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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Welcome to the Terrible, Terrific Teens

We made it! Our twins are 13, and we made it! Being twins, they had a rough start. Let's be honest, childbirth is not easy for me, and having twins was a HUGE deal-in more ways than one. So the very fact that those 4 and 5 pound little girls are now brilliant, amazing, incredible young ladies feels like quite an accomplishment.

So how did we get this far? Good Luck, prayers, tears, mistakes, triumphs, bravery, trying, trying again, and hope are all part of parenting. We've used these tools plus a lot of joy, happiness, fun, fear, uncertainty and trust--and somehow it's worked out.

The things no one tells you before you become a parent are numerous. Children come home so little and cute, and dependent, and then as they grow they have opinions and attitude, mixed with sweetness and forgiveness--and that's just the toddler years.

So we are now parents of teens--mathematically impossible since I am waaaay too young for that. Somehow it happened. The greatest lesson I have learned being a parent is that LOVE makes all the difference. I know, much more cheesy than I normally am, but being a parent teaches you to love someone else in a whole new way.

Love your children for who they are. No matter what, you will butt heads and have conflict, because that's how we learn. Love them anyway. If they want to wear that hideous neon shirt with their holey jeans and rubber rain boots to school, so be it.

Love them because they are the very best parts of you. And when you see some not so nice things that may come out in their personalities--that's part of you too. Embrace all of it!

Love them because they have unlimited potential. They can do anything, and with the support of a loving parent(s), they can do everything!

Love them because sometimes they will feel like no one does. Remember how tumultuous life was as a teen? It's the same for way for them--maybe even more so in this ever-changing, complicated, technologically advanced world. Maybe you don't show you love them in public--cuz they need their street cred, but show them that you love them and tell them. Those words can mean everything to them--and yeah, they may not admit it, but they hear you, so do it anyway.

Love them because it's your job. You may not have been aware that this roller coaster called Parenthood would have so many ups and downs, but the best thing you can do is just be there to guide, listen, discipline, teach and trust them. That will make a bigger impact on them than the latest tech gadget, hottest pair of jeans, or greatest toy.

Love them because someone loved you at this age. There are many wonderful, amazing days ahead in this parenting gig--and there will be days when you will ask yourself, "What the H*!! was I thinking?" Don't panic, it's normal.  This is the same wheel parents have been spinning on for centuries. They survived, so will you.

Love them because someday Karma will repay them the favor when they have their own kids. Love them because no one can love your kids better than you. Love them because time is fleeting and someday they will be fully functional adults who, if you are lucky, will become your best friends. Love them because they need YOU--and you need THEM! Don't waste the opportunity to know your children. They are incredible people already.

I am going to take time to enjoy as much as I can on this ride. I am so proud of my twins (and all my kids) and so happy to celebrate this milestone with them. We gave our children life, let's teach them how to LIVE.

Happy Parenting!

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