Truly Blessed

ALS patient James Martin shares his journey.

Cats, Dogs, Teenagers

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James Martin
Monday, August 27, 2012

We have been blessed to have six children, four boys, two girls.  One is a former teen, three are currently in that glorious state, and two are anticipating it with reckless abandon.   As such, we have much experience with teens and have many friends who have survived this gauntlet.  As such, I feel compelled to share some teenager observations. 

I saw a T-shirt that sums up parenting girls:  "You can't scare me, I have teenaged daughters!" Daughters kind of remind me of Gremlins, they are cute and cuddly until they're not.  If you have seen the movie you understand.

A better analogy is living with a teenaged daughter is like having a cat.  A cat tolerates, barely, your presence in it's home and feels that it is a privilege to be in it's presence.  It is territorial and stretches out on the couch in a manner that defies man or beast to also sit down.  They are social only when they want to be and generally avoid gracing you with their company.  When they fight, they use their claws and when they want something they purr, and you are virtually powerless to resist.  They are a cat,  but you forever see them as the kitten that stole your heart the first time you saw them. In the words of the Borg: "Resistance is futile."

Teenaged boys, on the other hand, are like big dogs. They are loud. They are messy and find themselves in places and situations that they do not belong.  They have boundless energy, for short periods of time.  They love to sleep. They run, they break things, and they wander.  Often times they chase things that they are better off not catching. And the only odor worse than wet dog is teenaged boy masking his odor with AXE.

All that being said, teens are a lot of fun. They are independent yet dependent. They are funny and full of life, dreaming big dreams. You can have intelligent conversations with them and occasionally they are right. But most of all, teenaged children challenge you to be a better person and hold you accountable to your own standards.  As the saying goes, easier said then done.

Last updated: 10:46 am Wednesday, August 28, 2013

James Martin is a former attorney and graduate of Gonzaga University and Marquette Law School. He lives in Spring Prairie near Burlington. He has been diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. He is married with 6 kids. James is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff. His opinion is not necessarily that of the Gazette staff or management.

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