Teens can be so many things

Tweens, teens and twenty somethings can be so many things. Some of those “things” can drive us nuts. But one of those “things” they can be is:

Teens and tweens can be so many things


They can be happy and vibrant and full of life and enthusiasm. Their laughter and happiness can be contagious.

Last week on family vacation, I was driving my car with two 18-year olds and two 21-year olds. Music was blaring and being sung along with (by the girls), car-dancing was happening (again, girls only). The young people were all laughing and talking. The mountains were gorgeous. My iced coffee was delicious.

During this moment, in my car, I wanted to soak up the fun and happy. Trust me, with six kids and all the bumps and hurdles of life, not all the moments have been so fun.

But this moment?

I wanted to SOAK. IT. UP.

I wanted to savor this stage, this energy, this enthusiasm. I wanted to make time slow down. If I could have, I would have bottled the happiness of the moment and saved it forever.

But until someone can patent the technology to put time in a bottle, we’ve got to rely on the low-tech approach of being fully present in this very moment. Being present is the only way I know to s-t-r-e-t-c-h time and be. Here. Now.

My favorite way to do this is to scan my five senses and really notice each one:

1. Breathe. Fill your lungs with air. Smell…. What do you smell? How does the air feel as it enters your nose?

2. Look. See the scene. Notice colors, movement, shapes, the look on kids’ faces, the scenery. Soak it in.

3. Listen. Hear the music, the wind, the kids’ voices.

4. Taste. Open your mouth and feel the air on your tongue. Notice if there is a taste. On that day, I tasted orange Twizzlers. That flavor will forever be intertwined with this fun memory.

5. Touch. Notice how your body feels. Your clothes, the air on your skin, the wind on your face. Notice all things kinesthetic.

The rate at which our children grow accelerates with every passing year. The best way to preserve the good times is to be fully in them while they are happening. When we recognize we are in one of those sweet moments, we can stop the futurizing and multitasking and just BE. HERE. NOW.


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Kerry Stutzman MSW, LMFT

My passion is helping my clients develop close, connected families and healthy relationships. For the past 20 years I have been helping people discover the best version of themselves.  Learn more

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