As you all know, both my kids have been very involved at our church. Taylor spent a good portion of his time at the church helping out with one thing or another and now that he’s off at college, Katie seems to be following in his footsteps. Sometimes Todd and I get a little irritated because they let other things go like, say, picking up their stuff. But in the grand scheme of things I’m thankful for their commitment. I mean, if they’re going to be hanging out somewhere other than home I’d rather it be at church than anywhere else.
I’m thankful for the relationships they both have built there. I’m so very thankful for a number of adults who have come along side these teenagers and invested their time and energy into them. These adults who love my kids and want the very best for them. Who encourage them to be everything God wants them to be and who admonish them when they make decisions they maybe shouldn’t have.
These adults don’t take away the responsibility that Todd and I have in raising our children, but they do enhance our position as parents. You know how it is. You tell your kid something and they look at you like you’re an idiot. But then someone else, maybe somebody cool, says the same thing and all of a sudden it makes perfect sense to them.
And let’s face it. No matter how open a relationship you have with your child, there are some things they’re probably just not going to discuss with you. I get that. So I’m thankful that they have mentors they’re comfortable with and who will guide them and help them when Todd and I aren’t an option.
I’m also thankful for their friends. I feel like by the time our children become teenagers they’re walking on a tight rope. They could fall either way and the biggest determining factor is their peers. I’m thankful that both Taylor and Katie have friends who have similar ideals and values and are encouraging, not discouraging.
I’m thankful that the Todd-and-Jenster-Less-Than-Perfect parenting style hasn’t messed up our kids too badly. Sometimes it’s easy – and a bit painful – to look back over the last 18 years and see where we should have done A instead of B. Funny how I knew exactly how to parent before I was one. But I’m thankful for God’s grace that takes over when I mess up.
And I’m just plain thankful for Taylor and Katie.