My Teenagers Are Pretty Awesome!!
I finished the book I was reading by Anne Lamott called, “Plan B – Further Thoughts on Faith” a couple of days ago. It was like saying good-bye to a new friend! Although, I have plenty of her other books to look forward to, I thoroughly enjoyed this one!
In this book on page 198 she says this about teenagers:
“They want people who will sit with them and talk about the big questions, even if they don’t have the answers; adults who won’t correct their feelings or pretend not to be afraid. They are looking for adventure, experience, pilgrimages, and thrills. And then they want a home they can return to, where things are stable and welcoming. I mean, how crazy can you get?”
Then she says in particular about her son: (I forgot to write down the page number)
“I am not here to be his friend. I’m here to be me, which is taking a great deal longer than I had hoped, and I am here to raise him to be a person of integrity and joy. Besides, the kid you know at home is only a facet of the child who lives in the world.”
THIS IS SO SO TRUE!!! So much of Anne’s book struck home with me. So I thought I would share these quotes. This has been my experience with my teenagers to some extent. I have had long talks with both of my children about the BIG questions in life which has given me insight into their minds. I am so thankful they feel comfortable enough to talk with me. I am not so naiieve to think they tell me everything though. I know they don’t, because just the other day they told me about some things they did many years ago that were harmless, but I was a little surprised. It was funny.
Even though I am still very much their parent since they are only 15 and 17, I can feel my son getting antsy to leave the nest. That’s okay. I am actually feeling okay about it and more ready than I thought I would be when this time came. He still has a lot to do to prepare for it, though, so I’m not sure it will come about as quickly as he is hoping for. We’ll see. Besides, once he IS gone, we will have a spare room to make ourselves an art studio/library!! 😉 That will free up a lot of the crowded room in our bedroom and living room where all that stuff is!
I think both of our children have learned to make good judgments about the friends they choose and other things that will affect them when they are finally out on their own. I believe they are always in God’s hands, I have done the best I can do with them, and He will guide them whether they are consciously following His lead or not. I know He did that in my life. I believe He has plans for both of them, but they will not come about without many trials and sorrows. Those times will be trying, but hopefully, they will learn and grow through them.
I love both of my kids with all of my heart, and they know this. My husband and I used to worry about how they will get through college. However, these days, I am not convinced any more that a child has to get a college education to be successful. I think it all depends on what they want to do in life. I believe they need to pursue their greatest interests and the areas they show the most potential or talent.
In my son’s case, this is writing. He has a wonderful imagination and is gifted in getting it across on the page! His English/Latin teacher loves him. In my daughter’s case, she is musically talented. She could learn any instrument she wanted to. Currently she plays the ukelele. She can do whatever I show her on the piano and remember it. She just doesn’t read music yet, but music seems to be her greatest interest. I hope she pursues it.
It seems that the world of academics doesn’t encourage students to pursue the areas of the arts as much as it used to. The music and acting classes, for instance, are usually the ones that get cut from a tight budget first. I find this sad since so many kids have these gifts to share. I never want to see my kids feel stuck in a job they hate just to “make a living.” However, I know this may happen. It happened to me!
My dad did not encourage my interest in writing when I was in high school. He told me to pursue another area where I could get skills to make a living. I pursued secretarial skills which I am now thankful for, but I spent eight years at a job in my 20’s that I ended up leaving, because I had topped out at my pay scale for my skills. So I left, went back to college, and found that I loved art, music, and teaching young children. Fortunately, I met my husband there and we were married and began a family. It is within our home that God has shown me what areas to pursue. Getting paid for my efforts is another story these days, although He has blessed me with some income for my artwork which I am thankful for! In fact, today my friend, Jill, purchased my last four “Danny Boy” horse cards. Thank you, Jill! I have faith to believe that God doesn’t gift us in areas that He isn’t prepared to bless us in.
My teenagers have taught me a great deal in the last couple of years. I am thankful for them every day. If you have teenagers, look past the temporary times of frustration, and love them for who they are right now. Try not to focus on their futures. Besides, they are responsible for themselves once they are out on their own. We have to let them fail at times; otherwise they will never learn how to get up and keep going! Just love them, teach them, and help them discover who they were born to be.