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I love having a teenage daughter. My favorite season of parenthood yet. This girl is so much fun.
These words on Instagram, posted by one of my favorite writers and speakers, could have been my undoing.
I could have thought, rather sarcastically, That must be nice for you.
I could have thought, rather practically, Just wait a week or a day or an hour.
I could have thought, rather callously, Maybe it's because your daughter hasn't looked trauma in its ugly eyes and is fighting to wholly heal.
The truth about things that could be our undoing is they don't have to be.
I will not allow a post or update or pretty picture to make me feel inferior.
I will not give space for self-pity to take root because of comparison.
I will not succumb to thinking anything less than the best of people.
I reread the caption, My favorite season of parenthood yet, and I was reminded of a young momma who was completely captivated by her blue-eyed toddler. I was younger then, before I was scraped by the ugly of the world, and I was enamored by how quickly my little boy changed. I missed the late night bottles in the wooden rocking chair, but I loved that he danced in the kitchen while I cooked dinner. I missed pureeing the baby food, but I loved that he took the last sip of my tea each morning.
I realized parenting was always going to be about missing something and loving something new. The seasons change. I decided then, as a young momma -- before I knew the way trauma changes a child and before I knew I had two daughters and another son out there facing the ugly this world offers, waiting to someday let me be their momma too -- I decided I would always allow my favorite season of parenthood to be the current season.
The Instagram post stung not because I'm an inferior momma, but because it revealed that I'm not keeping up my end of the deal. I'm not letting right now be my favorite season of parenthood.
Today I claim the territory of being a momma to a brand new fourteen year old (happy birthday, Hannah!) as my favorite time to be Hannah's momma. Today I celebrate a few of the things I love about having a teenage daughter.
- She paints her nails and talks to me about nothing and everything while she does it.
- She helps clean the house, and it is usually better than what I do myself.
- She laughs at my quirky jokes.
- She does her own homework and helps her siblings with their homework.
- She stays up a little too late reading.
- She still snuggles on the couch under a quilt during a movie.
- She likes to share clothes with me.
- She asks me to pray for her.
- She reads scripture and likes to talk about it.
- She's curious.
- She's grateful for family.
- She loves me back.
And in this pause, I will sort through thoughts and feelings and perceptions until I find the best in others and the best in myself.
This is celebration.
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