Tuesday, May 20, 2014

They’re Not Little Anymore

These kids are growing up.  I remember the last time I wrote about a day like Saturday-- we went from a T-ball game to a ballet recital.  Boy stuff to girl stuff.  B still had long blonde hair escaping his ball cap, could barely keep his baseball pants on his hips and Julia still had lots of curls, generous cheeks {either end} and she was in the class that people still loved to see in a dance recital.

They were little.

And you know, when they were little, their lives were much easier to write about.  They said funny things.  Their issues were easy.  Their questions were innocent.  The changes in their lives were “sweet”.  Parenting wasn’t quite as personal.  And the biggest reason it was so easy to write about their lives is that they couldn’t read-- or find my blog.

At this stage of the game, I am censored.  And it’s not only here.  Jeff and I have to retreat to the bedroom behind closed door to discuss parenting issues-- and check intermittently that no one is hovering outside the door-- or go on a walk-- or on a date and who wants to talk about hard stuff on a date?  Then there’s that Julia seems to prefer my friends over hers-- hanging on our every word at the ballpark or wherever we may be.  Code language is SO over-- has been for years.  And when we speak vaguely of situations, we are baited for more information until it turns into an argument.  Even once they are “in bed”, their ears are still working, of course, and lingering down the staircase, it seems.

They’re not little anymore.

Their questions are hard.  The changes are personal and complicated.  They are figuring out their stories-- what to take with them and what to leave behind.  And though I cannot share the conversations that fill our home these days, I can say, by the grace of God, they talk to us.  Just Sunday night, Brighton came down and sat on the hearth in front of us and said, “I need to talk to you about my life.”  So......we sat there and listened to our ten year old, expound on his life.  And it was real.  And he went to bed feeling better- affirmed and validated, we hope.  No surprises but he does that quite often-- reports to us-- Jeff couldn’t sleep the other night and headed upstairs to find a couch.  He checked in on B- who was WIDE awake “just thinking” so the two of them sorted some things out after midnight.  I cannot express my gratitude for this-- for his talking and for Jeff’s capacity to take it all in and help his son interpret, decode and embrace these things.

Who IS this large child? NO problem holding up his pants.  

He  TOTALLY poses when he sees my camera.  
Julia doesn’t “report” to us as often as B but when she does, it’s significant.  She’s not clammed up yet but I’ve told her my pursuit will be relentless if she ever does.  I know “space”-- what it means to crave it and take it, but I also know what it’s like to wonder if anybody sees you-- really sees you.  I’ll have to keep my finger on the balance with that.  She’s 12.  Lots brewing there.  I’ve just got to keep it coming out.  And to be sure that when it does, I am creating the right responses and atmosphere to make sure it comes out again.  And again.

If anyone would like to teach me how to take these pictures in motion and in stage lighting, feel free.  Though blurry, I still like this one.

I kept cutting her toe out-- not expecting her limbs to stretch outside of my scope.  

That clock is ticking and the slow motion potion isn’t working.  Neither the brick on their heads, as Jeff likes to say.  It makes me want to tuck in at home and just sit and watch them grow.  So I don’t miss anything.  So I don’t blow off a conversation that I don’t realize is headed somewhere big.  So I don’t miss that pre-teen face morphing into the face that I will look at for the rest of my days.  So I don’t miss the meal they decide they like adult food.  So I don’t turn around and say, “When did you start drinking coffee?!?”

Parenting is no joke.  It changes moment to moment.  You’ve got to be ready, willing AT ALL TIMES to give it your best shot- not the “What’s for dinner?” questions but the ones that make you think, “Are you sure I am the right person to be asking that?!?!” {Yes, I am.}  The opportunities are flying by every day.  Grateful for the Spirit of Christ who lives inside of me-- even more grateful for the times I listen to Him.  I can’t imagine parenting without Him.


Lizzy R. said...

oh how He uses your writing in my life! I especially needed to hear the "Yes, I am" in the last paragraph. Bless you.

Alyssa said...

Would love to be a fly on the wall to hear more of the wisdom that you pass along to J & B during those deep conversations. But you maintain and earn more of their trust by not disclosing all that here. Love seeing these pictures of their growth.

Emily said...

Love those sweet pics of the littles, but also am LOVING the young man and young lady that they are now. They are one of my life's joys and I feel so privileged to see them on the daily!