A High Schooler’s Mom
I packed her lunch just as I do most mornings. A dry turkey and cheese sandwich, chip crumbs from the bottom of the bag (oops, I should have gone to the store yesterday) and some fresh mixed berries. I’m grateful she’s not picky. “Do you need a fork?” I asked. She told me “no” and that she could eat the berries with her fingers.
She offered a limp hug as I handed off her sandwich like a baton in a race that seemed impossible to win. She was tired. Not the usual “teenager” tired. It was the tired of a determined child fighting her way to the finish line of becoming an adult.
She walked out the door at Dark:30 and got in her car. I locked the front door from the inside and watched the taillights disappear. She was off for another day at school. Some days I feel like I’m feeding her to the wolves and some days I feel like she’s there to tame them. I wonder for a minute if it’s harder to be a 17-year-old or to be the 17-year-old’s mom… for, now, I know both.
I haven’t yet made up my mind.
Andrea Stunz writes at www.emptyplatefullheart.com and is stumbling pilgrim in need of coffee, another sunrise and all the grace.
THE BEST INVESTMENT
Take a deep breath.
For many years, that was my best parenting advice for moms of teens. Just relax, I’d say. It is going to be okay.
I have changed my mind. No longer am I encouraging the bare minimum of survival of teenagerdom, because it turns out people survive at levels I grieve. Teen life today is scarier than just a decade ago. Now my one word for those trudging the forest between adolescence and adulthood is this:
Actively, thoughtfully, purposefully invest in your kids. Don’t just work on habits for today, work toward the adults you want them to be.
You want them to know Jesus? Spend time with Him together.
You want them to be generous? Serve together. Let them see you serving in something that fills you.
You want them to connect with people? Have their friends over. Read books and watch movies (side by side) that give the opportunity to examine relationships from many angles.
STOP WAITING FOR SOMEONE ELSE. Even when they don’t want to, the responsibility is yours. It cannot be done well without a sizable chunk of your time, energy and money. You can do it. You may need to take many deep breaths along the way, but make investing your priority.
Robin Lee is the wife of an airplane part inventing, manufactured home selling husband who keeps her in stitches and mom to three preciously unique kids who keep her on her knees. She loves teaching Bible Study and planning ministry projects. You can read more at brightenacorner.com and robins-corner.com.