Live with intent, take time, have patience and gain a new perspective. See how having a relationship with your teen can change both of your lives. Say goodbye to status-quo.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Junior Mint!

This is my Junior Mint! 
Isn't she a DOLL!? She started her Junior year yesterday,
and it went very smoothly. Even the whole lunch table thing worked
out JUST FINE. I must admit though it's difficult for me that things aren't 
as sentimental as they once were. I mean I'm a Mother of a 16 year old
with no other children, so I am typically sleeping now when she gets up 
and off for school. And her first day was no different. I felt guilty about it 
for like a second, because she rushed off anyway, 
"Bye Mommy, I love you, have a good day...."
and then she was gone! 
Usually we'd have breakfast together, and I'd take a few pictures, 
but things change I tell ya. And that isn't necessarily a bad thing--even though I've been feeling like it is.
It's just as simple as times change.
She is changing. 
Traditions change. 
Yes we made cinnamon rolls every morning the first day of school
since she was 4, but I guess it's different now.
Her boyfriend is picking her up and dropping her off and she's not
fussing over the" first day of school outfit". 
So I'll embrace these changes. I'll appreciate the new ones.
I'm thankful that she's a 16 year old that still shares how her day was with me, and that
she kisses me good bye every morning. 
I will choose to treasure that even though the other things missing are a loss for me.
I'm glad I have that choice.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Lunch Table

It was so interesting for me to listen to my daughter tonight. We went out to our favorite pizza place
as a toast to her starting her Junior year tomorrow.

As we started on our conversations during dinner, the "lunch table" got brought up. She randomly and surprisingly started sharing about how the lunch table is the most dreadful period. She assured me that it gets better sooner than later at least with time, but when it comes
to the first day of school, or even the first week, she absolutely hates it. I was so intrigued.

I asked her why in a surprising voice(I honestly didn't think kids this old still had issues with the "lunch table"). I mean I remember when I was that age with lunch time and how much I detested having to think about it, let alone figure out who I was going to sit with or WHO was going to be in my lunch! Remember that!?

Madelynn continued to explain that yes, it's still the most dreadful thing in school, this time of year; for
such reasons as:

-not knowing who will be in your lunch period
-who will you sit by
-the fact that the infamous table you are heading for might get snatched from underneath you
-what do you do if you have a boyfriend in your same lunch? Meaning do you sit with HIM or your girlfriends?
-kids that are in your hour right before lunch automatically have lunch with you, but you
don't necessarily want to sit with them at the lunch table

These were concerns and worries that are so real to my precious 16 year old! I felt for her so much. I literally reverted back to when I felt those same feelings in High School, and remember how scary it felt...the dreaded "lunch table".

It was mostly interesting to me because my daughter is so confident, and she knew a few people that would be in her lunch hour because she knew her schedule for the hour before lunch. But she still felt scared, and was not looking forward to the unknown outcome. I was also surprised because even though she is getting older and is maturing, and even though she is a leader in school amongst her peers, she still struggles with insecurities such as the "lunch table"---a place where I wouldn't have expected her to even think twice about.

I encouraged her and told her to stick to who she knows will be in her lunch, to plan ahead--
and for maybe one or two of them to go grab a table ahead of time, to at least secure a table,
and that the rest will come naturally. I told her it might be up in the air for the first few days,
but that if she approaches it with a positive attitude and confidence, and with a little team work,
then all would work out.

Here's my grown up little peanut eating some pizza before school starts tomorrow:

Thursday, September 1, 2011

She's Not My Friend

Spring Break 2010

Her Sweet 16 2011

After one of her plays in 2010

After one of her plays in 2009

A Fair in Michigan 2008

Streets of Milwaukee 2011

Mother's Day 2011

Michigan 2010

Streets of Hastings 2008

Vacation 2011

Family Reunion 2011

Ok, this isn't entirely true. But you'll see my point.

I'm an extremely reflective, authentic, intentional human being. I think we
were all created to be this way, but along the way nature/nurture messed
it up for us. Apparently not for me because I long for human connection,
I hunger for community and shared fellowship.

I have another blog called Contemplating Beauty, and over at that blog
I try to share with the world all that I think is beautiful. It could be from a
simple cup of coffee in the morning shared with a bird singing,
or it could be a smile from my teenager.
I find beauty in
EVERYthing. I can't help myself. It's how I see life and God's creation.

Something I've been reflecting on lately is how I've messed up quite a few times
when I've mistaken my daughter as my friend (and even her friends) as
my friend.
I can use the word "friend" loosely, and sure, my daughter is my friend
and her friends are my friends.
But she is not my friend first.

Of course the thought has occurred to me before, my daughter is 16, and
I am always hearing stories or being warned by people saying, (in a deeper voice)-
"Make sure you aren't friends with her first now ya hear, that's a mistake a lot
of parents are making these days, they want to be friends with their kids,
you have to be her disciplinary and her parent first."

For some reason when I was washing my hair tonight the thought again occurred to me--"Gee, I was trying to be her friend then" OR "Darn it, I shouldn't have shared THAT with her
that one time...."
It was highlighted to me the areas in where I did try to gain her friendship; such as
telling her about something in my marriage, or acting like I fit in with her friends by
jumping in on their conversations (

I believe it comes down to the fact that because I am a reflective person and I want
to keep growing and never become complacent that I think on such things as this.
If something doesn't feel quite right in a situation, conversation or happening, I
always always look back on it, contemplate, if you will, and search for what made it
feel "off". I dig deeper in essence, so I can bring something better, new, more mature, or
possibly even beautiful next time around.
In all my interactions, not just with my teenager.

I believe it is our responsibility as human beings to reach for this. To be aware of
where there might be some chaos brewing, or where we are missing the mark and remedy it so we can be more whole
people for the ones we love.

My daughter doesn't need anymore friends, she's got plenty, and their her own age!

I need to resist those times that I want to share certain things with her, or be a part of
her conversations with her friends.
I know being a young Mom can contribute to
some of this confusion. It's easier to cross the line for both of us. Because she has to
remember too that I am not her friend (first).