“Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.”
– Zora Neale Hurston
Parenting teenagers is hard. No way around it. I’ve yet to meet a parent who will claim otherwise; oh yes, there are varying degrees of ‘hardness’, and we all have different struggles with our children. But the bottom line is, parenting – if you do it right – requires a recipe of courage, persistence, patience, kindness, empathy, hope, prayer, and the belief that all things are possible.
I’m parenting teenager number two right now – his older sister is safely off to college and finding her way. One of the lovely aspects of having one child of each sex is just that – enjoying the nuances that each one brings both due to and despite their gender.
Child number one – she hated to be alone. It was her worst type of cruel-and-unusual punishment.
Child number two – he loves it. Maybe it’s that he’s all at once so much like me, and at the same time, so much how I would like to be.
That makes parenting hard – to fault him for the very same parts of myself that crave introspection and quiet – the parts of him that test my patience, have my empathy and require hope, faith, and the belief in possibility.
And every day, because of my child, my soul crawls out from its hiding place.
Love catches me unaware like that.
And still, I keep trying.
Sometimes I end up sideways or crumpled in confusion.
Sometimes I get “it” right – and before I can even high-five myself – “it” morphs into something unexpected.
And through it all, I write “it” down. I photograph “it”, trying to somehow remember what it felt like and how I can capture it forever, the extraordinary ordinariness of our days that forces my soul outside of its hiding place for everyone to see.
Today I’m sharing an original piece on my favorite parenting web site, BonBon Break. I’d love it if you click over and read my Early Morning Love Note To My Son, and let me know what you think.
I kind of left my soul out there for you to take a look.