Common consensus that the teen years, as a parent, are the hardest but I can honestly say that they have been my easiest. Maybe I just got lucky with Cameron and Kiara or maybe the teen years aren’t as bad as they are made out to be?
Obviously we had a few rocky moments and a few boundaries were tested and a lot of mistakes made – both theirs and mine but raising teens was when I felt the most confident as a parent. Watching them both now forge their own way is without a doubt the cherry on the top.
Cameron spent last year in Cape Town studying at UCT. It was not the best first year experience – he was not allowed on campus and didn’t really know anyone apart from my brother and his family. It was a far cry from the first year experiences many of us had and I am sad he never got to experience things like orientation and first year parties and huge lectures. All things considered though he did well and fortunately did have my parents and my brother and his family providing support.
This year things have improved somewhat. Kiara has joined him in Cape Town, she is studying animation at Friends of Design. It was (in my world) a very last minute decision. Up until March last year I had no idea she even wanted to study further but within the space of a few months she had applied and been accepted to a few animation schools in Cape Town. It was not an easy decision to send her, in fact I back tracked at one stage but she was determined to go, with or without my blessing.
Cameron’s girlfriend has also joined them, she is studying at Stellenbosch and so the 3 of them are living their best student life in a small flat in Cape Town.
I am incredibly proud of how well they have done – they found a flat on their own, figured out routes using public transport (something we didn’t do here) and are now navigating adult life!
I went down to visit them last week, to check out the flat and just check that they are doing ok. It was a whirlwind 4 days but it was the perfect glimpse into their lives. They are both settled and doing so well. Kiara absolutely loves what she is studying, she has a small class which is perfect for her and she is doing something she loves. Cameron is having a better second year than first, his subjects are better and he is on campus a little more and has joined the UCT gym and is even swimming a bit.
Of course we all miss them at home and it is strange for Emma and Jack to be without them but I am really loving watching from the sidelines as they each grow and find their way in the world.
It does, without a doubt, make all those tough parenting moments worth it.