It was 4:00 am and everything was quiet. All three of teens were asleep and I woke up to have some quiet time. Before I started reading, I got my usually glass of water, took my thyroid medicine, and as I’ve done since they were babies, surveyed the kids sleeping.
In a few short hours, I’d have them up and in the midst of our morning routine preparing them to get out the door and on the way to school. This day is special (and more challenging) because it’s the first day back after the holiday break. This morning needed to extra preparation. But before I started preparing and I gazed at each one of them. I whispered one thing…thank you.
Thank you for my babies who are now teenagers. Thank you for their giving hearts. Thank you for the people they have become. Thank you.
We survived that morning and after I dropped the kids off at school, my mind wandered back to my place of thankfulness. In the land of parenting, we don’t seem to stay in any one season for long. For now, I’m sharing this and am determined to soak it all in before it eases away.
What I Love, Admire, and Respect About This Season of Parenting
There is always someone to tattle. Yes friends, teens still tattle. And as a parent, I am ever so thankful for it. With three kids life gets busy, and sometimes I miss some stuff that I need to handle as a parent. In comes the benefits of those who tattle.
They don’t know life without each other. There is a 13-month difference between the oldest two and 18 months between number 2 and number 3. None of them can ever say “I remember being an only child” or how life was so great before their siblings arrived because they don’t remember it.
I have finally figured out a way to spend regular and consistent time alone with each child. This is probably the thing I am most proud of. I have read several articles on parenting over the years that talk about the value of spending time alone with each child and they have always left me frustrated. As a mom it’s been very hard to schedule and little bit guilt-inducing to spend time with only one child. Over the past year I’ve figured it out, mastered it, and I don’t feel guilty anymore.
Family and dinner discussions include fashion trends, scented fragrances, and accessories. Sometimes these discussions about trends make me feel nervous and raise my eyebrows, but for the most part they are interesting.
Household chores include making meals. We can officially say I’m preparing them to live on their own. We can unofficially say that some days I’m so tired that I don’t even remember we have a refrigerator, much less food in it. All three take turns with the food preparation and clean-up.
They have a consciousness that reminds me to “stay woke” about the injustices of the world. I’ll admit it. Sometimes the injustices of the world wear me down. They consistently remind me to advocate and fight for what’s right. Thank you, J. Cole.
They can get through to each other when I can’t. In many of our deep discussions I try not to say too much. I’ve found that the minute I say something, that one thing is met with a different interpretation of what I initially meant. Oftentimes though, a sibling can get through in ways that I can’t and says it far better than I would.
Sibling code, grandparent code, cousin code. As much as I’d like to say that the kids talk to me about everything in their lives, I know they don’t. I am thankful for the relationships they have with my parents, their cousins, and each other to bounce ideas off of.
They are actively exploring and defining spirituality. Last year I was terrified when one of the teens asked about atheism. Since then, I’ve encouraged them to develop their own relationships with God and I’ve modeled my own quiet time with God. I don’t expect them to be where I am on their spiritual journeys, but I know they are headed in the right direction.
They aren’t afraid to ask questions. This can be hard, because sometimes the questions are tough. Whenever they do ask the tough questions, I pause and remember to be grateful for the fact they chose me to ask those questions of.
Bonus: They have an appreciation for the 80s and 90s hits from my teen and young adult years.
Double Bonus: We watch “20/20,” “What Would You Do?,” “Shark Tank,” and “Bob’s Burgers” together every week.
What season of parenting are you in? What are you thankful for about it?