Don’t Fear the Teen Years

th-1This past August I put my first-born son on the school bus at 6:37 in the morning on his way to high school.  I swear it was just a few years ago that I stood on the same corner and put him on the school bus for kindergarten.  A similar transition except that time he wore a laminated wolf around his neck with his name and bus number written in blue sharpie.  This time he had a cell phone in his pocket and a new North Face backpack slung over his shoulder.  Both times he smiled and waved goodbye.  Both times he was still my baby boy from the hospital.

I came back into the house that morning and went into his bedroom.  I noticed that his bed had a big lump in it, though a clear attempt had been made to make the bed. Thinking it was pajamas or books, I reached under the covers and pulled out—his Spot blanket.  Before he was even born, my mother-in-law had made him this blanket with the dog Spot frolicking all over it with his animal friends.  I held it up to the light and could see right through the thread bare fabric.  So the fifteen year old with the vast knife collection and arsenal of air soft guns still sleeps with his Spot blanket.  The boy who shaves his upper lip a few times a month and has size eleven feet, still sleeps with “Spot Blankie.”

I used to fear my precious baby turning into a teenager.  I had heard stories of disrespect, watched movies with angry and rebellious teens, and observed teens in public speak rudely to their parents.  But he has not turned into a teenager. (The term “teenager” was never even used until the 1940’s.)  He is a fifteen-year-old young man with the same heart and mind of the precious baby, toddler, child, and tween that he had been.  Actually, through years of effort by my husband and me and transformation through the powerful work of the Holy Spirit, he is a much more pleasant human being at fifteen than he ever was at three!
Enjoy this time with your little ones.  It is precious and there is nothing like it.  But don’t fear the future.  Have the determination to do the hard work: say no, instill values, minimize media, and point them toward Christ.  Then sit back and wait to see glimpses of the man or woman that God has placed in your care.

Don’t Fear the Teen Years

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