I usually just get this feeling right before New Year’s – that feeling like it’s time for some changes, a fresh start and lots of possibilities. There’s a lot of change in store this year at the Cozy Cottage. Anna will turn five in December – with that milestone comes preparing for kindergarten and sending her into the world. She’s not a toddler any more. That’ll be a tough transition as we send our last into the world of school and friends and life outside of our four walls. Jonah will be twelve this October. He’s got a lot going on, but we’re not quite to the teen years or even technically into middle school, so I’m breathing a sigh of relief that his changes are constant and steady, for now. But it’s a major milestone with Simon that started this off.
You see, Simon is starting 9th grade tomorrow, high school, (insert MANY parenting clichés here) and it REALLY doesn’t seem possible. For one, we’re not nearly old enough, right? RIGHT?! I mean, parents of high schoolers are WAY older than we are. Guess not.
But it’s time to do this and what’s worth doing is worth doing well. So, instead of making lists and resolutions a la Kristen, I’m working on this new plan to NOT be in control – or even pretend to be. As I’m stumbling along in this awesome and scary role of being a mom, I’m learning more and more each day that it’s really who I am in front of my kids than what I try to say or make happen FOR my kids. So, instead of making proclamations of how this year will be different and more organized and less crazy and happier and less shout-y, I’m turning inward to make some changes that will really matter. (But fear not, I’ll likely make plenty of proclamations, too.) This time I’m praying…a LOT!
I’m praying that we’ve given Simon the foundation he needs to face the world in this new way, and that we’ll keep on reinforcing all those truths, gently.
I’m praying that he really KNOWS that he is a child of God, not just a child who goes to church, and that he’s got access to the God of heaven and earth, himself.
I’m praying that he sees us as his biggest fans, ready to support him and advise him.
I’m praying that we have the endurance and the strength to be the bad guys when we need to be, that we can set the expectations and deliver on the follow-through. That we remember that we’re his parents and not his friends.
I’m praying that we cherish the time we have left while he’s still under our roof and that we find that balance between his independence and our parental tendency to smother that independence.
I’m praying that Simon will finally understand the importance of excelling at school and owning his future, instead of just coasting in with an A/B average…because we know he has untapped excellence in there.
I’m praying that he stays pure in heart and spirit and that he makes godly choices and is careful with his heart.
I’m praying that he’s a friend to all, and a pawn of no one.
I’m praying that Matt and I remember that our marriage is a HUGE factor in our kids’ lives, so instead of losing “us” to being just parents, we’ll remember to nurture time together in the midst of the hustle and bustle of raising three kids in three very different stages of childhood.
I’m praying that we thrive during the high school years, not just get through it. Some days will be awesome and we’ll be so proud. Other days will be a struggle, a tug-of-war between childhood and adolescence. I have a feeling it’ll be just as tough on us as it is on him. As much as we know it’s time to take another step forward, I think we all want to just hit the pause button some days.
I’m praying that we learn to find joy in the journey – that we appreciate this new role we will play in his life, that we’ll guide and influence him and step back just a little to let him start walking beside us and eventually out in front.
And maybe you’ll be praying for all of us. Deal?