It’s a quiet Saturday morning. Strangely, nobody has plans this morning. The kids are sleeping in. (Yes, 7:30 is sleeping in around here.) We do have a busy day ahead of us, so I am stealing a few moments of quiet.
On the docket for today is the family band’s first “big” performance. Joshua and the kids will be playing for an hour today at the local veteran’s center. They have worked extremely hard, and I think that they sound amazing. If today goes well, we are going to get on the schedule to play at a local coffee shop. I’m not sure where this family band thing is going, but it’s fun. Early on, when our kids were little, we very intentionally chose to pursue music. Our kids didn’t do a lot of sports or other extra curricular activities, other than music. Playing music together has become part of our family culture. I hope that someday when the kids are all grown up, they will continue to play music. I can picture everybody coming home at Christmas, sitting around the living room and playing together. Everybody will have something new that they have learned to add in, and maybe there will be spouses and grandkids that can join in as well. I get a little excited thinking about it!
Also on the docket today is celebrating a certain seventeen (in 3 days) year old’s birthday. After the concert we are going to meet family at a restaurant, and then we are going to take her shopping for chacos. I still can’t believe that my first baby girl is almost a grown up!
It seems like just a few weeks ago that I was a sleep deprived mom with four kids aged six and under. Those day are kind of a blur. There were diapers, crayon on the walls, runny noses and crazy shenanigans at the grocery store. I thought that was the hardest part of mothering, and that if I could survive the that, the rest would be a breeze.
I WAS SO NAIVE!!!
Being a mom of adolescents and teens is just… WOW. I have good kids. I really do. They aren’t perfect, and we have a few tough issues that we deal with, but I think that comes with the territory. When the kids were little, every now and then I would have to step into my room close the door, put my face in a pillow and scream. These days I can leave them at home alone, so I take long walks in the woods, and I scream…and cry…but mostly I pray.
As a mom of young kids, I questioned myself all the time. I wondered if I was doing this or that right. I wondered if I should try to do that more and this and less of that. Now that they are older, there’s no need for me to question myself. They do it for me. 🙂
When my kids were little I had a strong network of other moms. I would call them and ask for advice. I find myself not doing that as much with my teens. I need to do it more. I do love being around older moms who have raised kids into adulthood. I sit and listen to their conversations. A couple of months ago I listened to two wise women with grown children as they talked about praying for their kids. I realized that in this phase as the older kids are making decisions and choices, I need to be praying for them more than anything else.
As teenagers, my kids still need me, but not in the same way that they did when they were little. When they were little, if they fought with a friend, I would call that friend’s mom and we would help them work it out. If they broke something, I would fix it. I planned their days. I chose how they would spend their time and who they spent it with.
Now the older kids are not totally independent. We still talk with them and help them make decisions. We process different situations together, but it’s not the same as when they were little. Our music teacher told my husband last week we have to let our kids fall or rise on their own. Of course he was talking about their dedication to music and learning their songs, but I think it applies to other areas of life as well. Little by little, we have to let go and pray and hope that all those years of child training help them to make the right choice. They may fall. Most likely they will stumble and then rise, just like when they were babies and learning how to walk.
Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
We haven’t always done things right as parents. We are not perfect, but in our own struggles as parents, I hope that our kids have watched us rise and fall, and cry out to Jesus to change us and be our strength. Above all, I hope that we have trained our kids to love God, to come to the end of themselves and to turn to him.
Well, I need to wrap this up! I have some work to do before we leave. But first I want to spend a few minutes praying for my kids.
Have a blessed day!