We have entered a new season of parenting. It has slowly snuck up on us in small ways. At one time we enjoyed a silent apartment once all four kids when in bed by 7:30, I understood all of the Math in his school lesson and I was fussing over booster seats. The changes aren’t all bad. Now, I have a night owl who rattles off random facts from NPR and is a responsible babysitter. It’s just taking some getting used to and I am thinking through this next phase with our young man.
It is time to give him some more freedom – but the idea of that totally freaks me out. It is time to let him test out what we have been trying to plant in his heart – but I lay awake wondering if he has learned the lessons we have tried so hard to pass on. It is time to let him stay up passed 8, but ya’ll seriously, how do you get a private moment once you have a teen in the house?! sigh!
We don’t have all the answers. Tak’n it one day at a time, but what we have figured out….he might not need us hovering over him at bedtime, but when he does seek us out we need to drop everything to listen.
This prompted us to start a new family tradition. One on one time with his dad seemed like the best gift we could give soccer dude as he enters his teens. So they packed backpacks and went to a nature preserve in the south to celebrate Soccer Dude’s birthday.
They saw lots of pandas, ate hamburgers and just hung out.
I dreamt of them having deep conversations about what it means to be a man (I tend to be an idealist). That didn’t happen. But the shared jokes, memories and the idea that “I am worth dad taking time off to hang out with me” hopefully will have a lasting impact. (The girls are already planning the 13th birthday trip!)
It was a good reminder that we need to be spending one on one time with each of the four kids. Just being honest, we have great intentions, but with the business of life, homeschooling and work….it is one of the first things that slips.
5 more years, people.
That is what we have before this guy will be off to college. The first 13 years have gone so fast. I want to make the most of these years enjoying the fruit of what we have been working towards.
Soccer Dude made dinner the other night. He was frying eggs and pancakes for us. I walked past the kitchen door and he called out for me to watch him flip an egg in the air. As I watched him and laughed, I was taken back to the cafeteria at Asbury College.
There was a cute red head who was pretty proud of his skills. He could make a perfect omelet at the egg bar. (Yes, that is a thing.) Half way through he would flip that omelet in the air. I fell in love with that boy.
If Soccer Dude turns out like his dad…..I will be one thankful momma.
I am tempted to worry. How will he turn out? Are we teaching him the right things? Are we giving him what we can and pointing him to the One who can meet all of his needs? Will he get off track during these confusing teen years?
My goal is to turn my worries over and simply enjoy the next five years before he catches the eye of some sweet girl in a college cafeteria.