Right out of the gate, I’m going to make a disclaimer: I am having the hardest time doing just what the title of this piece says. Why would you want to read a blog when the author admits from the first sentence she can’t do what she’s trying to inform you about? You pour a cup of coffee and sit for a few minutes with a fellow parent who is having an unusually hard time watching her babies grow up, and realize that all of us parents are walking through this difficult time together. This is why we were always meant to do life together in community, because I am most literally crawling on the coattails of those who have walked this season before me. My oldest child is about to start his senior year of high school. Just for information, he’s not a baby, he’s 17 years old and towers an entire foot taller than me, but in my eyes he’s still 18 months old and he’s my heart walking around outside my body. This parenting thing is so much harder than you think. So, how can we help our kids navigate this season of teenage to adulthood (and beyond) and help ourselves not lose our minds and hearts in the process? It is something we have to take one step at a time, one day at a time. Obviously I don’t have it figured out, but I have been handed some great advice that I’m working with. We can try it out together.
Not an expert, trust me. I’m just redistributing excellent advice I’ve been given and things I’ve learned as a parent (mostly the hard way).
I still watch them sleep and gaze at them, always in awe that God chose me to be their Mom. That will never change. As they sleep, they look a little bit like they did when they were smaller, still just as beautiful, still my babies, no matter how much taller they grow. Whether your kids are grown and have kids of their own, or your baby is still in the womb, our role as their parents will never change. How we parent them, how we relate to them changes as they change. And that love you have for them, the one that consumes you at times, yeah it keeps growing. It never stops, and we never stop finding new ways to show them and tell them just how much, even though they don’t fully understand a love like that. But they will. The day their own baby looks up at them and then, that light bulb turns on and they look at us through different eyes. The eyes of a loving parent.
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