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Three of My Very Best Friends

Loux Family 047

I am in the unique position of being a mom who is raising teenagers, even sent one off into adulthood, while at the same time managing life with four Littles.

I am not a perfect mom.

Not by far.

But I have learned a few things.

And here is the thing, I don’t buy the lie that you can’t be friends with your kids.

Sure, I get where that came from, I get that I am still “the parent”; but what I treasure most of all is the friendship I’ve built with my children.

My friend Sara  wrote this on Facebook the other day:

My almost 7 year old woke me up this morning and asked me to go outside and watch the sunrise with him.

I just keep thinking, “By golly, I think I’m raising my best friends.”

I had to chime in. I just couldn’t help myself.

Here’s what I wrote to her:

You ARE raising your best friends. Every day I am blown away by the beauty of the friendship I have now with my oldest three. And now, I look back and can see glimpses of the moments like the one you just mentioned that foreshadowed the beauty to come. Enjoy it now and treasure it like you do. Now 22 years into motherhood, it blows me away.

She wrote back:

I guess moments like this give me the courage to keep giving it my all even on the days that I’m thinking, “Dear God, I’m blowing it!” Usually older moms say, “Oh it goes so fast, enjoy them while they’re little”.  And it makes me think that maybe I don’t have anything to look forward to. Your comment gives me hope!

I replied:

Oh goodness, I will never say that to any momma, because I never find that statement helpful. Being a momma is hard. I was talking to my brother today and told him, “I’m a good mom. I’m the kind of mom only I can be. I’m not an ooshy goosy mom. I’m just me and that’s good.” And Sara, 22 years into this, I blow it every single day. I kid you not. I get short and snippy and impatient and I forget to really listen. BUT that is NOT who I am as a mom. Who I am as a mom is ME, and there is so much I do well. Eyes on the beauty of it, my friend. We get up and start fresh moment by moment. All is good. Building a lifetime of experiences. One moment is never the equivalent of the journey.

Did you hear that?

A MOMENT IS NEVER THE EQUIVALENT OF THE JOURNEY!

I’m letting you in to my chat with Sara because we all need to be reminded of that.

Being a mom is hard. Being a parent is hard (dad’s too).

But there is JOY in parenthood. Reach out and grab it.

I want to tell you how I developed FRIENDSHIP with my children.

1. I listen to them, and I never treat what they have to say as childish.

2. I encourage them to have opinions and share them with us.

3. I try to always apologize when I bl0w it. Good parents say “I’m sorry!”

4. I engage with things that are important to them and made space for their dreams.

Here’s another tip: Teenagers open up at night. I cannot tell you how many amazing conversations take place when I am ready for bed. The foot of our bed has been a place where teenagers sit and talk late at night. It has been a place where hearts unfold, dreams are shared, young love’s journey is told, and sorrows are revealed. You were up in the wee hours of the night with them as newborns, busy non-stop from morning til night with them as youngsters, but as teens the late night hours are precious opportunities to allow friendship to grow.

My boys are sitting here as I write this, and I just asked them why they consider us their friends- what made friendship grow.

They both responded,

We felt respected. We felt like we were taken seriously.

So there you have it.

Do you respect your children?

Do you see the value in them and call it out. Do you validate who they are and what they are becoming MORE than you care about their failures and floundering.

Do you take your children seriously?

Does what they have to say matter to you? Do you really listen and treat their thoughts and dreams as valuable?

And remember.

A MOMENT IS NEVER THE EQUIVALENT OF THE JOURNEY!

You’re going to fail, say you’re sorry and move on. In the moments of failure and making it right, your children will learn to trust you.

They will learn that you respect them and take them seriously.

They will learn that they have value.

And they will become your friends.

 

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5 thoughts on “Three of My Very Best Friends

  1. I sure can say that my kids are my best friends as well~~through the valleys and the mountain tops, we have clung together~~There is nobody I would rather be with than my husband and my kids~~truly, my best friends.

  2. Every year is a new adventure, whether they are 2 or 28. Just today I spent 12 hours in the car with my 26 year old son and it was amazing. We laughed, we went down memory lane, we talked about life. It reminded me of what I always hoped it would be when he grew up. When he was a baby I dreamt that when he was grown we’d be close and we are. Our children are so unique and different and I love watching them in each new step in their lives. Do I miss them being 2? Yes, because I’d love to watch this journey over and over again. I’d have a dozen babies if I could just to live this journey again and again…and I can’t wait for the next year and the next, new loves, new grandbabies, new jobs, new homes, new adventures and more memories to enjoy with them!

  3. I can’t believe I missed this one. So good. And so glad that Christ Himself calls me friend=) XOXO.

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