Friday, January 30, 2015

The Way Of Things

I lost my mojo for a bit. It happens to me sometimes. Life and her calculations get a little too real. And it throws me. Which means my words get all swallowed up and away. It's like my brain needs room to breathe through all the dailyness and there's nothing left over to write about. It's just the way of things.

I feel like I'm back. At least, I think I am.
My writer's brain has turned back on. And that usually means I'm ready to speak up and out again. Hopefully it's here to stay.

There's an ugly side to parenting. One that no one really talks about. The hard stuff. That's the reason my mojo took a hike. Because I felt surrounded by the ugly, hard stuff. And it took everything in me to just process the basic parts of truth. Nothing drastic. Just yucky. So much so, that I felt weighed down. Literally.

There are so many vast differences to parenting toddlers versus teenagers. Pros and cons to both. But nothing, and I mean nothing, prepares you for the emotional toll of raising 12-18 year olds. There aren't words that can describe what it's like to find out your child has been lying to you. Or that they've made choices far away from what you've established as acceptable. No words at all.

But that's the entry fee to living with teenagers. That's the ugly part no one really likes to discuss. The hard and heavy. Every single parent will walk this way. The way that takes your self esteem into a nose dive. Because not only are these people hard to decode, they're brutal on your sanity.

Every day their words chip away at your worth. Sure we know to thicken our skin and stand a little taller. But come on. After so long, those words start to sink into your skin and convince your mind that you're a failure. It's an easy trap to fall into. One that teenagers guide you right to. They're the perfect escorts. And sometimes, when we just can't help it, we wallow there.

But we just can't park it and stay. For ourselves. And for them. Because, really. Look at these kids. They're extraordinary. They truly are. They are courageous and brave and tenacious. All the things we want them to be. Are they flawed? Very. But so are we. Do they make mistakes? All the time. But so do I. Maybe the key to it all is finding the way to raise ourselves taller than our poor decisions. To stand stronger than our words convey. Both ours and theirs.

For all the ugly, heavy choices these children force me to see, there is always, always, this beautiful flip side. It shows up eventually. Sometimes you just have to wait it out and hold on for dear life until it does. Because this is beauty. This right here. These people right now. In the good. And the bad. And everything in between. This ordinary beauty makes it all worth living. Blessings found amongst the rubble.

For today, let's see the beauty. Hidden between the ugly, the heavy and the hard. Let's see it. If you're in the middle of it all, and really, who isn't? Hold on. It's the only way. The best way. And while you're holding, take the time to look around. The beauty is there. Look past harsh words and eye rolls and bad choices. It's. Right. There. Goodness at it's finest. Ours for the taking.

Enjoy it all.
Even when it's hard.
Grace at it's best.

Have a lovely weekend, friends.


kristen black said...

How do you do it? How do you find just the right words at just the right time? I too have been in a similar rut and have found myself wishing you were posting. You words lift me up. And then, there you are with just the words I need. Thank you!

a maidenhair fern said...

We took a parenting class many years ago from your Mom and Dad. Your Mom told us how teenagers take their brain out and put it on a shelf. Then one day, years later, and you never know when, they put it back in . . . I wonder which of you kids they experienced that with :)