Wednesday, August 15, 2007

THE MOTHER OF A TEEN-AGER?

This past Sunday, Shaggy made me the MOTHER OF A TEEN-AGER. I put it all in caps, because of the momentous-ness of the occasion. It's not just that Shaggy turned 13. It's that my job description has changed. Altered slightly might be more accurate.

I find myself looking at him and wondering how we got here. When did his adorable little bowl cut become a shaggy mop of beautiful blond waves? When did his pinch-able, chubby little cheeks become narrowed and thinned out, ready to begin the chiseling process of manhood? When did his sweet little voice stop singing "Happy, Happy, Happiness!" (from Sesame Street) and start rumbling and cracking while he beat boxes his way through his morning chores? When did he stop asking for "peanut, peanut butter . . . . and jelly!" (also sung from Sesame Street) and start making lunch for all of us every day without being asked?

But I'm also wondering when he stopped being reminded to read the Word every day and started spending time with Jesus all by himself. When did he stop looking at his friends for cues on how to behave and try to stand in what he knows is right? When did he decide that he could be strong and make it in the public junior high? When did he start memorizing the Word and lyrics to Christian music, to fill his head with those things instead of the junk around him? When did he figure out that although he doesn't always like the rules here, his job is to learn to submit to them right now? (That's an actual quote of his to a friend that didn't like the house rules. - Proud mama, I know!)

I'm feeling so blessed and overwhelmed by the young man he is becoming. I'm feeling completely undeserving of the Grace of God that has allowed him to grow up (thus far!) so well, many times IN SPITE of the stuff that The Boss and I do. We've made our fair share of mistakes, and will continue to do so, I'm confident. We are flawed. And I tell Shaggy all the time that this new stage of parenting is as new to us as becoming a man is to him. But we're partnering together to get through it and so far we've been able to keep our goal of glorifying HIM intact. We're working it out together as we go, trying (all of us together!) to become more like Jesus a little each day. But as I said, my job description has to change. I have to turn my focus now to preparing him to make choices for himself. I have to find ways to let go, loosen the reins, and allow him to experience graduated levels of freedoms that will put him in the positions to choose. And even more difficult that that, I have to choose to allow him to fail and be a safe place for him to come to when he does. Without judgement or condemnation. With love, guidance and acceptance.

OMIGOSH! I know this, I've been mentally preparing for it and praying about it for years. But now it's time to do it. And I think we're doing it okay so far. When I watch him from across the room, I can hardly see through my tears. He's so tall and handsome and strong. He's kind and tender-hearted and generous. He's becoming a godly man of integrity - I can see it even in its earliest forms. OMIGOSH! I am the MOTHER OF A TEEN-AGER, and I'm certain that I don't remember how we got here!

7 comments:

Melissa said...

You can't possibly be the mother of a teenager....you're only like ....what? 29? :-)

Heidi @ GGIP said...

How sweet. Thanks for your comment today. Your son sounds like a great kid.

pups n horses said...

I am confident that Shaggy can get you and the Boss through this next stage of parenting. Shaggy has done a great job of raising his parents, making the journey even easier for his brothers and sister(s). All I ask is that you take lots of notes so that you can share with those of us who aren't quite there yet.

Promises Fulfilled said...

That was so beautiful - I cannot believe that he is a teenager already! I pray that my son will also grow up to be a man of integrity.

Natalie said...

What a beautiful post for a beautiful kid. I have a feeling you are going to love being a mom of a teenager!

Classic MaMa said...

I'm sure you'll be the mom of a teenager with as much grace as you've been the mom of infants, toddlers, preschoolers, elementary kids, tweens and preteens. You do it well, as is shown by the son who loves you.

Episode One said...

although not entirely the same, i'm going through the transition from child to adult in my parents' eyes now that i've moved home from college. they still sometimes stumble when talking to me. they so desperately want me to stay young forever, and we struggle with the changes i've made in my life through four years away from them....i know all too well what you are feeling because i see it in my mother to this day....god bless you and your husband......i love reading your stuff...it really puts life into perspective sometimes.