Monday, April 23, 2012

Teenage Blessings




What a weekend!  Four performances of Guys and Dolls plus a Trace Adkins concert!  I have a new album and a Broadway soundtrack on my iPhone.  And I'm exhausted today. 

My oldest told me this weekend that he doesn't want to return to college next year.  Fortunately I was able to speak with him like the adult that he is (as opposed to losing my mind which is my usual reaction) and I think we've come up with a plan for him that involves community college and a lot of soul searching. 

I'm actually very proud of him for thinking through all of this before he came to us.  At the same time I'm frustrated with him because he loaded up his schedule this semester with really hard courses (ignoring my advice not to do that) and then screwed around so that he's in danger of losing his scholarship.  It's okay though, his sister did the same thing 20 years ago when she was in college and we lived through it and she managed to graduate and turn into a wonderful woman.  We'll get through this as well. 

While I was frustrated with #1 son, I was thrilled with numbers 2 and 3 as they showed their leadership skills during the spring play season.  #3 son (by 21 minutes), acted as stage manager and was able to keep everyone sane and working in spite of their being...well...teenagers.

#2 son was able to keep the sound going in spite of a very loud air conditioner and people challenges so that all of the players could be heard on stage and no one drown out anyone else.  And this isn't easy considering they only have 6 mics and there were usually about 20 people on stage at one time.

And the hubs and me?  Well we just ran around all weekend, cooking, making things, shopping, cleaning and doing laundry.  Basically what we do every weekend - just turned up a notch.

Yesterday evening as we left the final show and had hugged it out with all the kids and teachers I had to sit back and just...sigh.  We are so blessed to have these three wonderful children (at home) who have chosen the most amazing young people as friends.  Kids that are aware but unaffected by 420 (which had to be explained to me...by them - I guess everyday was 420 in the 70's).  Kids that get involved and stay involved and have personal relationships with their teachers, mentors and advisors.  Kids that care about the world and each other and actually want to make it a better place and not just exist and become a drain on society.

Of course these kids, including all six of mine, are not perfect.  They have challenges and struggles and issues but they manage them, lean on one another and reach out when they need help.  They take advantage of the network of adults they have managed to cultivate and so, for now, they haven't fallen prey to drugs and alcohol and have kept busy with school and activities to keep those particular wolves at bay.

Am I naive?  Probably a little.  But so far my youngest children and their friends are all still okay.  I pray everyday that they stay that way.  Plus I stay so far up their behinds that I can see through their eyeballs. 

I'm naive people...not stupid.

In all four years of high school I never went to one drama production, never went to one football game, never participated in one club.  I didn't go to prom.  I was too busy working and earning money to help support my family.  Too busy being too old and taking care of every thing and every one else. 

My parents were also too busy.  Too busy with their own self-absorbed lives to notice their own children and their needs.

My sister quit high school at 16, got married and had her first child by the time she was 17.  She is still an active alcoholic and drug addict.

I was out of the house and married two weeks after graduating high school.  I had already started smoking and drinking by this time as well.  25 years later I quit smoking.  35 years later I quit drinking and entered recovery for alcoholism. 

I used to pray, often, about the day when my own children would be in high school and would be free to do what they wanted to do.  Free to get involved.  Free to grow and stretch their minds.  Free to be kids.  And I prayed that I would be present and involved and loving and caring and so far up their behinds that I could see out their eyeballs.

Nice to know that God was listening...even when I thought He wasn't.

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  • Parents spend 40% less time with their children today then they did a generation ago.
  • 1 out of 5 teens has not had a conversation with their parents that lasted 10 minutes in more than a month.
  • 9 out of 10 teens say it would be easier for them to avoid sexual activity if they were able to have more open conversations with their parents.
  • 98% of mothers and 90% of fathers hugged their children ages 0 to 2 years of age daily, compared to only 74% of mothers and 50% of fathers who hugged their children ages 10 to 12 years of age.
  • Every thirty minutes in America - 29 kids will attempt suicide, 2,795 teenage girls will become pregnant, and 22 girls will get abortions.
  • 3 comments:

    1. Yeah we've got to 'stay on the bridge' which is a phrase coined by a parenting expert here in New Zealand. I'm sure the reason Mr D is so grounded and lovely and sorted is because his parents stayed very present and engaged in his life right through high school and beyond. Great parenting there, for sure and I'm the lucky recipient of all their hard work. Great also to get more of a sense of you big busy loving family. Cheers ..xxx

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    2. Sad to read about your sister... I hope she too finds her way to recovery and sobriety one day. Though I'm so grateful that YOU have found sobriety and your way back into living life AND being the wonderful mother that you are *hugs*

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    3. Blessed as a family, blessed individually, and understanding the blessings which have been showered upon us....we know that HE leads the way, and that we only have to listen and follow!!!

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