Everyone knew it was coming, everyone expected it and nobody was surprised…except me. I have two soon-to-be teenage daughters. They have lost their minds as soon-to-be teenage daughters will do. They know absolutely everything, it is amazing. Yesterday they barely knew how to tie their shoes and today they have all the answers. Just ask them, they’ll tell you. In their minds, all the wisdom of Solomon was instantly and completely bestowed on them overnight. I would not be at all surprised to hear them moaning under their breath that there was nothing new under the sun.
It is a little frightening to be honest. I feel as if I am constantly in pursuit of what is going to happen next. I am the parenting equivalent of 24’s Jack Bauer (I just started watching Season 1 of that show by the way, it’s cool). There are prepubescent boys with wondering eyes whose lives I want to threaten, school friend girl drama that I don’t begin to understand, mom/dad boundaries that we dare not cross (hugs at school are officially off limits!), not to mention hormones coming into play, homework that is starting to confuse me, millions of incoming phone calls that are dire emergencies, and trips to places with friends that I am not invited to. Steam will eventually be coming out of my ears if it is not already.
How do I keep it all in check? Am I meant to keep it all in check in the first place? At what point are the reins too tight and when do I need to give them a good yank? Where the heck did I leave that instruction manual?
I have made many mistakes and all around me I see those same mistakes being made and even amplified by the society we live in. I want us to be different, set apart even, but that is the last thing that a teenager wants to be, so how do I impress on them my values without being that overbearing parent that forces his children into rebellion? How do I bring the changes that Christ has made in my life into the life of my family when maybe they feel that they are just fine right where they are?
It’s a puzzle. I love puzzles but this one seems overwhelming. I love my kids to death and only want the best for them. I want to lead them in a way that honors God and brings glory to him. I want others to look at us and see the light of Jesus. My wife is awesome, my kids are awesome, together we are awesome, can we maintain our awesomeness?