He said I love you and it touched the deepest part of me.
Having a teenager is full of challenges. I talk about them often. My frustrations and my moments. Not necessarily my moments of overwhelming joy, just my moments.
To his credit, my teenage son is a good kid. He is. He just has his “moments.”
A couple months ago when we were at the lake celebrating Memorial Day, he was misbehaving like most big brothers do and was bullying his sister in the water. She was fine, but he kept doing it and getting a reaction from her of course. I didn’t realize how persistently he had been doing it since I only witnessed one episode in the water. Later in conversation with the girls (Kass and her friend E) I realized there was more to it. “I couldn’t believe you only had him to sit out of the water for 10 minutes when he was doing that to Kass,” E said to me in that conversation. I had only made him come out the one time I saw him pushing her around and dunking her in the water. E told me he had been doing that most of the day.
With this new information I wondered how I would help Jas see the way more clearly. When I mentioned the concern to Mr. M he gave me a brilliant idea. “Have him write a paper as his punishment.” Let the punishment fit the crime. Knowing Jas doesn’t like writing papers for school, I knew this would be punishment enough and the topic combination would be none other than “how people drown” and “teenage bullying.” That should cover it. I wanted him to realize for himself that “messing around” in the water dunking someone or holding them under temporarily to be funny, was no laughing matter and could lead to something serious if someone panicked.
So he had to write the paper before spending any time with friends or getting his laptop returned. Long story short, he wrote the paper. We went back to the lake, July 4th weekend and the incident was not repeated; not even once.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you “Yay for me,” I’ve got this raising teenagers thing down to a science. Because quite simply, I don’t. I’m still learning. Every day.
The kiddos have been gone spending some time with their dad for three weeks. To say I miss them is the understatement of the year. Yes, even with their “moments” I miss them. I have talked with them every couple of days since they have been gone. Today, when I was talking to Jas, which usually lasts all of 45 seconds with each phone conversation, I ended with, “I love you.” Normally he won’t say it, especially in front of his dad. So consider my surprise when he said “I love you, too.”
It has happened before, if you read this post from 2008. Yeah, 2008. It’s been said at other times sporadically since then, that I haven’t blogged. But still you can appreciate that it doesn’t happen often.
When he said those four words, it immensely touched the deepest part of my being. I cannot articulate it better than to say… it moved me.
Find yourself… keeping it real.