Disclaimer: I have had a headache today, and I really did need a nap. Alas, it did not happen. So I apologize for the following. Maybe. NOTE: Filter broken.
Dear Adults in my child’s life,
Here lately I’ve been thinking on some situations that have left me shaking my head. As I listen to my teenager tell me what’s happened, and she asks, “Why?” or “How?” I struggle to find an answer to give her about these folks who are grownup and making these choices.
Fo the times you let things get out of hand when you are in charge, let her peers rattle her cage and wait to stop it, thank you. She now knows where you stand, as do I. We know better now.
Thank you for saying, “Well she never calls me.” YOU never call her. And who is the grownup here? (Oh, that’s right, it may very well be her. Hmmmm.) The same goes with complaining that she never comes to see you. Do you come see her?
And to the grownups that see her and then ignore her, but make sure you each see her–yes, there have been awkward moments in your relationship, but sitting and whispering and pointing and NEVER speaking? Yeah, that didn’t make things more awkward at all.
If you promise to do something, I’d suggest you do it. Or have a phenomenal reason why you didn’t. She’s written folks off for less than that. Just FYI.
And finally to those who label today’s teenagers the “instant gratification” generation while complaining that the wifi is too slow or that the drive-thru line is too long, ummm, well, you’re on your own.
Here’s the thing, I am tired of people knocking teenagers and complaining about how they are. I know quite a few, and most of them I think pretty highly of. I know young adults with integrity and a great sense of humor, who take time to serve and help others; not because their schools require a paper signed saying they’ve “served” so many hours, but because they really, genuinely care. I know teenagers who choose to spend their time with people who are homeless, with young children in need, who travel on their school breaks to serve folks in another country. These “kids” don’t need role models. They ARE role models.
But for those who could use someone to watch, someone to guide them, here’s a thought. Could we, AS ADULTS, check our behavior and make sure it’s role model worthy? I’m looking in the mirror as I say this as well. I need some polishing, quite a bit actually. I just think we are all a bit hypocritical when we say, “I wish they’d act more adult-like…..I wish he’d grow up…..Why isn’t she being more mature?” From what I’ve seen up close and personal and in the media, I think that young people may be out of luck. We’re bickering over who’s right, who’s wrong, what other people should do or say and how they should live. We tell young people to get things done, and then we spend hours in front of all kinds of foolishness on the computer, our laptops, our smart phones. (Oh boy, that one hurt, Tara! I say to myself. I know, I know) We are so busy pointing fingers or staring at screens that we forget who is watching us.
In the past few weeks, I have seen more behavior from ADULTS that I don’t want my children emulating. I don’t want my children to judge others. I want them to be okay with being the first to forgive and offer grace. I want them to have their priorities straight. I want them to continue to grow and learn. I want them to love all, and do love. That’s the bottom line–I want them to grow and to love.
This week our yard has been graced by these beautiful irises. These are from some bulbs I found on clearance at Wal-Mart at the end of the season a few years back, and I let my little bitty ones plant them. Pretty much, they dug, and they threw them in some not very deep holes. The whole thing was, quite honestly, not very intentional. However, look at them! Each year, just when I’ve almost forgotten about them, they burst out with the most beautiful blossoms. And what a sight to behold!
I think that it is important for me to remember that my behavior and attitude are like those bulbs. I may not be putting an example out there intentionally, but I am planting a bulb. It may stay in the ground for quite a while, but eventually, that thing’s gonna grow. And because I want to grow beauty and grace in the world, I’d better be real careful about what I’m dropping into the soil of their souls. Because whether I intend to plant it or not, if I drop it, eventually it will grow.
Thank you for sticking with me through my headache-induced rant. Tonight I give thanks for those adults who ARE planting beautiful bulbs of love and grace with my children. Those who are careful with their words, those who encourage and empower our children to help and to shine brighter. I am thankful for those who are patient and listen, and who give the most precious gifts of time and respect. You may not see the beauty come to full fruition any time in the near future, but know that one day, it will, and I thank you for that.