We had some idea of what we were getting in to. We knew it would be mostly challenging with a few glorious moments of wonderful! We thought about this for over a year and still knew it was right. We are so proud of our son and all of his growth in the past three months since he has been home. We have had some really hard times, but some of the most beautiful moments as a family of six ever!
Raising a teenager is not easy; this is something everyone should know and believe me we knew. However the parts about being this boy’s mamma that are so exceptionally hard are the parts that are NOT “normal teen” stuff, and they are being mixed right in with some of the hardest “normal teen” stuff.
With the children we have raised since birth there was trust almost immediately. They grew inside the body of a mamma that loved them immediately and was proud to nourish them and provide a safe place for them to develop and grow. They were born into wanting, loving and safe arms. They have had basic needs met almost immediately as infants and have had boundaries and consistency in everything since they were born and perhaps, the most important, they have had Love from the first moment of their existence. Fierce love.
With our son, trust has come, but it is shaky and love is there but he does not have any reason to know it is unconditional, he doesn’t even understand what that means. So as these normal teenage “growing up and testing” issues come up, the normal parental response needs to be carefully considered and patiently pondered. We need to come at this at a different angle. When there has been deception and lies we must consider the effect of setting him up with success, with just one more opportunity to be open and honest, to watch him be brave and to trust that we love him enough for that.
Boundaries will tighten back up. And with that we expect some pouting and anger, but we are confident that love and trust will grow again as it has in the recent past.
Parenting teenagers requires some serious creativity and patience. But also, in a family where the concept of unconditional love is a work in progress, there are some really uncommon practices that come out. This is the most amazing journey.
I am nervous about how this weekend will go. How we will address these new issues just right, how he will respond to us. In this gratitude though, I am reminded that we will grow, all of us, but especially our son. He has such potential. These opportunities are being guided by Him, I can feel His presence and for that I am most thankful.