Dear Santa: A letter from a tween parent to the jolly old elf

Dear Santa: A letter from a tween parent to the jolly old elf
photo by Michael Tercha, Chicago Tribune

Dear Santa,

The first draft of this letter included a wish list of items for my tween that would make my life easier, like increased memory, faster processing time and better storage that will leads to greater ease finding items.

Then I realized that I had the same wishes for my computer, which meant that something was wrong with my original wish list. My girl is not the latest iMac.

What I really need are items that may be in short supply in the North Pole, but maybe you've got some suggestions after spending, well, eternity dealing with unruly elves.

I'm most interested in:

- a back up for my sense of humor when my tween is practicing her hip hop dance routine on my last nerve;

- an unlimited supply of patience;

- reminders that she is still learning, that learning is a process and that mistakes are where both my tween and I often learn and grow the most;

- with that last one in mind, wisdom to know when to let things slide and when to make something a big deal;

- the fortitude to keep saying no, even when she looks so crushed or unhappy or angry, and reminders that parenting is the hardest job I'll ever love (hardest being the operative word there. Oh wait, and love. Yeah, let's focus on the love. See, Santa, told you I need help.);

- knowledge of just how to get through to this girl who sometimes feels unreachable;

- ability to show her that I've got her back, no matter what. I've tried my darnedest to do that and I fear that she sometimes feels the loneliness that comes with tweenhood despite my best efforts;

- more time, or a pause button, to savor the sweet and silly moments with my tween; and

- all the other info you've gathered from centuries of dealing with tweens around the world.

Look on the bright side - these requests may not be easy but at least you'll save on the gift wrap.  Thanks in advance for your help, Santa, and of course I'll leave out the cookies and milk. Safe travels, hello to Mrs. Claus and best to Rudolph.

Love,
Shannan

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