Looking at the calendar this morning, I was surprised to realize I haven’t written or posted a thing in well over a month. All I could think was, I’m sure glad I don’t try to earn a living off this gig…life is simply too full of derailments!
The day of my last post, we got word from the governor of Oregon that gatherings of 250 or more were banned. Over the next week and a half we watched our freedoms drop away at a frightening speed…no gatherings of more than 25…10…none outside of one’s home. Churches shut down and businesses were shuttered. Those many days had us on pins and needles, wondering about our own businesses and the people who work for us.
This week I’ve been musing on the raising of teens and just what a dangerous endeavor it can be. I suppose parenting in general, really. It’s this seemingly never-ending cycle of need and rejection that starts in infancy, cruises along, and really hits its stride in the preteen or teenage years.
Teens are funny creatures. No longer children, yet not quite adults, they reel you in with need and vulnerability, firing off every nurturing mama-nerve you possess. When one’s baby is struggling, it’s a visceral response that comes out. We want to help. We want to offer wisdom. After all, we have a lot more life experience to draw from.
So we start momming.
In my last post I wrote a grand set up for this 2019 Beautiful Truths #4, and now I find that I’m struggling to put words to it. In my attempts to narrow down and actually define this truth, I have lots of words and phrases that run through my head.
My beautiful truth #4 of 2019 actually started a couple of years prior, so I thought I’d write a post to segue into it, rather than try to cram it all into one epically long post.
When I decided to jump back into the blogosphere, part of the deal I made with myself was to stop obsessing over every post. As a recovering perfectionist, I do tend to obsess at times, and with my writing it manifests as going over a draft multiple times, finding just the right words, the right pictures, changing words and formatting and just generally tweaking. One post could take me hours to get just so.
Few creatures are as vicious and unpredictable as the human teenage female. While homeschooling can offset some of the stereotypical teenage behavior issues, it is not a magic bullet, nor does it negate normal human crappiness. As my youngest was entering the high school class in our homeschool co-op, I was disheartened by the goings on in her peer group. There were friendships that had imploded, hormonal angst ran rampant, and just plain mean-girl shenanigans were happening.
I almost threw up the first time I clicked the publish button on my blog. The thought of putting my writing out into the world for anyone to read and to criticize or worse, to ignore, was utterly terrifying. But all the blogging gurus assured me that if I did all the right things, I would have a sizable tribe in no time.
All I had to do was call myself a writer, write and post insightful and entertaining content every day, make sure my grammar was correct and my formatting pleasing, reach out to like-minded writers, watch my stats and trends to determine the very best time each day to post, etc. etc.
Piece of cake, right? Hah!
I actually wrote this piece several years ago. Today my son turns 20. Twenty. No longer a baby, no longer a boy scout, a dancer, or a teenager. He is really and truly a man, and I couldn’t be more proud of him.
So take heart, my mama friends who struggle with kids who learn differently, kids who stretch you, who baffle you, who make you doubt your ability to do this momming gig. Our Father’s got them. And in His time, they will turn out to be far more than you dare to imagine…
Better Than I Imagined
My finger was bleeding. As I watched the crimson bead form on my fingertip I wished, not for the first time, that I was more skilled with a sewing needle. I reflexively put the injured digit in my mouth and looked down at the size 10 men’s ballet slipper resting in my lap. I had to get the elastics on before my son’s next lesson. Resuming my work, I smiled as I thought of all that had led to this rather surreal moment. My son, the ballerina?
My last nerve was exposed and raw, just waiting for a spark that would ignite it like the fuse on a stick of dynamite. When my daughter entered the room in tears, the match was lit.
We’ve been in the middle of rehearsals for a theatrical production and the choreography wasn’t turning out as she’d hoped. The grand visions in her head simply weren’t panning out in the sphere of reality and as a result, she felt stuck and unable to continue.
This sweet, smart, sensitive daughter of mine is my polar opposite in many ways. Most notably, she is emotionally expressive, while I am not. My daughter and I have a major disconnect in this area, and as I said, on this particular day I was already operating with the last nerve ready to be tweaked.
For the most part, I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions. They feel too much like rules to me and the world has quite enough of those, thank you very much. However, there is one thing I have challenged myself to do every year for some time now. Every year I fail, yet I look forward to trying again each January as I turn to a fresh page in my notebook.