Originally Posted by greenmama
Cherie2, I wanted to ask. If your homelife was acceptable what was the life that you wanted that you couldn't have with the support of your parents? The idea of a 13 yo leaving home to "live their life" terrifies me. How could they have supported you so that you could do that and not have left home?
I know, it seems so extremely radical to me now as a parent ... but in my memories it was very natural and normal. My mother
was in the depths of her gypsy days at the time. (traveling in busses with with hippie/gypsies to barter fairs and rainbow gatherings)
I grew up mostly with my dad in Los Angeles but had been living with mom since about age 10. Her house was always full of all kinds of people, there was a lot of music and fun and philosophical conversation. Her friends became my friends (many were much younger than she was).
I went to live with dad again in 6th grade the spent that summer back up with mom in Oregon. I started 7th grade in LA but after a couple of weeks I just could not live that LA life anymore. All the kids seemed so foreign and immature. The summer in Oregon had been one of those "live-changing" summers and I was not the same person anymore.
So I went back and instead of traveling with mom, I traveled with other family friends and decided school and spending time with 13 year olds was not for me anymore. We traveled, picked apples, camped in the bitterroot foothills. I saw 48 states from the age of 15 to 17. I worked in nurseries, orchards and at one point had my own little day care. We'd sit in the coffee shop for hours, expand our minds on the beach and sing at open mic. Its not the typical teenage hood, but it was mine and I loved it. And if this is the path one of my kids had wanted to take, I would not fault them for it.
I selfishly want my kids closer to me. I try to be tuned in to them and what their needs are. I make no demands of my teens. School is their choice, bathing is their choice, I am working hard not to make judgments and to let them discover themselves. Hopefully they feel comfortable enough at home to stick around for a while. But if they need to leave, I will find a way to deal with that.