Wednesday, December 11, 2013

teenagers part 2

It was something I've longed for from the beginnings of motherhood; and it grew as Cai learned words and how to string them together to make sentences, and put her thoughts out for the world to see.
(You can read Cai's incredibly thoughtful and insightful blog HERE.)

Talk to me.

Please, babies... talk to me. I wanted to know everything. I wanted to know what they did when they were out of my sight. I wanted to know what they thought of their childhood as it was in progress. I wanted to know their opinions about events, circumstances, experiences - what did music do to them... and how are they growing?
It's in my nature to talk (& often... to talk too much...)
But I genuinely find my kids to be very interesting people.
Sloanie recently wrote a poem and I loved it so much because it painted such a vivid picture of how she sees herself growing into someone different than the shy little girl we see in pictures of her at age seven.

Little Seven Year Old Me
The music I listen to would terrify little seven year old me,
The jokes I make now would horrify little eleven year old me,
The books I read now would bore little nine year old me,
And the clothes that I wear aren’t the frilly dresses I swore I would wear,
When I was little five year old me.
But fifteen year old me,
Looks back with love,
at the girl I used to be.
I’m older,

Maybe little seven year old me would be proud
Of the girl that I am now.
Instead of staying up in my cloud,
I grew up a little, I’m not sure how.

We still have lots of time to go,
Her life’s a part of mine like a silky soft sigh,
Just watch us as we change and grow,
Little seven year old me, and I

And so... a huge piece of my 'parenting teens philosophy' has been to talk to them. I kept talking to them when they were seven, 8, 10, 13, 17... and I sure hope I never stop. I talk to them about everything. We talk about prayer, gay marriage, poverty, racism, social justice and current events. We talk about boys, dating, hairstyles, 'fandoms' and clothes. We talk about friendships and family, rejection and divorce. We talk. We talk. And we talk.
And they have things to say. I try not to give my opinion as much, but I try to say things like, "but what about_?" if I think they might be missing something big. They are forming ideas and opinions - and I know that my teens aren't abnormally smart or socially aware - so i'll venture this fairly broad statement: teenagers are captivating. It's not going to be long till they're grown - and gone... and their teen years become a part of their accompanying, "silky soft sigh..."
I want to be friends with that piece of them too...
I want these to be years where they can bounce their newly forming thoughts off of someone who loves them. I want our conversations to be safe places to explore ideas and ideologies. I want to give them opposing arguments so that they can figure out their own heart as they wrestle (and sometimes struggle) through issues that are deserving of sincere contemplation.
I'm eager to see my little ones grow in 'wisdom and stature and favour with God and man'. And part of making sure that as a mama, I'm facilitating it happening - is by having conversations.
And here's where I tell you what happened today and maybe make myself look a little strange...
It was one of those one sided conversations that sometimes occur with teens. It was a crucial conversation that needed to be had, but it was uncomfortable - and hard. And so I spoke until my words ran out...
And then on impulse, I layed hands on the little woman who was  only murmuring in response. Instead of words of instruction - or forcing conversation (which incidentally works a whole lot better when there are two people taking part) - I just lifted her up to God. I prayed for her like I don't remember ever praying for another human being in my life ever. It was my best parenting moment of the day... (week? Year?)... Not heavy, just love. The words flowed as I prayed blessing over her life and our relationship.
Prayer? Is bringing someone bigger than yourselves into the conversation.
It was an instant reminder that this child is the workmanship of a Holy God who created her with a purpose and a plan in mind - and because it pleased Him to do so.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
(ephesians 2:10)
“You are worthy, O Lord our God,
    to receive glory and honor and power.
For you created all things,
    and they exist because you created what you pleased.”
(revelation 4:11)

And so, even in those moments - I gave her back - and I continue to give them back again and again and to trust the One who loves them a seemingly impossible amount when I acknowledge that He loves them even more than I do...

1 comment:

Heather said...

How absolutely beautiful. Just cane across your blog tonight. Must keep reading now... just had to stop and make that comment for a moment :)


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