The dinosaurs disappeared because they could not adapt to their changing environment. We shall disappear if we cannot adapt to an environment that now contains spaceships, computers — and thermonuclear weapons.
-ARTHUR C. CLARKE, forward, Collected Stories
The Handsome Prince and I had tucked into bed to watch the first few minutes of a movie before falling asleep.
Aren’t we romantic?
Into the old VHS player went Jurassic Park- The Lost World.
He was out like a light and I got slightly hooked into the movie for a bit before drifting off.
I woke to a rustle at the foot of the bed and sat up.
It sounded like someone was getting out of our shower. I reached for my phone on the nightstand to check the time.
The door opened and a small dinosaur in a towel appeared.
“Mom, I need money for the trip and a ride here and…”
At the foot of my bed another small dinosaur’s head popped up and complained that she would have to wait because I had already promised to drive her at that time and pick up her new shoes.
Both of the dinosaurs sounded exactly like our teenagers and I was starting to wonder if I should have skipped the Kool-aid at dinner.
They argued their way back out the bedroom door.
I sat there stunned.
“Wake up! The kids are reptiles!!!” I scream at The Prince.
He rolls over and tells me that we have no one to blame but ourselves that they act in such a way.
Hmmm. He’s right… so I go back to sleep.
Teens are like dinosaurs!
The dream epiphany eluded to it and so it shall be.
Aww, such a cute sweet little dinosaur and then it bares a set of long sharp razor teeth, spits blinding acid venom while chasing you about the room in an attempt to gnaw upon your flesh.
Okay so maybe my teens don’t spit skin burning acid but K did bite me last week.
(Disclaimer: I may have nibbled her first but that’s besides the point.)
Teens are a breed unto their own. They have spent their entire life studying their keepers. Our every movements, reactions and there is no person that knows more than those that have rubbed elbows with you at the breakfast table every single day.
As the sweet little piggy tailed girl and handsome crew cut little man transition into the dinosaur years, you’ll realize that they have prepared their whole lives for this show down.
If you’re saying oh no not my kid, it’s your kid.
Denial doesn’t help.
Go watch Breakfast Club and remember… we all have to go all Cretaceous for a time.
It’s basic biology that ties teens to dinosaurs.
Energy, Food, Water, Oxygen, Space and the ability to maintain homeostasis… that’s what we all need to thrive and survive.
Our dinosaurs need to more than just merely survive.
We are on a desperate mission to teach and give these dinosaurs the ability to evolve, ironically at a time where they want their keeper’s opinions the least.
They may kick, scream, and it might feel like you are being pecked to death by chickens but they MUST evolve.
They have to be taught how to be successful adults. They need to be invested in and talked to, even when a lump of your pride and hide feels like its missing.
They must conquer new territory and try new things but they also need to learn that kindness is a requirement and hard work is a must. When to speak freely and when it’s better to hold their tongue. The virtue of having values and goals to help them succeed.
These dinos have THICK heads sometimes but they are listening. They are also waiting for an opportunity to get away with something the second you turn your back from the pen.
Oh yes sweetheart… your kiddo too.
They often hunt in packs and scheme in groups so it’s imperative that ALL keepers be on alert and looking out for each others wayward dino teens.
Don’t be fooled by the cute little dinosaur faces… anything with teeth will bite and usually when you least expect it.
There will come a time that you are higher than the mountains and lower than the deepest trench because of that dinosaur. That’s part of the often thankless job. No one looks at their newborn baby and could ever believe that no matter what you do, the dinosaur stage will claim them.
Oh just wait for the first of many I HATE YOU statements made your way.
The keepers have to set/ enforce punishments, check the text messages, talk to other keepers, put their boot down and often ground themselves to keep watch over their fragile over sized lizards. Boundaries exist for a reason, many dinosaurs become extinct due to bad choices. They need to understand consequences, reality, laws, respect and we need to enforce them as standards in our homes so they can go into the world alone without hurting themselves or others. Honesty and education, just keep talking. They may gnash their teeth and recklessly swing their tails but they are just testing to see what their keeper is made of.
The hardest part of being a keeper is that those dinosaurs are a walking talking chunk of your beating heart. It’s physically painful to experience things with them at times. It’s really hard not to want to shoot them with a tranquilizer while they are attempting to eat you alive ever so slowly. When they strike out with deadly accurate claws to swipe you deeply as they know what hurts, just to back you down. Stand your ground. This time in your life is very short but it’s the foundation that allows these dinosaurs to evolve into fine ladies and gentlemen.
When you look up at an angry T-Rex, most would run and cower in fear.
That’s when the keeper just does their very best to turn those rougher moments into places of learning while trying to make it in the wild wild world.
Sometimes our very best isn’t enough but when we do all that we can to guide them through a time of tremendous growth, we have to be grateful that the dinosaur years do not last forever.
Just as we have grown, changed and evolved into the people we can be proud of today, they also have to experience the bumps and stings to shed their dinosaur status.
It wont be long before they look back on times that they didn’t get their way and really understand why. Even though it might not be a walk in the park or resemble anything you actually signed up for, they are worth it.
These dinosaurs are driving cars, voting, doing excellent things with their lives and some are are just being bad.
No one wants the flood to come and their dinosaur didn’t have the ability to sustain life in the sea.
They need to understand taxes, how the utilities work, washing machine and yes, those stubby little arms can learn to feed themselves too. They can not be resourceful and create their own magic if they aren’t given the ability to do for themselves.
Dinosaurs are smart.
As you can imagine, living with dinosaurs can be extremely tricky.
We want them to evolve a set of big beautiful wings and fly off into wonderful happy rainbows.
No happy rainbows are had without hard work, perseverance, respect and a good attitude. So we hang on loosely and go along for the ride. Often parenting people that are twice our own size. Bumps, bruises, twists and the pits you never think you can come back from.
Teens are like dinosaurs and then they grow up.
They call to complain that they are being alive by their once sweet loving offspring.
You can smile and remember a time when you wanted to ring their slim teenage necks but pictured them instead as a funky little vicious dinosaurs trying make a bed with arms too short.
It’s karma, it’s fate, it just is what it is…
but it’s only a phase.
Lots of Love,
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