By Shannon Magsam, nwaMotherlode.com co-founder and Ladybug’s mama
As a heavy equipment owner/operator, his business depended on knowing if the weather that week would be nice enough for him to dig a swimming pool or haul asphalt (“Dad, did you haul asphalt today?” Say that out loud and you’ll get why my adult siblings and I love asking him that question on a regular basis).
One day when I was about 10, we were playing dodge ball in the front yard with some neighbor kids and my little brother got his legs knocked out from under him with the rubber ball. He went down, headfirst, into the side of our front porch.
I ran in to tell dad that his youngest was bleeding profusely from the head, but as I stumbled into the living room, he put up a silencing arm. He didn’t even look my direction, just held up the arm. I dutifully waited until Dad saw the rain chances for the rest of the week before letting him know that Chad needed a trip to the ER. He blurted out a “We’ll, why didn’t you tell me that when you first came in!” before bolting out the front door.
After all those years of weather watching with Dad, I, too, must pause and watch when the weather forecast comes on during the local news. Shhhhhhhh I’ll hiss and I’m quick to throw up an arm if anyone dares to speak while Dan Skoff is letting me know whether I’ll need an umbrella, a light jacket, a heavy coat or to prepare the closet for an extended stay (I always make sure to bring the bike helmets in with us in case of a tornado).
Today I was thinking it would be great to have a Teenage Mood Forecast to watch on Sunday nights. Some professional analyst to predict all the highs and lows for the week — for those of us who are in the messy middle of parenting a teenager.
The weather here in Northwest Arkansas over the past few weeks could actually serve as a pretty good pattern of what it’s like to live with a 15-year-old:
“It’s bright and sunny on this marvelous Monday in NWA, folks, but hold on to your hats because tomorrow morning there will be a distinct chill in the air! Better keep that jacket handy! By Wednesday, expect a storm to come raging through the region, but we can’t tell you exactly when. Most likely right after school pickup, but there’s also a big chance it will make your house rumble around bedtime!”
If I knew in advance that gale force winds would be flying out of my teenager’s mouth on a Thursday (You did what? You said what? You’re making me do WHAT??) or that her head would be taking a tornadic turn when I accidentally embarrassed her in public, I could mentally prepare myself.
Alas, there is no mood report. Until there is, I’ll just appreciate the sunny days and stay on the edge of my seat for the rest of the week (while simultaneously bobbing and weaving to avoid the dodge balls).