So yesterday I posted about Daniel’s sweet little “thank you” that was music in my ears. Today I give you some music for your ears, but first I want to give a shout out to parenting my sweetie Abby.
Abby’s had one of those weeks she sometimes has. No, it’s not a bad week, just an insufferably busy and pressure-filled one. Such is the life of an actress, I suppose! Actually, I think it’s just the life of a teenaged girl. I have friends with teen girls and they tell me of similar weeks.
The teen years are hard on parents. I’m not going to lie to you. My kids have been relatively easy, but even so I’ve needed to just pack my bags a few times and run away. Seriously. I did. With my husband’s permission and blessings, of course.
Teens don’t require your attention every minute and they can and should do a lot of stuff for themselves. The physical demands put on parents of teens are decidedly fewer than those imposed on say parents of preschoolers. But emotional, oh my, don’t get me started.
Oh, you think I’m talking about the teens being emotional? No, no, no, sweetie. I’m talking about how emotionally wringing it is for a parent to raise a teen. They jerk your emotions up and down and all around. One minute you’re soaring and the very next you get a telephone call that completely deflates you. And, once again, I’m not talking about major problems. I’m just referring to the angst of realizing that your parenting days are nearing an end and realizing you didn’t get to everything on your lesson plans! He’s 19 and left the house to go live in another city and we never got around to _______________________. You’ll fill that blank in with a dozen things you meant to do and never did. She’s 16 and we were going to __________________ but now she’s too busy. And I thought by now he’d __________________ but he doesn’t. Or I was hoping by now she’d see that ___________________, but no. You want so much for them, but it’s not all up to you. There’s a lot of letting go involved and letting go is oh so hard.
But enough of my whining. I’ve really thoroughly enjoyed my kids during their teens. In fact, they’ve been my very favorite parenting years. And Wednesday is a good example of why.
Abby had a dentist appointment in Tucson, Wednesday. That’s a little over an hour drive each way. We each brought our IPods and she toted along geometry homework, but we actually spent the entire trip talking. Real talking. Not fussing, not whining, not sulking, and not lecturing. Conversing. We talked about deep things and two centimeter shallow things. We laughed and contemplated and agreed and disagreed (politely) and remembered and anticipated and … just talked. Bliss.
I’m not one of those parents who tries to be my kids’ best friend. I’m the mother and I make no bones about it. But I am one who tries to keep communication open and emotions in check so there will be room for friendship on an increasing basis as we slowly but surely approach the day when they are truly on their own. And days like yesterday serve as a window into what I hope to have in full force some day. A true friendship with my kids.
At any rate, that drive to Tucson was a blessing. It doesn’t happen every time Abby and I get in the car, especially when she’s been having “one of those weeks.” But I specifically asked God that morning if we could please have a pleasant day of it, and He evidently said yes. Thank you, Lord. Thank you for the moments that really count. The ones that seem to count even as we’re experiencing them and the ones that we find out later counted all along, even though we didn’t know they were even paying attention.
I’m not a huge fan of Taylor Swift, but I heard this song yesterday and it became the bow on top of an already wonderful day with my daughter. I hope it will encourage you too. Get out the Kleenex!
Here’s to good days!