Monday, October 19, 2015

I Like You

Some time last year, Julia got her first “I like you” note.  {Well, the first one I know about anyway.}   From whom, you ask?  I would never tell— and thus the tension regarding so many things I’d like to write about and process here but some stories are too fresh to tell, too personal to ever write here— and if I want to keep the trust of my kids, I just can’t tell them. However, as far as “the note”, some time has passed and you will never know what it said, who wrote it, or how she responded. I do love that she showed it to me and wanted my input on how she should answer.  That was a gift. The note she received, I will say, melted this momma’s heart— mainly because I loved knowing someone else recognized some of the sweet qualities Julia has.  Don’t you wish you knew what it said?!

Jeff knew about it and we got his input as well.  We found it to be a perfect launch for many great conversations.  We talked about how she should respond— grateful because kind things were said about her, respectful as the young man had put himself out on a limb.  Whether she liked him or not— she needed to answer him in a way that kept his dignity intact.  We talked about how it made her feel to be singled out and how much that should matter or not matter to her.  We talked about the friendship and how she thought it would change or not change depending on her answer.  And that was the big one to me— keeping the friendship intact by not taking it all too seriously.  They are 13.  Friendship is the most important thing right now— not exclusive boy/girl relationships.

I can tell you moms that might be a few years behind me, this sneaks up on you.  It did for me and for most other moms I have talked with.  Within a 3-6 month time period during “the note”, I felt I watched a teenager appear in my home.  It was so strange.  Even the pictures from just a few months before, she seemed like a 10 year old and then POOF, I see her catching the eyes of boys— her being completely unaware.  I see them watching and in my head, I’m like- “Okay, that’s enough.  Move on, young man.”

So many conversations to be had, so many confusing emotions to sort through, so many things she wants to figure out…… So what’s my job?  To stay engaged.  To stay available and engaged.  Oh, and maybe to stay a step ahead.

Some things you might want to think through—
-how you will respond when she tells you that she likes someone or that she got “the note” ;  )
{We are always told not to “freak out” and I think that's GREAT advice so imagine it now and what your best response could be.}
-what conversations you want to have with her before and after the boy/girl things gets started {prioritizing the friendship is important here}
-what boundaries you want to have in place BEFORE this lets loose {I would think at this age that would include texting or direct messaging.}

Anyway, a couple of hours later after telling Jeff about the note, I found this on my bathroom counter.

I guess you can tell that I like you.  You are not like all those other girls that I know.  
You are funny, you like sports, you are athletic, you are beautiful, you are serious about your walk with Jesus and you have become a great Mommy.  
I don’t know what all this means, but I think I would like to keep getting to know you better.  

Well, if I thought the other one melted my heart, this one reheated the wax and sent it dripping again.  If you didn’t know, I have a thoughtful husband.  I’ve been reading his notes since the week or two after I met him.  We were great pen pals when snail mail was our only option.  I always anticipated his letters and I kept them all.  Even now, I can’t throw away a birthday card or a Mother’s Day card or a Valentines card because he pens his thoughts in them.  He knows I like the words.

 And his “I like you” note was no different.


Sarah said...

That Jeff... I think he was a flirting with you ;) Do you think he really likes you?

Diane said...

I have been reading your blog for years. YEARS. Never have I commented; sorry for that. But I will say I always clicked off feeling better. Inspired. Hopeful. Your daughter is a couple of years older than mine so your wisdom is always, ALWAYS helpful, valued and appreciated. THANK YOU. Thank you, although you're keeping their lives private, you're still posting to help us other moms through these stages. And your husband ... well, that was just too sweet. True love there. :)