the black chefs' pants, black skirt and black aprons in the wash.  She had her first Saturday morning / afternoon / evening off now since January .... it was decadently lekker she said.  If they are not scrubbing on a Saturday then she is at class or in the restaurant.  We have a pattern, each night she comes home somewhere between 6pm and 2am having had either just practical lectures and cooking all day, or that followed by restaurant service until midnight.  She falls on her bed, burst into tears and tells us she hates this.  In the morning she gets up, puts on her chefs kit and tell us she loves this unbelievably much.  Trust me when I say that you would be quite stupid if you dare tell her as she cries in the evening "but you tell us in the morning you love it".  Only a person with a death wish would do that. Also do not say such things as "but you have wanted this your whole life" or "you knew the hours that you were going to have to study".  She knows this.  But I suppose when you have been on your feet for 14 hours ... cooking for most of them, then you don't want to hear this.  On Friday she had to tunnel something or the other the bones of a quail, an art she had perfected on a chicken the day before.  Basically you work through only the small neck hole, and cut out the bones working from outside only by feel.  You have to bring the whole carcass out in one piece.  When you are done you pull out the entire carcass in one move and you are not allowed to pierce the skin whilst doing the procedure.  I for one was fascinated.  She was damn excited at this new skill.  So it is onwards and upwards ... she has a great future ahead of her. 

Then the younger sibling, he who is much taller than her.  He eats.  A lot.  He is slim and has probably zero body fat.  Muscles in a slim body.  But at 6ft2" he has a lot of height to feed.  And boy he does.  Dinner at 7pm.  I am hungry at 756pm.  Can I have a smoothie at 930pm.  He plays sport.  Every afternoon, 2 evenings a week and on Saturdays.  Many days both hockey and soccer.  He eats, drinks and sleeps and lives sport.  Although he does very well academically, school it appears, is the extramural.  Sport is his life.  He has an answer for everything and more, and on most days can "out-wise" me on any life topic, because he ponders and always words his answer slowly and carefully after much thought.  Fiercely protective of his sister, we know we can never win a battle when he is her lawyer. 

Today our priest asked how is our Lent going, during his Homily to all us parishioners.  I realised that they have stuck to theirs resolutely ..... again a reminder of how much we can learn from our kids ...... if we take time to listen. 

till soon 
happy week everyone
c'est la vie xxx

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