I mentioned a while back that Pam and I would be talking more about where we are at with our kids. It’s new territory for us to be parenting teens and young adults. This year especially. We both have 17 year old girls who are in their grade 12 year. We are up to our ears in post-secondary plans, dream chasing, decision making. And while it’s super exciting, it’s not always happy discussions that are taking place. The idea of moving on from high school can be seriously daunting!
One thing I love about Lexi is that she’s never been in a rush to grow up. She’s smart enough to know that there are going to be many years ahead that are filled with responsibilities and all that other adult stuff! She has completely loved these years of school…the friends, the volleyball team, school spirit…it’s been an awesome experience for her.
We are now at the place though, where decisions need to start being made. For Scott and I it is a real challenge to find that ever elusive balance of pushing her/distancing ourselves the right amount. Pushing her might sound all wrong..and maybe I haven’t used the best words. Distancing doesn’t sound right either. What I’m trying to explain is that it’s hard to know when we should allow her to pursue her post-secondary dreams on her own, and when it’s a good moment to offer advice. When to help her exert her independence and when to inject encouragement in the moments where she’s tentative to put herself out there.
It’s kinda neat that Pam and I are both able to experience this at the same time and be able to share many navigating moments simultaneously. While our girls passions and directions may differ, a mom’s desire for her daughter is pretty similar: We want them to be able to do whatever they want…to believe in themselves and not let fear get in the way of going after their passion!
There are other changes that have also come fast and furious. One of the the greatest/freakiest things that’s happened in a long time is Lexi getting her license. Great because the logistics of getting everyone where they need to be just became exponentially easier. Freaky on two counts: First, it’s just a huge leap and I worry for her safety and secondly, how on earth can Scott and I be old enough to have a child who can legally get behind the wheel? In my head, we are still in our early 30’s…how did we surpass that by a decade? Again, Scott and I find ourselves searching for the right balance of independence and boundaries/rules/curfews. It’s a huge jump and while there’s a manual for the car, there isn’t one for the person driving it..or her parents.
And so, we find ourselves in a stage of both excitement and some apprehension. A part of me wants desperately to press pause on the clock. Of course there are rocky moments (anyone watch my snapchat yesterday night?!?), but it is so fulfilling to have meaningful relationships with our teenaged kids…ok, Lincoln is only 12 but he’s on the cusp. To be able to spend time together truly enjoying each other’s company isn’t a given. We feel grateful. At the same time, I’m also acutely aware that this is where the rubber hits the road with how we have parented. Have we taught Lexi, Nina and Lincoln well? And my hope that the areas we need to make adjustments on could be made clear. I’m so often amazed at how different all three kids are and thus, our parenting has to accommodate that. Prayer. There’s a lot of that.
Kinda feel like I just threw out a bunch of my thoughts….all these things that are on my mind…and would love to hear your feedback. How have you navigated through these stages of growing kids? What was the balance for you? How involved were you in helping your graduating kids make decisions for the future? I know many of you have some serious wisdom…share it ok??
PS Ironic that today is Lexi’s 17th birthday?? That’s timing….Happy Birthday Lexi..we love you!
Photos taken by Kyla Ewert (thank you, Kyla!)