It's different than I expected for one thing. It's both harder and easier. I'm certain I thought the times that you had to be vigilant would be immediately apparent. That I would have to worry about boyfriends, drinking, wild behavior. That my kids would think I was old and uncool and would stop talking to me about their lives.
This has not been the case so far, my oldest is 17, another is 15, then 11 and 9. They are still the same awesome people they have always been. Conversations are infinitely more engaging and we have a huge amount of interests in common. Friends are definitely more important to them than in the past but amazingly we talk openly about their outside relationships. I heard so many negative things about parenting teens that my expectations were mostly fearful. A few days ago, I suddenly realized that these years, like those that came before them, are coming and going like a whisper on the breeze. These kids are becoming beautiful, kind and intellegent souls. I am so grateful that my imperfect life with so many variables made these exact people. Any slight deviation in my decisions would have made this future impossible and I would have never gotten to know them.