My son is “growing like a weed” as they say. His twelve and a half year old self has grown several inches in just a few months. Suddenly, he’s just 3 inches shy of me! And my daughter, still tiny at 14, is making leaps and bounds emotionally. Getting ready to head to high school in the Fall, she suddenly seems so independent, capable, and competent (all the things I wanted her to be, of course, but already?! …). They’re both navigating through some growing pains physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Not to be left out of the party (I am the one who went back for Invisilign when my kids both got braces), I realized I’m going through some of my own growing pains. At first I resisted, saying to myself that I was just being silly getting so wrapped up in noticing all of these CHANGES in my kids. That wasn’t working so well. Just shy of a few meltdowns, I realized that it was going to be easier to pause, take a look around life, feel good about how far we have all come together as a family, reflect on how much goodness there has been to this point, and then celebrate (instead of being so afraid of) moving forward.
And I have to say this approach has been so much easier. Parenting teens is hard enough; I didn’t need the added layer of dread that comes with resisting what’s going to happen anyway. The adventure of parenting is always exciting because it’s ever changing. One thing remains the same … I’m never sorry when I pay attention to what’s going on in their worlds. And I’m still excited when they want to share the latest that’s going on in their lives … I don’t think I’ll ever outgrow that!
As they say, no pain, no gain … and there’s a lot to gain still.
No matter what stage of life you’re in, growing pains can be a huge blessing that remind you of all the good life has served up and all the good that is still to come.
Read It: By Regina Brett … this is a great, easy read by a columnist from Cleveland who has a sense of the practical that I love.
God Never Blinks: 50 Lessons for Life’s Little Detours
Do It: Check in to see what you’re resisting. Are you stopping yourself from moving forward?
Think It: “You’ve got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was.” Irish Saying