When we had four small children – ages 6, 4, 2, and baby or ages 7, 5, 3, and 1, or…any age, really – people liked to say, "Oh, wait until they're teenagers."
What people were saying is, "She's going to be a sassy one!" "He's going to be rebellious," and "Watch out for the boys – they'll swarm around that one."
Nobody said what's true about teenagers.
Our children are now 17, 15, 12, and 9.
On January 13th, I will have three teenagers, so I can say with confidence that it's not true that she'll be sassy or he'll be rebellious or that the swarming boys will be a problem.
I love having teenagers. I'll write on that someday soon, I hope. But today, I'm getting out a few thoughts as they come to me (forgive the scattered brain).
I've been blogging for so many years I don't really know the truth. I found an old blog of mine that goes back to 2004, but before that I had a wee little website called Treasures Planted, where I sold herbs and herbal gifts (like dream pillows) and where I "updated the site regularly" (later called "blogging").
That means I have blogged my 9-year-old daughter's entire life. She doesn't know what it's like to not having a blogging mother. Even my 17-year-old wouldn't remember mom without a website or a blog.
That's okay with me. I'm so glad I have this online journal. I've never let it come before them, so there are no regrets.
But there is less time now.
In the past two years, I have discovered what nobody ever told me about teenagers: They take time. Since I want teenagers who love each other, who help out, who do not sass me or Daddy, who work hard, who bring honor to the family, and who know right from wrong and good friends from bad, I have to put lots and lots and lots of time into them.
To have teens like that, I am:
- available for late night chats — even at 2 am sometimes.
- there to say "get up," when one is being more lazy than tired.
- taking them swing dancing, to bonfires, to the mall, to the movies, to the bookstore, to Starbucks — because I want them to be with friends; I want them to know how to deal with people.
- hosting their best friends, the ones I'd adopt in a second if I could, because I want them to be with good friends who are good influences
- driving them to their passions and interests: him, Police Explorers and Civil Air Patrol and a new job; her, ballet lessons and drama
In a little over a month, I'll have another teen. Our second son, our third child, will turn thirteen and I will do all those things above for him as much as I do for the other two, because I want him to be a good teenager, too.
I never thought I'd actually wish for baby days occasionally, but there are many days when I wish they'd have a naptime again, or a 7pm bedtime. But, as with that season, when I accepted the inevitable diapers and messy faces, I accept that sleep is for next season. This season is for shaping the next generation.
And that's why it's so hard to blog these days. I was on here tonight, to find ways to blog while mobile, on my iPhone. I find it easy to Instagram and to stream photos to Flickr. Facebook posts are easy to keep up with, too, but blogging requires me to sit at the computer and —- uh, when?
So that's where I've been lately. I still need this blog – it ground me, and it records my life – so I'm going to try to figure out how to blog while mobile. That means, for this season, my posts may be of photos more than written in text, but, for this season, I'm pouring into four children who don't take naps or go to bed early.
Thank you for being there ~