Do I admit that I am older than I once was? Or better yet, do I dare? TBH (short for “to be honest” if you are a teenage texter) I may be older, yet there are times I feel just as young as I did in high school. I actually remember turning eighteen and thinking; “well, I don’t feel any different.” And though my life experiences may have made me wiser, my heart still feels the same.
So now here I am admitting I am older, much older than eighteen and seeing my daughter go through some of the same things I went through as a teen. Watching her navigate the waters of life and trying to find her way. Whether she is trying to find her way with friends, school, family and here it is…BOYS, the struggle is real my friends, the struggle is real.
And though the struggle is real as a teen, as a parent I get to share it with her having experienced it myself once upon a time. Watching her with her peers and seeing how she tries so hard to deal with the facets of friendship and life make me so proud to call her my daughter. She deals with it so much better than I ever did. Her understanding of people both boys and girls are far superior to when I was there. She sees people. She isn’t so self absorbed that she forgets to try to understand other peoples feelings. She doesn’t forget to listen. Empathy, compassion, insight, she already has those in spades.
My favorite part in all of this, is that she shares it with me. First and foremost I am her mother, but when she comes in my room at night because some boy has just sent her a text and she wants to tell me about it, I instantly revert into that insecure fifteen year old girl that just heard her best friend tell her a secret about a boy. It is ridiculous how much I adore this. Mostly because she is still talking to me about her own private life. How lucky am I that I have that? TBH, I am lucky to have that with all my children. My sons who are now fully grown and trying to adult, still talk with me about their trials and their friendships with their peers. My eleven year old also shares with me every detail of her days in elementary and it just tickles me that I can see our friendship growing into what I have with my others. How lucky am I to have this with my children.
One of the hardest parts of being a mom is learning how to be their mom and when its ok to be their friend. I know we all struggle with this because first and foremost, we are there to guide them and show them the way. So when is it ok to be their friend? Well, I say its always ok. My thoughts are that they should always feel like they can talk to you without judgement. Now, that doesn’t mean that what they say we will always agree with or that they still might get into trouble, but that fact that they know they can talk with you about the really hard things is paramount. My kids have and still have boundaries that they follow every day. But, they also have someone that is there for them unconditionally. I certainly do not do this parent thing right much of the time and screw up just like all of you. There are times I am certain that they will grow up and need extreme therapy for my horrible parenting mishaps.
So, in the mean time, I am going to treasure every second that I have with them and hope I am doing this thing right. For every time my daughter comes in to tell me a “secret”. For every time my son tells me he is having a hard time and just needs to hear me say, “it will all work out.” For every time I have even the slightest glimpse into their worlds I will absolutely treasure it.
Time is short, I am older and it goes too fast. Be grateful for the time with those littles, because soon they aren’t so little anymore. Develop those friendships, make it known you are there. There is no greater treasure than a child that will share their lives with you.