Wednesday, March 4

Surprised by Joy

Have I ever mentioned how much I love teenagers? Raising little ones has its perks--wilted dandilion boquets, cuddling up for bedtime stories, chubby cheeks begging to be kissed. But there's something about the conversations that one can have with a teen that have me hooked.

Take tonight for example. These are just a few things Sweet Sixteen and I discussed--atheism, human nature, politics, drugs, fast food and its resulting fat cells, forgiveness, poetry, Jane Goodall, the plot of Lord of the Flies, ear-piercing, the stimulus package, and God. Three hours of heart to heart. I wouldn't trade that time for anything. I can't seem to get enough of watching my teens grow into themselves. Questioning. Thinking. Changing. Becoming.

It scares me when they voice their confusion about their testimonies and what they are unsure of in their lives. But then I walk by their bedroom in the middle of the day and catch them on their knees in prayer or absorbed in the scriptures, and that's when that I know that they will be okay. Someone who loves them even more than I do--perish the thought--is in charge.

I guess I just didn't expect parenting to get more rewarding as my kids got older because all I ever heard (and experienced--sorry, Mom and Dad) was how hard teens were supposed to be.

One of my favorite authors, C. S. Lewis, has a book titled Surprised By Joy. And that's just how I feel. I must admit there are times that I also feel Surprised by Pain, or Surprised by Disobedience, or Surprised by Lack of Common Sense...but for the most part I am grateful to have been surprised by joy.


Idaho Sutters said...

I love "hearing" your brain Michelle! I need to read some more CS Lewis. To bad you're not here to discuss it. Soon enough though! Enjoy your journey right now. Have you gotten a account yet? I NEED to keep up on what you're reading. The four months your gone will yield a HUGE list you'll have for me when you get back! : )

Natalie said...

This gives me hope for the future. :D I too have only heard and experienced young teens being difficult (well, untrue. My teens at girls camp are angels. But they're not family!) and have been nervous as my kids get older and older. I know I'm going to love my 18/19 year olds as much as I loved my toddlers because I still relate to that age. But here's hoping adolescence won't kill us but instead bring us great bonding time like this.

PS Seneca has been amazing for like, ever. I'm not surprised she still is. :D

Beck Family said...

HI There Miss,
Really Michelle how could your kids not be so amazing with such a wonderful mother like you! You are such a great example to me, you always seem to have words of wisdom or some experience that I take to heart and learn from and hope that I can use it as I raise my own sweet little ones. I am happy to know that as they grow-up , maybe it won't be as bad as I have been anticipating. Sure miss ya, I don't think we will make it over ( with the economy and all :) ), plus traveling with the little one, not a happy thought, but thanks for the open invitation. Hope you are all doing well. Soak up some sun for me. Have a great week!

Our Crazy Ride said...

such a great give me hope that my kids too will survive their teenage years!