One of the greatest joys in life is becoming a parent. When you’re pregnant, everyone fusses over you and offers to help in the smallest of circumstances. When the baby is born, relatives that you never knew existed scramble to your home from the ends of the earth.
That baby soon grows to sweet toddler who just absolutely loves and adores you. There are lots of hugs and kisses, bedtime stories, and words that spout from a baby-talk fountain that just runs your cup over. These moments let you see the blessing set before you.
Mamas, hold on to those moments because the teenage years are coming.
One day you wake up and that baby is now in high school. You wonder where the little boy was that used to hold your hand and give you kisses as you walked him to the bus stop.
The teenage angst has become strong in this one.
He no longer asks for action figures and video games in the store anymore. He’s content just hanging out in his room reading a book and sipping on Pepsi Cola. He gossips with his friends about smells and sounds the human body makes, and giggles at the most ridiculous things known to man.
You may as well wear different t-shirts that say things like “Have you brushed your teeth?” and “Are your chores done?” because you can better believe that the simplest tasks that have happened every day for years in that child’s life will suddenly be forgotten.
You have to remember, Mama, that baby is growing up.
That young man hangs out in his room to decompress. He’s trying to figure out who he is, and have down time from the influence of other kids who just aren’t what he’s about. He talks to his friends because those are the people who are going through exactly what he’s going through, and they completely understand each other. He forgets the small stuff because his head is so full of the big stuff and big worries, and he just needs gentle reminders to push him in the right direction sometimes.
There are times when the big worries take over and he’s asking “Mama, what do I do?” Whatever this child discloses to you, don’t raise Cain about it. He wants to know he can come to you. He needs to know he can talk to you because no one else has the answers.
Cherish the times when he wants to hang out and watch a movie, or he wants you to cook his favorite meal. Include him in decisions that affect him, and give him a voice even if he is the child and you’re the parent. Talk about college all the time because it’s never too early to plan a future. Most importantly, take him to church. Teach him about Jesus and about a God who can change his life. Teach him that sinners sin, but God forgives even him when he does wrong.
Last but not least, tell him you love him every day, every chance you get. Say it even when you’re angry. The only important part of a sentence is what comes after the “but.” “You’re wrong in your way of thinking, but I still love you.”
Hold on tight, Mama.
One day, that little boy will be a man, and he will still have those days when he wants to come home to eat supper. As you’re sitting at that table saying the blessing, you’ll remember what a blessing he is in your life.
You’ll remember all the times when you wanted to give up, and you’ll thank God every day for every last one of them.
Lo, children are a heritage of the Lord: And the fruit of the womb is his reward.