Saturday, January 28, 2017

Little old ladies don't lie.

Hey Peeps—

Other than a giant white ball of Great Pyranees puppy snoring next to me, my house is quiet.  This is rare.    Jack and Faith are at youth group, and as much as I may regret my decision, I sent Billy and Will to Target for groceries.  Sending them together is never wise.  They are sure to come home with the following items that are not on the list:  candy, camping gear, televisions, and mentos+2 liter bottles of coke.  Sometimes you have to risk the family budget if it means you might get 30 minutes of quiet. 

A quiet house ranks very high on my list called, “The things I need most”.  Incidentally, a few other things that make the top 5 are:  1.face crème that erases lines, 2. A nanny/housekeeper, and 3. A bra that fits correctly.   Above all, a quiet house is gold to this mom, who is weary, discouraged, apprehensive, and longs for the days when our biggest battle was bathing all the children in one day without anyone pooping in the bathtub.   

Back when I was raising children under 10 years old, I used to think “man, this is so hard.   I’m always running around cleaning things up, and these kids are always sticky”.  I remember passing people in the grocery store, particularly little old ladies, who would say, “enjoy it now, it only gets harder” or “just wait until they are teenagers”.  I wanted to slap those ladies. 

Seriously.  What good does that do for a young mother to hear advice that is only making her feel like she’s not appreciating her children, and all she has to look forward to is watching them transform into demon spawn when they turn 13?  No wonder I went through my “Dreyers” phase during the early 2000’s.  Ice cream was the only way to cope.  Kinda still is.

As it turns out, the little old ladies were spot on.  This annoys me greatly.  Teenagers are…how can I say this without offending my children…well, they are unpredictable.  We currently have 2 kids who are full on teens, one who is a tween, and finally our almost 5 year old who speaks to me as if she is also living her teen years out now.  This giant combination of hormonal, moody, distracted, funny people make for quite a show.  Every day. 

Two weeks ago we went to a meeting with Jack, who is starting to face the process of applying for college.  During the meeting, while the speaker was listing all the tasks that lay before these 17 year olds, I noticed his pupils were dilated.  By the time we got home, he’d moved into full on panic and was barely able to fill out the online application for the ACT test.  Billy and I spoke to him in calm and soothing tones.  We reminded him he could go to Community College down the street.  We offered to make him popcorn.  We sat and supported him.  On the inside, we both felt even more distressed than he did. 

Billy and I keep looking at ourselves and wondering aloud, “How is it that we have raised a child that is looking into colleges?”  He was just buying a lego set at Target with his birthday money LITERALLY two weeks ago.  He doesn’t know how to do his own laundry.  He never puts his clothes on the hangers the right way.  He never remembers to use his inhaler, and he complains that he has to take a vitamin every day.  How is he going to survive AT COLLEGE?  This is a valid question people. 

As these questions remain on my mind, I begin to see Jack through new eyes.  The eyes of a mom who has to start letting him go.  The other day, I made the mistake of watching a dad and his young daughter sing, “You’ve got a friend in me” on a social media site and I began to bawl.  I texted Jack immediately while he was in class and said, “You may never leave home.  I will not allow it”.  He replied, “lol”. 

I have been talking big about letting my children go from Day 1.  None of this is surprising.   What does surprise me is that when the time comes to move on, Jack will be ready.   How do I say this with such confidence, after all my aforementioned concerns?  I know Jack will be ready to move on because Jack knows WHO he is.  He is a 17 year old person who knows his convictions, he knows his fears, and he lives with integrity.  He is becoming a man, right before our eyes.  That tiny, quiet, dark headed little newborn baby boy is over 6 feet tall, hilarious, skinny as a rail, and has already made this world a better place, just by being alive.  What a gift he continues to be.  Thank you God, for blessing us with a house full of life, challenges, joy, and 4 children who have made us who we are.  God is so good. 






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