The season for celebrating our parents is here. I want to discuss the appreciation teens have for them. Its not just appreciation for biological parents, but also celebrating the people and family that takes care of us as if we were their own on a daily basis. Sometimes it may seem as if we have no respect for our parents because of the way we act. If you knew the way I rebel against my mother sometimes you would figure that mother and respect don’t go in the same sentence for me. My mother may not realize how grateful I am for all the things she has done for me, whether I express them or not. I think they always expect us to say something. We always feel what we never say, that love is there. If you are a parent that left and has decided to come back around, don’t be discouraged by your teen’s behavior. You are probably hit with how mad your teen is over all the time you have missed. They realize that you are trying to make up for lost time, but they need some time to think about and work it out on their own. Sooner or later they will come around. To all my foster parents and adoptive parents out there, thank you. We do not take you for granted. We love the fact that you are willing to take us in to make our lives better. It is hard sometimes to admit to being an adopted child, but we are happy that you fit us into your plan of living. To step-parents, thank you! Sorry that you may have trouble because we are furious at the fact that our biological parent isn’t in your place. We appreciate you filling in that void of what should have been. Thanks to all legal guardians. Thanks to all those aunts, uncles, grandparents, sisters, brothers, whoever has taken another person’s child in. You are appreciated for being there when others have not been. Godparents. You know how we feel about you! You are an extra set of parents that we look up to. It is so comforting to know that someone else is there for us. I understand fully how rebellious too many teens are nowadays. We are so ready to argue. We may fight, fuss, disobey, but we still love you. Our love will never change no matter how many degrading things we tell our friends about you! Our words are strong and harsh at times, but I don’t think we would know what to do if you weren’t in our lives. I’m sorry that you have had to deal with our mistreatment of you. But besides all the negative things that have happened, we THANK YOU for everything. Mom, I’m sorry. I just wish you could understand me sometimes. Teens know that our love and appreciation will always be there. We just hope you know. If you are a teen or know of a teen who would like to participate in our Creative Writing Program, contact Tanya Cromartie-Twaddle at COA Youth and Family Centers, 263-8383 ext 147.