Monday, October 23, 2006

In His Hands

My blog sat quietly this weekend while we were out of town visiting some dear friends. We got together to celebrate the birthdays of Anne-with-an-e and our friends' middle daughter. The girls are, respectively, 13 and 12. We all had such fun. The kids played laser tag (this was a completely new experience for us ... who knew my girls were little commandos?), exchanged gifts, made a movie (in which Betsy was a princess who had been switched at birth with a poor girl), outfitted Ramona with dress-up combos involving many sequins, and there was much Coldstone Creamery ice cream involved. Need I say more?

Just two things more.

First, Ramona's comment at Mass yesterday: after Holy Communion, she said a prayer. I asked her what she had prayed and she said, "It's all to Jesus now."

Second, I am now the mother of a teen. It would seem that this fact is supposed to inspire dread, if one can believe societal hoopla. But I don't feel dread. If you're the mother of a teen, and you feel compelled to say, "Oh, just wait!" I ask you to please be gentle with me. I realize that I may be quite naive, and I also realize that in the last 13 years of mothering, I've seen that all of my best parenting happened before I actually had a child. Most of my theories, philosophies and absolute truths about children have been laid to rest, one by one. The reality of these little people, made in the image and likeness of God, shattered all previous beliefs. As they have grown, I have become a new creation: a new mother, a new person, a new philosopher. They have shown me a new kind of "best parenting." It's a rockier path than I thought it would be, but a far more rewarding one, too.

And, I look forward to the rewards continuing as we embark on these teen years. I'm excited by the possibilities, the vistas before us. I have always said that "every age is my favorite age." I loved them with an ache when they were babies; I adored them as toddlers; I revel in the fun of preschool wisdom and 10-year-old tea parties. And, I love that my first baby is a teenager and that we are walking a new path together, as we always have.

And what of the dread?

Hmmm. I keep going back to Ramona's prayer:

It's all to Jesus now.


Liz said...

I used to have other mothers of teenaged girls tell me how much they hated the teen years. My social worker sister-in-law told me about the horrors of 15. After a very lovely year with a fifteen year old I informed my daughter that she'd had her one shot at being a horrible 15 and now it was over and she'd missed it. Actually the year she was 15 she was very involved in doing RCIA (she joined the Church as she was turning 16). Her teenaged years were a time of exploring life and faith with a wonderful daughter and wonderful friend. Fifteen may have been one of my very favorite ages. Having known some other lovely homeschooled teenaged girls, I know that my experience is not unique (although mine is the only one I know that chose to come into the Catholic Church as a teenager). I hope that you and Anne have a great 13.

Jennifer said...

Happt Birthday to your daughter and comgratulations to you for making it this far! :) My parenting worries, too, have proven to be much time wasted. I hope that the teen years with your daughter are a wonderful time for everyone.

Margaret in Minnesota said...

An absolutely beautiful post. It fits right in with the "theme" of the day!

PS. Give "Anne-with-an-e" a hug for me, please.

Alice said...

Karen, this post is so beautiful and thoughtful and speaks to my heart completely--especially because we are only a few months behind you.

Praying for Anne on her birthday! God bless your dear young lady.