Today marks the first day of Autumn, 2007...it also marks the first day of a new era for me.
You see, my oldest son turned 13 today. Even as I blog, seven hormonally charged adolescents are in the basement making a ruckus at the birthday bash. Oh, man, a thirteen year old really has the world by the tail.
This means, though, that I am a parent of a teenager. Since my youngest is only four, that means I will be the parent of a teenager every day for the next 15 years. God help me.
From pickup-hoops to post-prom-parties, from braces to broken hearts, from competitions to colleges, the next 15 years will be a challenge and a blast. I wish I had some sober reflections on what this means, some intelligent insight on parenting teens, some passionate ideas about 'how I'll do it right', but it is all blank, just blank. It is the same feeling I had about thirteen years ago when I brought that baby home in his little illini sleeper. (incidentally, today he won't wear the Orange and Blue...another parenting failure....)
OK, back to my thoughts in 1994. "What in the world am I going to do? How can I be entrusted with this amazing little package? I sure am glad I have a wife. I hope she knows how to raise this thing. I wonder if she is thinking the same thing about me.?"
Life is like an unfolding novel that gets written every day. Looking forward it all seems real intimidating. Looking back, it all just kinda worked out. It did. I realize that as stressed as I was, God was really in control and he is doing good things all the time. Maybe I can chill out more on the next fifteen year parenting cycle than I did on the first thirteen.
On a different note, being a parent of a teen can make you feel old. Seems like my kids milestones make me feel older than my own do! But as all the 13-ers were playing spoons, making body noises, and shooting each other with marshmallows, they also compared their dads ages. Old, old, old...except me...still the youngest dad in this crowd...not even 40? YES!