Hello teen years. Again.
I had forgotten so much about you. I thought when I was finally fitting in a whole six hours of rest after 20 plus years of sleeplessness that I would feel permission to close my eyes again at night.
But we have opened those hours to long conversations with you. Heart to hearts. And when the talking is over and we lay our head on our pillows, we pray. We talk to God about you.
When you were a baby I knew you would grow. I taught you more with actions and loved you with more than my heart could even hold.
And then slowly, I began letting go. Maybe my grip seemed softer, but my prayers grew stronger.
The day you learned how to ride your bike…that was the first moment I remember watching you live strong without me. Your feet were peddling faster than I could keep up with. You pushed those pedals with wobbly feet day after day, and I held on. Just as I had promised you I would. I held on until you “out peddled me” and never looked back. You fell a few times. You thought it was my fault. I took the blame because I didn’t want to shake your confidence, but at the end of the long drive, I watched you turn the corner and keep going and I knew you were going to be ok.
Those were the days of bumps, bruises and band-aids and I enjoyed a few more nights of rest, because I knew you were also sleeping deep and exhausted from your long adventurous days. You had a few nightmares and still came to the edge of my bed, with some brave tears. Afraid to fall back to sleep, thinking your bad dream would be on the other side of your closed eyes, you would ask me to hold you, pray with you and tell you that God is bigger than any bad thing in this upside down world. Your bad dreams went away as we talked about beautiful, wonderful things. Happy things. I knew you were safe as you slept and when the sun rose the next morning, your feet would take you onto a new adventure.
Hello teen years. I still do not understand why the world tells us that we will never be prepared for you. I saw you coming and all of that letting go beforehand? You were just getting me ready for the grandest adventure of selflessness I would ever live and tell about. Most likely.
You are humbling me and reminding me that the heart speaks stronger than the mind when you are a teen. I remember you now. The dreaming and planning and the not understanding the rules.
But, now I am a parent and the letting go is hard, because I am keenly aware that you are not just riding your bike to the edge of the curb and back. I will not be the one to bandage your hurts or to soften your fears. It will not be me, but I still want to remember what you are thinking and feeling so that I can understand how to parent you well.
We all need wisdom right here and now. As soon as you took your first cry, I realized that wisdom was supreme. Not a manual or a how to book. No, I need wisdom from Above.
I remember how to think like a teen now.
I remember the feelings and the emotions that were so strong that they seemed like the only truth I ever needed to believe.
And this is what my heart remembers needing to hear:
I am listening. You want me to listen.
I am trusting. You want to prove that you are almost there. All there. All grown up.
I am watching. You are making big decisions with every fiber of your being.
I am loving. You are pouring your heart into everything that matters to you and more. You have so much to give.
I am afraid. And so are you. Of failing, of the future and facing your fears.
Really, we are in this together, you and I.
I remember what it is like to be a teenager and it is hard.
But, the most important thing?
I am always here and the advice I give to you will be wisdom from Above.
Not my opinions. Not my emotions and not my fears.
Hello teen years. If you don’t need me, will you seek Jesus even more?