Monday, June 4, 2012
teen·ag·er (tnjr) n.
"A person between the ages of 13 and 19; an adolescent." That's the definition of teenager on thefreedictionary.com.
There are now three of them in my house.
Thirteen years ago today God brought two new lives into my world. One of them was pink and small with a perfectly shaped little head. The other was purple and large and made quite a few grunting noises.
Little has changed.
But then again, so much has changed. The 2 & 1/2 year old big sister is now 15 & 1/2 and finishing her freshman year of high school. The girl twin - who arrived first and never lets her brother forget it - is now two inches taller than him and thrilled she is just hours away from summer break. The boy twin has not yet outgrown action figures or superhereos (can you blame him with The Avengers movie?) and would live outside if possible. The mom and dad are a little grayer, a little heavier and a lot wiser.
We are beyond the days when we choose their friends, their clothes or even their activities. And yet these two kids are in no hurry to be counted as independent, young adults. It seems the time is going by a little too fast even for them and they wouldn't mind a few more years of what is often referred to as "innocence."
They are by far the most counter-cultural kids in our neighborhood and quite possibly their school. All three teenagers share one cell phone with limited texting. They don't go to dances, they've never driven a vehicle (not even for a couple of blocks in Arcadia) and they don't date. They have never, not once, said they hate me, that I'm stupid or they wished they lived somewhere else. At least not to my face.
So they are already much better teenagers than I was.
I know the reason they are so amazing has very little to do with me and very much to do with the abundant grace of God. I am so ridiculously grateful for the genuine faith they have and the fruit of the Spirit I see in their lives. And I know there is so much more to come. I do sometimes wonder who they will become as adults. What will they do for professions? Pet shop owner and professional ball player are still at the top of their lists. Who will they marry? I can hear, the "Ewww, gross, Mom." Ryan, typical Eder, can't be bothered with girls at this young age and Maggie only smiles when certain celebrity heartthrobs are mentioned. Caitlin prefers not to discuss it at all.
There are many decisions in front of these children and my hope and prayer is they will make those decisions with humility and complete trust in the Lord. Come to think of it, that's my hope and prayer for Dan and me too. O Lord, equip us to equip them!
Tonight we will celebrate all three of our teenagers, though we'll put more emphasis on the newest arrivals to the teen years. I would not exchange a moment spent with any one of them for anything. I know there are many more challenges to come, but I wouldn't trade those experiences either. I do not wish to ever get a little time off from being their mom. I cannot imagine my life without the wonderful blessings that are Caitlin, Maggie and Ryan.