I remember many years ago when I was participating in a Women of the Word Bible study, the speaker got up and said, “Why is it when you are raising your kids and they head into their teens we almost don’t like them and possibly want to disown them? Then, when we finally like them again, they live somewhere else and others get to enjoy them, not us?” Oh how I can relate to this statement.
Raising my kids was just like most families although I had the wonderful privilege of home-schooling them for several years, which I loved. We did so much together. I was all about getting into whatever they were interested in and since we lived on a huge farm there was so much to get into. I made mud pies with them. I hunted and fished with them. I built towns with sticks with them, collected chicken eggs with them, took in stray dogs with them (I don’t suggest that one though). We crafted, messed around with photography, got involved in 4H, soccer and whatever they wanted to do, within reason. It was so much fun until…ugh…those attitude years.
When they entered their teens going into the public school, which was also a good experience, making all sorts of friends, going to sleep over’s, having parties, always having youth group over, going to bon fires and starting to DRIVE; life became very different. Unfortunately they got tickets, ran over things in the pasture with the junky farm truck and they started developing something called an ATTITUDE.
When they developed this attitude, like they thought they knew everything, I remembered the Bible Study from years before. I kept saying, “I’ll re-like them one day.” Oh I never hated them and never stopped loving them; it was just a challenging time, as most parents can attest to when raising teens.
Now, they all live so far away and I long for them. I long to have coffee with my daughter Shannon or snuggle up on the couch with my daughter Emma or cast the fishing pole with my son Chris. Those things bring such joy to my heart. It’s not about going, going and going. It’s about the snuggle, the cup of coffee and the worm on the hook. It’s about the true blessing I have with each one of them. Going through those disconnected years, is worth every heartache, ever attitude I dealt with and every tear I’ve shed.
You people who get to hang out with MY KIDS regularly, I envy you. Let me tell you, you are in good company. They are precious and big-hearted and good kids. (Adults) and I miss them so. It reminds me that when I start to have an attitude, God never, ever has any remote feelings of dislike or disowning me.