For those of you who are not beginning to see the other side of parenting teens yet:
Our 21 year old called yesterday. For his summer job he is running - yes, running - a campaign office for the current mayor of a major east coast city...yes, the city that is also known as a red fruit. I will try to record the whole conversation - actually it wasn't a conversation, it was a gratitude.
"Mom, when you are feeling most overwhelmed and you are wondering if all that you do and say is not heard, I want to tell you something that you can remember to put things in perspective.
I really do hear and remember what you have told me, whether I seemed like it at the time. Even the little things. Ma, are you listening."
I am listening. He has my attention.
"I'm in the car right now because there is an older woman who wanted to volunteer for the campaign but couldn't walk all the way to the office and doesn't drive, so I picked her up this morning and gave her a ride."
So I'm thinking, good he does service, I knew this. He gets our place in the whole world thinking.
"I just drove her home, and I remember how you taught me to always wait to make sure that someone I drop off can get her car started or get into the house. I was waiting at the end of her walk and she waved me on, but I didn't go. I waited to make sure she got in the house okay. She got all the way to the door then realized that she had left her pocketbook at the office and didn't have her key. Ma, she wouldn't have been able to get in her house if I hadn't waited for her.
So, I drove her back to get her bag, and now she is safe inside her house.
See, I really do remember the little things you say."
So just in case you are wondering if they listen, they do. And they remember and they do what you taught them.