Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Talking

We have changed things up yet again around the Weldie household. The kids are back on the bus in the morning. The decision was initially made due to a schedule conflict this week. But, Joe and I were talking and thinking that we are going to use the bus for the remainder of the school year, which is only 30 days according to Eleanor who has been counting down and announcing that every morning. We are doing this for several reasons, but one of which is simply that the sun is up, and so should we be also.

I find that waking up early has huge benefit. I find no excuse to not be in the Word after the kids get on the bus. The house is quiet and the hour is still early. I also get to my chores that much earlier, which of course results in having a cleaner house earlier each day. That leads to fun times with Lincoln and Gunnar outside and then time solely focused on the older kids when they get home. All good stuff.

Also, George has matured since November. He was struggling with another little boy on the bus. And part of the problem was George and how he simply does not understand the social rules of mid-west America. Now, he is getting closer.

So, this morning is Show Choir rehearsal morning for Eleanor which means she does not ride the bus, but rather catches a ride with our neighbor. We have about half an hour between the kids getting on the bus and the ride catching and today, we simply sat at the kitchen table and talked.

It was a sweet time. I looked at my beautiful thirteen year old daughter wearing a Brewers t-shirt and sporting a pony tail, and marveled at how amazing she is. And I realized how crucial this half an hour was in a young woman's life. Eleanor often tells me how most 7th grade girls at her school talk so negatively about their moms. The girls talk about how "stupid" mom is, how "unfair and mean" mom is. It almost makes me cry when I hear it; and Eleanor just doesn't understand it.

When does that disconnect happen? When do moms and daughters start to find themselves on opposite sides of the field? Why does our culture seem to tell young women that it is the right thing to do?

This morning, Eleanor and I giggled, we hugged, and we spent time complimenting each other. I know that sounds kind of corny, but I have found that I really need to acknowledge all the things that Eleanor is doing well. And, she in turn, needs to focus on the things that Mom is doing well. It is good for our relationship to think about the GOOD things.

Moms, don't buy into the world's message that teenager daughters (and sons, for that matter) need to be rude, heartless and crude. I have an amazing relationship with my two oldest kids; Eleanor and I can sit and talk for hours about anything, and Harry will come to me with his deepest thoughts and feelings without embarrassment (usually late at night when the others are asleep).

Believe me, I am not naive enough to think that we have figured out the secret to raising teenagers; after all, we are JUST getting into the game. With two in middle school next year, I find myself entering a totally new stage in parenting. No longer are answers black and white; much of our parenting with them takes much more mental and emotional thought. But, I am trusting on Jesus.

Parenting, no matter what the situation, is impossible without Jesus. Having George in my life taught me to "pray on the spot" with and for my children. There have been times where we have been walking through WalMart, the kids all fighting with each other where we have huddled in an isle and said a quick prayer. Some may look at us and laugh, but I trust in Christ, not in the current culture which pits mom against tween. The Word says to turn to God about everything in prayer.

So...this seems like a rambling mess....but the bottom line is that I had a sweet talk with my thirteen year old today, and I am looking forward to millions of more sweet talks with her, even through these teen years.

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