Teenage boys are one of my favorite breed of people. So far they have been annoyed, amused, antagonistic and confused with each other. In about 5 minutes. They don’t give a whole lot of weight to their own emotions, let alone anyone else’s which makes them easier to parent in some respects. Obviously, in other ways that’s very challenging. The other day Em came in the door, clearly upset from her car ride home. Dad just looked at me like, “I don’t know how to help her or you with this one” and big brother just looked at me and rolled his eyes, beacon of sensitivity, that child. So I pulled the tearful girl into my bedroom to chat and discovered the source of her hurt: big brother knew he had pushed her, knew it had hurt her ankle and he just didn’t care. “Mom, it’s like sometimes I feel like he doesn’t even care how I feel” to which I took a deep breath, looked her square in the face and let her in on a little secret. “He doesn’t.” After recovering from her initial shock, she giggled and so did I. But we went on to discuss how boys and girls are just so very different and while he brother may not care about her feelings all the time, he does love her very much. She decided it was okay to think teenage boys are weird, and I agreed that was sometimes true.
I hear mama’s of teenage sons bemoan the changes in their offspring that begin sometime around 11 and I empathize. But let me offer some encouragement: as you stare into the x-boxing, headphone wearing, illegible handwriting, testosterone producing son who has taken your “little buddy’s” place, don’t miss out on the good. You have the unique privilege of guiding that boy into becoming the man God created him to be. As he flexes muscles in the kitchen you get to affirm that he will be such a great strong protector of his family one day. As he leaves a trail of really stinky socks around the house, you get to teach him about “living considerately” so as one day to be a kind husband.And on and on. It’s such a joy as some of what you teach them begins to take root. And, the bigger joy, I promise, is when stuff you weren’t smart enough to think up, begins to sprout and you know the Holy Spirit is leading them.
|the “only has one year left at home” child|
|the “still so very cute when he wakes up sleepy” and “I won’t pose for a picture” child|