I always thought the toddler stage of parenting was going to be the hardest. Always having to stay one step ahead, potty training, temper tantrums, sleeping with one eye open because [insert strong-willed child’s name] decides to become Picasso at 2 a.m. while everyone else is sleeping, using your gallon of kitchen paint to create artwork on the floors…..IF I CAN JUST MAKE IT THROUGH THESE YEARS I would say…
And then my oldest hit his teens. Well hello there, all new set of worries to keep me up at night! He’s not even driving yet and I am already anxious. Anxious about who his friends are, how he’s spending his time, if he’s happy, if I’m protecting his heart and his mind enough…but not too much, because you don’t want to push him away [ugh, can someone give me a copy of How To Survive The Teenage Years book??!].
I’m anxious because when he hit 13 all of a sudden I could hear a clock ticking. He’s becoming a man and I am running out of time to get it right. He’s listening to his peers more than his mama. He’s reaching for his independence, but how much do you give? He’s attracted to girls, but you know he’s not mature enough to handle those emotions yet. He’s becoming quiet, which makes it much harder for me to find out how his day went and if everything is okay. But I don’t stop.
I don’t stop asking questions about his life..even if I just get yes or no answers. I don’t stop having [awkward] conversations..even when I get no response in return. I don’t stop taking him to church..even if he grumbles out the door. I don’t stop, because he hears.
He hears that I care about his life when I ask him how his day went. He hears that I know what it’s like to be a teenager when we have [awkward] conversations. He hears that Christ is always the answer when we sit in the church pews.
So my prayer for my teenager is that over the next few years when he messes up he remembers where home is. Home is the church. Home is where mom is. I pray that when he gets lost…he always comes back home.
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7