Those ominous words were spoken from my eleven year old daughter while sitting in the park on Fourth of July. I loved it! It was received by our group with laughter, and an acknowledgment that she should know that one day, she would be a teenager. According to her, she would not “hate” herself, because she would definitely not act like that. From my point of view,…”thank goodness!”
That was the second time during the day I had heard that statement, the first from my oldest daughter. Later, she told me the story of walking behind a group of teens using some very unnecessary language, while discussing their future car plans…”they thought they were so cool,….if they only knew how stupid they sound!”
I thought having a teenager was an eye-opening experience, but sitting in the park with tens of thousand of people, checking out the clothes and definitely the hairdos that were being sported. Now that’s eye-opening….and hilarious! For me, the people watching was part of the fun. Have you ever wondered if you could be the subject of someone elses people watching? When those thoughts pop into my head, that’s a moment when I want to just blend in with the crowd, and trust me I don’t want to blend in very often! So I be very careful, as I don’t want to judge, lest I be judged, but it is very interesting.
Watching the people, especially the teens, and after those two comments, my awareness was heightened, and I was thankful for my girls. Sometimes I forget that I have some great kids. I tend to concentrate on the flaws in them and not the blessings. When I get caught up in that bad habit I lose track of the important things. Yes, I know, my children are not the only ones, there are some other great teenagers out there too. A friend of mine, has encouraged me to write a list of all the things that I have to be grateful for, when I do that, I realize, I’m so blessed! If I made a list of the things that I’m grateful for in my children I think that one side would severely outweigh the other. Yet sometimes I want to correct all the flaws on the “bad” side of the list, I want to make them perfect. They’re not perfect, and after “teen watching” and hearing stories from others I come across, I realize that they could be so much worse! I can’t correct everything I see wrong,… after all, they will need something to work on themselves, and God isn’t finished with them yet. For now, I realize, that I’m lucky. That gives me hope!
I’ll try, as I’m not perfect either, to encourage the behaviors I like, gently guide them, and pray! If there’s one thing I know, prayer works, and God is more likely to change them than I am. In fact, He’ll likely change me too….as he’s been working on that “log” for a while…
If you would like to make a difference…..pray for those teens in the park, they are our future!
I know I will be. God Bless!