Baby born!!! My Brother’s baby girl is here and I am just waiting to get my preteen girl through her summer camps so we can go see the new addition to our family!!! Change is marked by excitement and chaos. This happy event of a new life is one of the most amazing experiences as life invents itself - a truth as deep as the Monterey Bay. Hope in life is somehow renewed!
When you look into a new born you cannot help to smile. Beauty and hope reside in the bundle of joy that God has entrusted to your care.
I remember those days…
Now my preteen is wonderful and amazing, but I am starting to understand that there will be challenges aplenty. A different set of skills are needed for this next phase of life.
I have accepted that children need a strong connection to their parents and have been aware of times when that is not achieved there are problems that get better with time spent together. So I expected some rumbles after she came back from her 2 week vacation with Dad (aka really vacation with Grandma.) Dad not taking any time off to reinforce how important she is in his life does not make my job easier as I need to deal with the emotional backlash since she is completely at ease expressing her feelings with me.
“Mom I missed you,” my little one says, followed by four tantrums within 48 hours. Older child tantrums consist much of toddler’s tantrums except my patience for this behavior as a preteen is less. Whining, throwing things, yelling, pushing, and persistent defiance are manageable, but outright refusal does not work for me!
Last night I told my daughter to get out of my house and not to come back until she can listen to me (disclaimer - her Dad was in the driveway to pick her up for his scheduled night.) She left with tears in her eyes and I did not sleep at all last night with sadness and dread in my heart.
In the morning she came in all ready to forget, she could see in my eyes it was not over, “Mom I can’t wait to show you what I got for you from Disneyland!”
I motion to sit on the couch.
“It’s too dark in here.”
“I’ll open the drapes,” I say as I draw them open letting the sun in the front room. She is already in the family room, as I follow, I remind myself that resistance to authority is natural for the young child to develop. The Preteen/teen period appears to be long and trying and I better pick my battles. I view the t-shirt from Disneyland and kiss her cheek in appreciation, amazed how thoughtful she is.
At the breakfast table I ask, “Is it alright for a kid not to listen to their parent?”
“No,” says my daughter.
I look at her, “okay.”
After her first camp and before the second camp I hug her, “I will never tell you to get out of my house again. It is your house too! Next time we will just have a time-out and you may go to your room.”
“Okay, I love you,” she smiles.
“I love you too,” I say as I lovely look into her beautiful eyes.