Thursday, March 22, 2012

Advantages of Starting with a Teenager

I ran into our good friend, Tabitha, at the coffee shop the other day after school on my way to cheerleading practice.  She flagged me down and waved me frantically over to her table.  "CONGRATULATIONS!" were the first words out of her mouth as she hugged me excitedly.  I had to stop and think for a minute what she was congratulated me on.  "I heard about your new addition," she replied in seeing my puzzled expression. 

"Oh, thanks!" I said.  "Yeah, I guess we did things a little backwards, you know, starting with a teenager and all..." 

"No!" she exclaimed, "That is SO y'all!  When I think about you and Patrick both, I never know what to expect! But I know that you guys always do crazy things and just don't care what people think.  Seriously, when I heard, I just thought, 'That is so Emily and Patrick.'"

I don't post those words to boast, but the opposite.  To say just what a sweet, precious blessing they were to my ears from the heart of a good friend.  At a time when I so needed to hear them.  Isn't that just how God works?  At just the right time...  Have I said that before?

And they have just stuck with me all week long... What a crazy, radical, backwards-seeming thing we are doing, but also just what a blessing Calvin has been to us in return.  I have been pondering starting out this whole parenting journey with a teenager.  I'm watching a lot of friends around who are having babies, and we will be there someday too we hope.  But today, I'm very glad that our first child came to us as a ripe ol' teenager.  There are some great advantages to this.

I think I've come up with a pretty stellar list:

1. They sleep through the night. (I think this is appropriately placed at the top of the list!)
2. They inspire you to exercise. 

3. They can actually express their feelings. Sort of. Most of the time.

4. They help out.  And they can lift heavy things. 
5. They can drive you to school so that you can actually eat breakfast.

6. They are pretty dang funny.
7. They can play Words with Friends against you and put up some pretty fierce competition. Or real Scrabble when you get tired of sitting in the same room together both of you absorbed in your iPod touch or SmartPhone.

8. They can make their own food.  And sometimes make your food!

All joking aside, if you are considering foster care or adoption, please believe me when I say that it is already worth it.  Don't be scared of teenagers. Yes, they can be quite a handful at time.  And you will be a tremendous blessing to them, but the guarantee I can make you is that, more than that, you will be the one blessed in return. 

1 comment:

Shelley said...


I have so enjoyed reading about your nontraditional journey into parenthood...You and Patrick are most definitely a blessing to Calvin and I am so happy for your family! I'm also pretty jealous your kid sleeps through the night :)