It’s HARD to stand by and watch

When kids are young, it’s exciting, thrilling to watch them as they struggle to achieve: remember watching as they tried, again and again, to roll over? I’d watch my son on his blanket, his face red with exertion, as he summoned all his strength to learn how to roll over. I felt totally connected to him as I excitedly cheered him on.
Then came walking. As he would stand and wobble at the coffee table, holding onto the edges as he circled it, hand over hand, in some crazed folk dance, I was thrilled, amazed — vibrantly loving parenthood.
So why aren’t I enthused and delighted when my teen struggles with his developmental tasks: coming home late, not telling me where he is, encountering sex, drugs, and rock and roll?
He’s not doing this stuff ‘to’ me — he’s just doing his normal teenager struggles. He’s growing, and struggling — aren’t they the same thing sometimes? Why is this not “cute” anymore – why is this so hard for me to stand by and watch?